Whether you’re planning a little soirée or a run-of-the-mill party, there will usually come a time when your thoughts turn to what you will serve your guests. To help with your decision making, I’ve listed the five things I find most important in my party food.
1. No-one is allergic/intolerant/morally opposed to it.
There are two ways to deal with a guest with special dietary requirements. You can either cook some food they can eat and some for everyone else, or you can make all of your food free of the problem item. I prefer the latter option because that way you don’t have to worry about the person feeling left out or about any cross contamination. Plus, sometimes it can be interesting to cook a variety of foods without a usually common thing, like gluten or meat.
2. It can be pre-made beforehand
When you have all of your friends round and everyone’s happy and talking, you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen. That’s why it’s important to stick, in the main, to food that you can do the majority of the work for before everyone arrives. That way, if you time it right all you’ll have to do is pop things in and out of the oven or fridge, and you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the wonderful company.
3. It can be eaten with your fingers
Cleaning up after a party is a real drag. I think most people will agree that the less washing up you have to do the better. While paper plates and plastic cutlery is one way to avoid a mountain of dishes higher than Everest, the best and simplest way is simply to make food that doesn’t need knives or forks or plates.
4. It suits the season
Some foods just work better at certain times of the year. In the middle of summer you don’t want to be eating piping hot roast potatoes, just like in the middle of winter ice-cream isn’t really at the top of the priorities list. Plus, if you can get some nice, fresh seasonal produce your food is probably going to taste all the better. So your menu should be very dependant on the time of year you’re having your gathering.
5. There’s lots of it!
Do I really need to elaborate on this one?