I had the option to sit back and enjoy a party but I chose not to. When my skating club’s end of season party was announced, I toyed with the idea of catering the event. Before I even came up with a solid plan, I bounced my proposal to the club president and was enthusiastically accepted. “Proposal” is probably more formal than what I actually said. The conversation went something like this:
Candy: Hey are we serving dinner at the party?
Candy: Want me to cook? What’s your budget? How many people?
Prez: Sure! About 30 people. What number do you have in mind?
Candy: How does $10 per person sound?
That was back in early September and I had been dragging my feet with planning of any sort since. It was only a week before the party when I finally got my act together and came up with a rough draft of the menu. Why so much procrastination?
In this day and age of hyper awareness about food allergies, intolerances, and preferences, a menu with something for everyone in such a diverse group is not trivial. Let’s start with main course. Vegetarian option is a must. Although budget friendly, pork is not a good choice for religious reasons. Same can be said for beef although this did not apply to my target. That left me with inoffensive poultry. Dark meat such as boneless chicken thigh is my first choice since it doesn’t dry out easily and can withstand the rigors of reheating. Next challenge is dishes with low or no gluten. I respect the dietary preferences for many of my friends. Although my kitchen cannot accommodate those with gluten allergies (risk of cross contamination), I don’t want those on low gluten diet to feel deprived of choices. It was a juggling act to balance my budget without resorting to too many carb-laden recipes. Oh and did I mention the large contingency of teenagers? That means the menu ought to be nothing too exotic.