To Cook or To Cater; That is the Question
Every year my family has a reunion. Location determines how many people come as many are getting older and finding it harder to travel.
The host family is usually responsible for several meals: a welcome dinner on Friday evening which is usually just a light meal, lunch on Saturday is the main reunion meal where all of the stops are pulled out and dinner is usually leftovers from that lunch, Sunday morning is a breakfast and sendoff. This can become overwhelming for the hosting family and we have seen reunions handled in many different ways including home cooked meals, catered meals, restaurant family style, etc. Personally when my family hosts we like to cook as much as possible but that was also before I had a husband, children and jobs that require my attention.
Our turn again is coming for the reunion and honestly while I have been on our Pinterest boards saving things and getting ideas when it comes to cooking for a crowd I am seriously leaning into getting some foods catered. The older I get the more I learn that often the cost comparison in buying or cooking myself is so little that the time involved in cooking foods is not worth doing it. I just call on a trusty catering friend. I also head to the internet to see what other caterers are doing and recently stumbled upon Bill Bronchick who has over 20 years experience.
I also looked into food trucks and learned that they are in fact safe and regulated and will also do private events and serve by the plate or even buffet style to guests. Wouldn’t that make a really cool reunion to have a real legit food truck show up and serve food?!? Often they have catering menus which I didn’t know until recently and can offer several proteins, vegetables and even special desserts that are often what makes the truck known for.
We also looked into places where we can hold the actual reunion in case there is inclement weather and many of those have full service kitchens so that if we chose to cook everything or even just some family favorites we can do that right in there without carrying foods everywhere.
I know that no matter how we choose to feed our family at the reunion that I am really excited and anticipating an amazing time filled with memories, laughter and tons of pictures being taken while everyone gathers around one of many tables to share meals and blessings.
Do you cook or cater large events? What are your favorite recipes for feeding a crowd? I would love to hear some thoughts in the comments about this. Although I am looking forward to this great family event there is always some anxiety about feeding a crowd and making sure that we have everything in order and that people like whatever we decide on.