Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time to Ring in the New Year with Family and Food

Happy New Year!

If you are hosting a New Year's Eve party (supper or dinner), you should first and foremost consider your guests. Whether family or friends or a combination, be considerate of their diets. All too often I find that finger food at parties combines meat and veggies together and thus non meat eaters cannot eat and those on restricted diets when meat is prohibited also suffer. For me, certain veggies cause intestinal problems especially in their raw state. It is a good idea to prepare something for everyone on your guest list. I also recommend labeling food in a 'fancy creative' way to let guests know what is before them. If you are serving only finger food, provide means for guests to take bites without having to touch other bites that other guests would like to taste. I saw on a blog the idea of putting cheese chunks into mason jars... looks nice but crammed into such jars will cause the cheese chunks (soft as most are) to be pushed down as one after another guests tries to retrieve a chunk of cheese causing fingers to touch the chunks as they become more and more packed down and thus difficult to get out of the jars.  I have been at parties when the food did not fit the kind of and amount of alcohol. If you plan to serve drinks with high alcohol content, then serve fatty food which will keep your guests sober. I have been to parties when the food was dips and chips and cookies. If you have adults coming for food, don't treat them like kids/teenagers. Serve food that shows your respect for their life and their being in your life. Serve food that is hot/warm and full of flavor. Personally, I am more the savory gourmet than sweet. Set an inviting table. I have been to parties where chairs to sit on were scarce. Better to crowd people around the table then to have them milling about and dropping food for your pet or staining the carpet. What is really important though is not to worry about the dog/cat or carpet. When you invite family and friends over to share a table, you are saying that you want to spend time with them... you are getting together to share life/food. This is what the party is about. It is not a time to show off your new furniture or carpet or television or whatever. Its about life, food and togetherness! Food shared is for social cohesiveness, friendships and family bonding. If you don't have the room, then keep the guest list limited or have an open house so that guests can come at different times to enjoy your company at the table.
I recommend the 3 course Polish Dinner from this blog dated Nov. 18th. You can change up the soup to suit your main course. Serving in courses keeps people around the table longer. If a 3 course dinner is not something you imagine doing, then consider having Greek Fish (check past post) for New Years. This is a dish I just love to serve and eat because it is tasty and good for non red/white meat eaters and vegetarians.If you plan on a buffet with more finger food that's ok, just remember the above suggestions. I would include half sub sandwiches (hot or cold) using a diversity of meats/cheeses to choose from and put out a rich mayonnaise sauce with a tang of mustard in it and an olive oil / balsamic vinegar dressing on the table for those who like to dress up their sub. 
Blessings to you in 2015 from the Brainy Gourmet!

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