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When you have kids, the battle between order and chaos at home can take place on many fronts. Ordering Disorder is about ways to fight domestic entropy with organizing tips, tricks, meal ideas and more.
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I’ve been known to bristle at unsolicited advice. I’ve even been known to become downright unpleasant when faced with someone’s well intentioned but unasked for advice. Today though, I am going to ask for advice and I’m going to do so with a grateful and open heart.
Have you ever been to a progressive dinner party? This is a party which moves from house to house hopefully within walking distance of each other, you know, for ease of movement and imbibing purposes. A few houses host different courses of the meal, a house for appetizers, a house for soup and salad, another for dinner and a final house for dessert.
My new neighborhood has this type of dinner each December and we are thrilled to be a part of it for the first time. So thrilled I volunteered to host the dinner portion of the meal and then, when there was a delay in dessert course hosts, I said we’d do that too!
I’m actually excited to entertain a crowd (about 20 people) in this new house, it’s one of the many reasons we wanted to move: more room for entertaining. Not just for entertaining, we’ve had more than 20 people in our old little bungalow. But those were not so much grown-up events as they were crowded free-for-alls with a line of 20 people waiting for the bathroom.
This will be a meal, with real plates and enough seats for 20 people and coffee afterward. Most importantly there will be more than one bathroom so the line will hopefully be non-existent.
I’ve never prepared a meal for this many people and while it’s certainly not a Thanksgiving feast I’m preparing, I need help deciding what the main course will be.
There are some restrictions and guidelines to keep in mind when making suggestions. We have vegetarians in the group and an omnivorous but lactose intolerant guest as well. This means our vegetarian dishes can have cheese but our cheese dishes should probably not have meat.
Cost is another restriction, with 20 people to feed we’re not eating beef tenderloin at this meal. In the past hosts have found it difficult to keep all the dishes warm at the same time, so this is also an issue. Finally the main course needs to be something I can assemble early in the evening and either reheat at the meal time or put it in the oven to cook without any fuss so it’s ready when we get back to our house to set up dinner.
So, I need two main course suggestions, one vegetarian and one involving meat. Lasagna, spaghetti and chili have been done several times so I’d like to avoid those dishes if possible.
Please tell me you have advice for me. Please don’t let me end up with a pizza delivery at my first Neighborhood Progressive.
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