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Cook Talk

Joint Grad Party (5 girls/families)
Dee Haverly
Hi there, and thanks for your help.I am resending this as I don't think I put a topic, name or email in the above boxes before I sent it - sorry about that.

Five families are planning an outdoor graduation party. We are inviting about 200 people. We do not have our RSVPs back. Some of that crowd will be kids/other graduates and not sure if they will be eating or not or just stopping by, but adults should be around 125. It is an outdoor party with the food indoors. We are trying to keep it simple but not sure of how much we should plan to make of these items. I don't mind leftovers but don't want waste. The party is from 3-7. This is our menu

CHICKEN - ordering this (were figuring 400 pieces which is wings, legs, breast, thighs)- does that sound okay?

PULLED PORK/?PIG ROAST? Think it will be a pick pick-in, but not sure how much we need of this with the chicken and the other items.

Each parent is making a very large tray of one item, rolls for the BBQ. Can you guide us on amounts of these?

TOSS SALAD with dressing
SMALL BAGS OF CHIPS - (a variety) rather than buying them in large bags and putting in bowls with dip as it will most likely be too hot outside to keep fresh.

Planning on a FULL SHEET CAKE and COOKIES for dessert.

If you can give us some guidelines that would very much be appreciated on the amount of each of these items we should consider making/buying that would be very helpful.

Also, can you suggest some snacks for the tables if it is hot outside. It is on June 15th in Virginia Beach. The last Grad party I froze dishes in trays of water and filled with dips and put them on the tables but the ice melted in no time. Thinking along the lines of peanuts (something can withstand the heat)??

I know having a target number would help but as far as kids go we really won't know how many of them will or won't eat.

Then planning on waters, sodas, beer, wine/wine coolers.

Any help you can give to guide us would be very much appreciated ~ Thanks, Dee

Dee Haverly
Ellen, I forgot to note that we are having the pig pick-in part done by an outside person who I guess is going to smoke the pick and some pork butts. We are ordering the chicken and the cake and will buy the cookies. The person doing the pig said he would be making about 80-90 pounds. We thought 2lbs of pork would feed 6-8 people. So really, need to see what you think on the other items, how much fruit salad, beans, slaw, pasta salad, tossed salad and dressing, rolls, little bags of chips, chicken pieces (legs, thighs, wings, breast -- comes with those pieces)and the water, soda, beer, wine/wine coolers - Thanks again for your thoughts on this. Going to have coffee too. Love your site!
Dee, a roasted pig only feeds about 1 person per pound because of the large amount of bone and skin. So it matters A LOT whether the 80 pounds is the original weight of the pig or the cook's estimate of cooked meat! I need that before I can figure the chicken and the rolls...
chicken pieces (legs, thighs, wings, breast)

Now for the rest:

fruit salad, consider fruit trays instead, easier, keep better, look better, and the leftovers are more usable. see the fruit tray page, do for 150

beans, 6 gallons, make some meatless for the vegetarians in the crowd, there will be some.
slaw, 5 gallons
pasta salad, 12 pounds dry pasta, lots of recipes on this site

tossed salad and dressing, 2 times the amount for 100, see the plan for 100 page, has guidance on the dressings

little bags of chips, 1 per person

FULL SHEET CAKE- only serves 50-60- consider a 2 layer full sheet
COOKIES- smallish- 4 different per person if you do not increase the cake, 3 per person if you do.

water, 2 bottles per person
soda, plan for 100 people, see the beverage page for discussion on assortment
beer, wine/wine coolers, this varies wildly depending on the drinking habits of the crowd- look at the beverage page, and do a best guess based on wine vs beer. But DO look at the High Wire white wine sangria- it is a real bargain compared to commercial coolers and bottled wine, and delicious on a hot day.
Iced tea is very nice for non-drinking adults- about 8 gallons, at least 1/3 unsweetened
dinner level coffee from the beverage page for the 125 adults

Table snacks- have some safe room temp dips- I would go for traditional salsa and maybe a corn/black bean or peach mango salsa? Nuts,6 pounds per 100. Pretzels the same. Maybe chex mix? 8-9 pounds per 100.

Have a good time. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

Dee Haverly
Thanks, Ellen, I am going to run this by the other moms and will find out about the pork. I thought that it was the pork off the pig but want to be sure. He is also going to do a few extra butts. Thanks for that info though, good to be sure of what is what. Will get back to you and let you know. I see the Sangria recipe varies from the first batch...less soda, etc. Is that because you are adding to each batch and to keep it from getting too sweet? Will be happy to send of a donation to the site. It is a neat thing to be able to see all this info when planning parties Thanks!
Yes, once the ice starts melting you use less soda and somewhat less sweete. Plenty of kime juice or limeade-
Hi, Ellen, The family ordering the pig said that the pig they are getting will make about 80-90 pounds of BBQ. She said, "The PORKó100 lb. hog, plus a couple of extra butts yields 80-90 pounds of cooked pork". Do you think we are good going with the 400 pieces of chicken (legs, wings, breast, thighs)? Thanks, for the fruit platter tray idea over salad, I could not agree with you more. Thanks again!
OK, if you have 90 pounds meat, 300 pieces chicken should be good.
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