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Cook Talk

Old Fashion Family Reunion Barbecue for 150 to 200
Hi Ellen,
For our Family Reunion this year it has been suggested that we, the family, prepare all the foods. There is already a group who will take care of the meats. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Fried Chicken, Grilled Chicken, possibly ribs on Saturday. We will also have a Fish Fry the Friday evening before the reunion barbecue. And then an event Sat. evening of music and dancing etc... I am thinking to make the fish fry simple and have the fish, with maybe some cole slaw and hush puppies/rolls. The big issue I see is on Sat., especially since it will be for the most part outside in NC at the beginning of Aug. I am thinking about sides such as potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, cole slaw, chili for hot dogs/hamburgers, and a green salad. Last but not least at the gathering on Sat. evening we need to have some food but not sure what to serve for that many people to keep the cost down as well as easy prep time as we also want to enjoy the weekend with our family members and do not want a few working the entire weekend. As I see your guides for cooking for 100, I am still not sure what should be adjusted down or up depending on the number of sides and we still need some type of vegetable.

I am remembering cooking Thanksgiving dinner for about 35 to 40 people as we did not do any real calculation before hand and did not have pots, stove, oven, or serving pans to really handle the quantities. Can you say stressssssss. Well, if you can provide so insight, it would be helpful. My last thought would to farm out the making of the salads, at least the potato as pasta salad is a little easier to handle.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

You are talking 200 to 300 pounds of food per meal. At least 15 people will spend the whole time cooking...

Which of these items are going to be bought readymade, or dropped off by off site caterers? I NEVER recommend a fish fry for this size party; way too dangerous and slow. A drop off fried chicken or fried fish dinner would be OK.

You need to really consider having the Saturday dinner catered, local groups could do a Mexican fiesta or a BBQ very nicely for about $15 per person. These foods are difficult to keep safely cold and then get safely cooked for this large of a group.

Also, I am not too clear on what you are asking me to do- can't do estimates without a menu-

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