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Cook Talk

Texas BBQ Wedding for 85 in May
Please review my menu and quantities for our daughter's wedding. It will be in an un-airconditioned dance hall and we have 85 adult guests attending. Thanks so much. Your website is a godsend.

Vegetable Tray: 6 pounds
Chips: 5 pounds
Dip: 5 quarts
Cheese Tray: 10 pounds
Crackers: 6 pounds

Sliced Smoked Brisket: 30 pounds
Sliced Smoked Sausage: 16 pounds
Smoked Chickens, in quarters: 26 chickens
Barbecue Sauce: 4 gallons

Baked Beans: (2) 7-quart crock pots
Creamed Corn: (2) 7-quart crock pots
Kale Superfood Salad: 4 gallons
Marinated Cucumbers & Tomatoes: 3 gallons
Coleslaw: 2 gallons

Pickles Slices: 1 gallon
Onion Slices: 6 pounds
Pickled Jalapenos: 2 quarts
Bread: 7 loaves, pre-sliced
Butter: 4 pounds

Pie, sliced into 8ths: 20 pies
Ice Cream Cups: 100 individual cups

Water: 6 gallons
Iced Tea: 6 gallons
Lemonade: 6 gallons
Coffee: 40 cups
Decaf Coffee: 20 cups
Beer: 20 cases
Red Wine: 24 bottles
White Wine: 16 bottles
Coke: 2 cases
Diet Coke: 2 cases
Sparkling Water: 2 cases

You are doing very very well, you can cut back a bit:

Vegetable Tray: 6 pounds OK
Chips: 5 pounds OK
Dip: 5 quarts OK
Cheese Tray: 10 pounds- 8 enough
Crackers: 6 pounds- 5 enough

Sliced Smoked Brisket: 30 pounds- 25 enough
Sliced Smoked Sausage: 16 pounds- 12 enough
Smoked Chickens, in quarters: 26 chickens-12-14 enough, and cut some of the quarters into 2 pieces
Barbecue Sauce: 4 gallons-way plenty
Suggest 1 crock of meatless patties, Quorn unchicken nuggets or Field sausages

Baked Beans: (2) 7-quart crock pots- OK, as long as each is really at least 6 quarts. Consider 1 meatless
Creamed Corn: (2) 7-quart crock pots- OK
Kale Superfood Salad: 4 gallons, probably some left- not everyone eats kale- 3 would be pretty close
Marinated Cucumbers & Tomatoes: 3 gallons- plenty, maybe some left
Coleslaw: 2 gallons, 2 OK

Pickles Slices: 1 gallon- OK
Onion Slices: 6 pounds- OK
Pickled Jalapenos: 2 quarts- OK
Bread: 7 loaves, pre-sliced- 10 pounds, consider good rolls
Butter: 4 pounds, 3 plenty

Pie, sliced into 8ths: 20 pies, cut 6ths and 18 is plenty
Ice Cream Cups: 100 individual cups- OK

Water: 6 gallons
Iced Tea: 6 gallons, 2 unsweetened
Lemonade: 6 gallons- 4 enough with other beverages
Coffee: 40 cups- have some extra held back
Decaf Coffee: 20 cups
Beer: 20 cases- calculate 4 bottles per beers drinker, or 1 full keg per 40. This looks like too much.
Red Wine: 24 bottles- would serve 40+ wine drinkers
White Wine: 16 bottles- would serve 30+ wine drinkers
This is a lot of alcohol unless it is a very heavy drinking crowd. Remember that in most states the host is legally liable for any accident a drunken guest gets into on the way home.
Coke: 2 cases OK
Diet Coke: 2 cases OK
Sparkling Water: 2 cases OK

You can write back. If this saves you time trouble, or money, please make a donation. maybe a quarter per guest, to support my remodel. Thanks

Thank you so much for your rapid response. I do have a few more questions.
1. Wine: Should I buy equal amounts of red and white? Red goes with meat, but white goes with hot weather. Would 20 bottles of each be enough?
2. Beer: We have a lot of beer drinkers. If I scale back to 15 cases, would that be adequate?
3. I did not plan to use any roasters and I am glad after reading that they can cause circuits to break down. I will be using 4 7-quart crock pots and 2-2 quart crock pots; plus 2 coffee makers. Will this be a problem? The building is old, there is no stove or hot water, just a cold water sink and one very old refrigerator. I plan on storing cold food in ice chests. The meat (except for the sausage) will be cooked by vendors offsite and transferred to our very large outdoor propane smoker to keep warm.
4. Beans: Is your "Plain Old Church Supper" baked bean recipe good to use in a crock pot? Can I add 1/2 cup worchestershire to spice it up? Considering the electrical issues, would it be better to cook Borracho Beans in a pot outdoors using a large stainless pot over a propane burner?
5. Pies: The vendor has advised cutting the pies into 10 slices per pie so people can have more than one taste. What do you think of this?
Thanks so much. I am very grateful for your help.
OK, 85 people.

First, thanks for your generous donation.

The beans would be fine, spicing fine. Precooked and reheated is best. The problem with cooking a big pot from scratch is burning/sticking. A shallow pan on the smoker would be a good reheat, if you have room.

Suggest you cut some pies in 6 and some in 10, so people have choices. Not everyone likes little pieces either! If it is all 10-sliced, you will have a lot left over as some people who want more will only take one little piece.

With 85 people, you would normally expect either at most 15-18 cases of beer OR 40 bottles of wine, and you have both. So you are about double safe amounts on the alcohol- people do have to get home! The MOST you would want for 60 beer drinkers is 15 cases, and 10 would be safer.

As for wine, consider doing just a sangria (cold wine punch) for this summery event, this recipe easily serves 100:

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