Monday, October 30, 2006

Things to Know If You Want to Throw a Halloween Party

People like toothpicks.

Specifically, people like food skewered with a toothpick. Even having toothpicks right by the dish isn't as good as having things already pierced. Which means either I have some lazy-azz friends, or there is some sort of psychological thing going on.

This year, one of the items I made was salami with pesto cream cheese. Some were layered and cut in wedges and toothpicked. Others were wrapped into a cone shape, with no toothpick, but a bowl of 'picks by them. The wedges disappeared first.

Other things to know:

It's all about eye-appeal, baby. One of the dishes that flopped was a cold curry chicken salad in wonton cups. Brown on brown. Those who tried it, raved. But the majority of folks didn't even pick one up. Next year: will add some chopped celery to the salad and put a couple of rings of green onion on top. If I do that one next year.

Plates will disappear at an alarming rate ... apparently you need 2 plates per person, which I did not plan on. A friend had to run out and buy more plates for me. Message for next time: Have some plain white plates stashed as a "just in case."

People love punch bowls. Drinks for the adults were in pitchers, and your standard juices-mixed-with-Sprite was in the punch bowl for the kids. It got hit on by both kids and adults, even those who weren't trying to avoid alcohol.

If you have great food laid out, people will assume that everything on the table is special. To whit: last year, I heated up a box of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for the kids. Many of the adults grabbed one. This year, on the title card, I put "Just for Kids." They still disappeared as soon as they were put out. Next year, three boxes.

And speaking of title cards ... using my computer and some card stock, I make fold over cards to put next to each dish, saying what it is, and whether it is vegetarian or vegan. It's great for the guests -- don't you hate not knowing what you're biting into? -- but even better, it allows me a way to lay out my table beforehand. And I don't have to worry that I've forgotten a dish, because the cards are there, waiting for their respective dish.

More thoughts and ideas later. I'm fighting a cold today, which is probably a direct result of not enough sleep or eating right last week. C'est la vie. Still worth it.

1 comment:

Ellis said...

That sounds like a terrific party. I adore hostessing; if I could just do that as a career and ignore the ministry thing, I might well do it. Can't, of course; still, the thought is tempting.