You want to plan and host a summer lunch at your home, but you’re not sure where to start?
Here’s my amateur guide!
It’s all in the preparation
Decide on a time and place. Maybe that’s your home, and 12pm, for example. Ask people if they can make a certain time on the day you are having your buffet open-house. If they can’t, you know they probably won’t make it, and can ascertain numbers from those sorts of questions. We prepped for 8 people.
Once you have those important numbers, you’ll need to get enough food for every-one. I’ve learnt much about what sorts of foods are the most popular & what foods I shouldn’t get next time. I made a list of all the foods I thought would be great knowing my family and created a shop on Tesco Click & Collect. I picked up the food the evening before, so the fruit and cake was fresh and I had enough time to cook anything I needed to straight away in the morning!
My family are all about the pizza, fruit & cake! Try and prepare a few hours before: you can cut up the fruit, bake the cake and chuck the pizza in. It’s also a good idea to spend in some areas and save in some. Buy the £1 pizza, but get/bake a good quality cake. Pick up the 50p lemonade, but make sure you get a tasty quiche.
I woke up particularly early, got the chicken pieces in the oven, along with the pizza and let them cool for slicing up later. An hour before every-one was due to arrive, I made all the sandwiches and placed them in the fridge. I cut up all the fruit and presented it in a dish, popping it in the fridge to keep it fresh.
Enjoy the garden in the sunshine!
The food is prepared, the fridge is full to the brim. It’s time to get yourself a glass of lemonade, pop on those sunglasses & spend time with the family before the last guests arrive. When the sun is shining and every-one is available for a few hours – the summer is the perfect time to gather together with good food & music!
Present all the food on a buffet table
It’s 12pm and the final guests have arrived – time to get the food onto the table, we’re all very hungry! As everything is prepared, it’s a case of emptying the fridge and laying it all out on the table. You want the fresh food at the front, as that’s where the eye naturally goes to. That includes a lovely platter of fruit, the fresh chicken & the fresh rolls. I usually shout ‘HELP YOURSELF GUYS!’ and the whole family start to slowly race to the table – nobody wants to show they want to be first…. haha. You will notice the hour of silence decend as every-one fills their plates and mouths with their choices of lunch, commenting on their favourites and going back for seconds & thirds.
Present the food in a different way, get creative!
Boiled eggs are a must. Not only a great source of protein but also very easy to cook. I popped around 5-10 eggs in boiling water for 8 minutes as I wanted them hard-boiled and then left them in cold water to cool down, along with the pizza & chicken. Around 30 minutes later, I removed the shells, cut up the chicken and the pizza & placed it all in the fridge ready for taking to the buffet table for 12pm!
The reason I like presenting eggs differently is that they often get left behind and end up in a random bowl or chopped up in sandwiches. I wanted to do something different. I really enjoy when food is presented in the dish it’s cooked in or kept in. Such as curries in casserole dishes in a snazzy restaurant. So I decided to do something similar here.
Create a highlight in the day
It’s 3pm and everyone’s bellies are starting to crave some afternoon cake, and who are you to restrict them!? Hehe. Some of my family know this is cake time and will be ready at the kitchen with their bowl for filling… haha.
These cakes were from M&S Range. They were a blinking bargain @ £4 for 2. I chose the Coffee & Walnut Cake, and Lemon Drizzle Cake. Two favourites in my house!
Use plastic cups & plates to save on the washing up!
It’s 5pm, every-one has left full up & tired from a great day in the sun with scrumptious food. It’s time to tidy up, but you’ve used plastic cups & plates so you don’t have to do any washing up! Winner winner. You can thank everyone for coming, say your goodbyes & close your front door. It’s time to relax & congratulate yourself on being a great host!
Hope you enjoyed my guide – have you guys got any tips on being a great host for a summer lunch?
X Am X