Monday, August 17, 2009

food for celebration of life reception thoughts

A friend of ours, Susie, passed away about 3 weeks ago. I volunteered to help the family out however I could, and thankfully Tom (Susie's husband) allowed me to organize the food for Susie's Celebration of Life reception. I say thankfully because I am grateful I had the chance to do something for a family I am so fond of during such a sad time. The loss they are going through is tremendous and if it make their lives a little easier for me to help arrange the food, I am so happy to do it. It makes me feel less helpless and I hope the food comforted many who were all feeling Susie's loss.

We were expecting rougly 100 - 150 people, I think a good 150 attended the recepetion. We had prepared:

-- 500 baked goods, including roughly 200 cupcakes, from McCormick family recipes
-- 15 pounds of assorted good cheese
-- 30 bottles wine
-- 8 cans pink lemonade
-- 8 pounds assorted cold salamis and pepperonis
-- 1 veggie tray from costco
-- 1 fruit tray from costco
-- assorted jams, nuts, etc

I had thought that the baked goods and the meat would be hugely excessive but I was wrong, every single cookie went, and most of the cupcakes too. Next time I would do even more cookies/bars and less cupcakes as they are a bit too large for an event like this. I had also thought the meat would be excessive, turns out it was almost all eaten. Susie's son Tim came up to me during the reception and said "thanks for the meat" which made me smile.

What did turn out to be hugely excessive was the cheese and the wine. we only needed half the amount of each. Unfortunately these were also the most expensive items. I had thought people would drink on average one glass of wine each, but many people didn't drink any wine at all. Even I preferred the lemonade to wine. We ran out of lemonade early on and I should have gotten double the lemonade. All the fancy jams I purchased were definitely not needed at all, next time I would leave them out for sure.

One thing I did do right was listen to Sandra, one of Susie's best friends. She told me to order the meat, and she set the number of baked goods correctly. Plus she did so much more, thanks Sandra for being my partner in crime, I couldn't have done it without you.