Birthday party catering

Last weekend, my wife and I got the chance to cater a birthday party.  The couple were both turning 40 in the same week, and wanted to do something fun.  We were really glad to have the chance to help them celebrate by letting them not worry about the food or serving.

The menu was simple but good:

  • Brisket
  • Pulled Pork
  • Cole Slaw
  • Barbecue Beans
  • Tomato Pie

People seemed to really enjoy the food, which made me feel great,
and I fixed the sandwich above from a brisket I made extra.  I just
wanted to be sure not to run out of food… Turned out that wasn’t an
issue at all!

I don’t know if Joe and Karen will be reading this, but the party was a lot of fun for us to do.  The whole process was kind of fun.  Karen emailed me several weeks ago to find out what might be doable, what kind of price range I had, etc.  They both had attended our first barbecue class last year, and, apparently, liked what we did!

I called Karen, and, instead of giving her a menu, talked to her about what was going on, how many people, what they wanted…  And determined what sort of menu might work.  We agreed on a price, and off we went!

The day of the event, I got up really early to start cooking.  I could have cooked the night before, but I didn’t want to serve reheated food at a party like this.  So I was up at about 2:30 AM to prep the brisket and pork to put on the smoker.  Before going to bed, I’d started a fire so that I’d have a good bed of coals in the morning and the smoker would be mostly warmed up, so heating it up to temp didn’t take much time at all.

Later in the morning, I prepped the beans.  Dried navy beans had soaked overnight, so I just had to prep the rest of it, adding onion, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and chicken stock, as well as spices/seasonings.  The cole slaw was next, which took a while, as cutting up cabbage for 50 people takes a lot of chopping!  Then the tomato pie was prepped, but not cooked.

We got to the party at about 4:30 to set up, and I preheated the oven to 350 for the tomato pie.  I wanted it to come out right from the oven to be served, and this worked out great.  Getting there early also let us get unloaded and set up before everyone arrived.

Instead of just letting everyone through, my wife and I served each person, giving us the ability to explain what the food was and to somewhat control portions to ensure everyone got some of everything.  For second servings, though, it was whatever they wanted. 

As it turned out, only about 25-30 people were there during dinner, so there was a LOT of food left over; we packaged it so that it could be served more that evening and left bags for guests to use to take leftovers.  The one thing I’d change the next time is that I’d print out cards with reheating instructions for anyone taking leftovers.

The sandwich in the photo was also the first photo I’ve taken with new photo
lights.  I’m playing around with using a tripod, too, hoping to improve
the quality of the photos on here.

Tell me what you think of the new photo format.

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: