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Slaying the dragon

Friday, November 20, 2015

Warning: there is a lot of food discussion today! I'm using this blog to record my thoughts and minimize my panic!

So this year I am stuck planning the work holiday party. It's mixed potluck/catering - usually about 30-40 people will bring dishes, and about 150-200 people show up to eat. In the past my duties have been to roast a turkey, make cauldrons of mashed potatoes and a bucket of gravy, and twist the arms of older colleagues to get them to bring dishes as well. This year I'm the kahuna in charge. I don't want to be, but someone has to do it.

This week I talked to a few nearby restaurants, arm-wrestled some older colleagues, and threw my weight around to delegate to some junior colleagues. Here's my plan so far for the party, which is 3 weeks away.

Appetizers at noon: custom sushi rolls from one restaurant, Indian samosas from a second, spring rolls and rangoons from a third. A Costco run to grab smoked salmon, cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, smoked meats, nuts, bread, chips, raw veggies, and dips. I have delegated a couple of junior colleagues to get the younger people in the department to bring potluck appetizers, which will be judged and awarded prizes, which I will provide. I'm thinking silly kitchen gadgets. Oh yeah, and I am making a few dozen deviled eggs. This is the most important course, it starts off the festivities and is usually a happy chaotic mad feeding frenzy.

Lunch at 1: a colleague and I are both roasting monster turkeys, and a third a big ham. I have wrangled veggie side dishes from the older colleagues in the department. Will order additional side dishes from one restaurant, and steamed Asian buns filled with pickled veggies and spicy meat from a second. Will have Indian food catered: butter chicken, lamb curry, lentil stew, and chickpea masala along with naan and sauces. Salad mixes from costco.

Dessert at 2: assorted mini cannolis from a nearby Italian bakery. More desserts from costco. The hub is making traditional holiday oliebollen. Usually by the time we get to dessert, people are so full they can barely move, so this will be more modest than the first two courses.

Then: music sing-a-longs, skits, party games, prizes, and we all waddle home. I was also told this week that I'm playing Lucy in a Peanuts-themed skit this year. How am I going to make myself look like Lucy? I can't even think about that now!

I think I have made a decent start on the party food and things will work out. I'm going to need to make a multi-cart costco run the Wednesday before, spend all of Thursday night cooking, wake up at 3 am to get my turkey in the oven. I have meetings from 8-11 am the party day morning, but will blow off the 10 am meeting (I hope no one notices!) so that I can get started on food arrangements. And then... the craziness begins.

I am so glad I'm not in charge of drinks or decorations as well - I managed to delegate those!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Maybe I should have heeded your warning and not read this blog! It's almost time for dinner, I haven't cooked yet, and you made my mouth water with this list of scrumptious-sounding food.

    Bemused, I'm going to have to retract my earlier response of NOOOOOO when I read that you had been given this task. You have got this thing NAILED! It sounds as if you're perfect for the job! Your plan is so well-thought out and meticulously organized! Just be aware that you will henceforth be, without a doubt, the official holiday party organizer, because your plan is masterful!

    I'm so impressed with your idea of awarding prizes to the best appetizers. That's a great incentive to make those guys refrain from going and buying a box of wheat thins and a couple of bags of potato chips at the supermarket.

    Have a great party, and make sure you give us a report of how it goes!
    1976 days ago
    That sounds like a wonderful meal and fun party. Have a great time and I hope that you get the recognition you deserve for a job well done. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1976 days ago
    Bet you're a list maker, you would HAVE to be. I would not want this task. --Pam
    1978 days ago
    Your organizational skills are right on. I would delegate a couple of people to bake some cookies. Other than that, your plan is fantastic!
    1978 days ago
  • no profile photo ELRIDDICK
    Thanks for sharing
    1978 days ago
    Unless you do this sort of organizing professionally, I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be. Whew!
    1978 days ago
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