The Good Hostess Guide
to Surviving a Baby Shower
Food can be one of the biggest stresses for any party, whether it's a baby shower, birthday or a wedding. The big question is always "To cater or to cook?" The choice is best made based on the time and resources you have at hand.
If you intend to self cater - Questions to answer are: Do you have the skills? Do you have the time? or Do you have the required help?
Doing your own catering may save money, but may cost you time and some stress (depending on just what you wish to provide for your guests). It always pays to remember though, that it's a party. Don't over extend yourself or the budget.
If you are having the baby shower meal catered, make sure to confirm arrangements with the caterer a week to a few days before the shower. Don't leave it to the last minute, only to find out that the catere has lost your details (booking, instructions, menu). Also make very sure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
Hint: When you have to communicate with the caterer, just quietly mention (or remind them) that guests are already discussing the up-coming baby shower with considerable anticipation on Facebook. That should keep them on their toes. No business needs a bad online reputation.
If you are like me, trying to save every penny when hosting a party, you will be making the food yourself. Give me $2500 dollars to make a meal and I can guarantee you something that will outdo almost any caterer out there. Maybe I can’t make some of the fancier dishes like squab, but I can make a mean pepper steak plus countless delicious entries and desserts that will have guests believing that I went to the finest caterer in town. Try to follow simple recipes that are relatively easy to make and require very little of your precious time.
If you have some meals that you can make and freeze before hand, try to do them the week before the party. At my own wedding, my mother, a restauranteur for roughly 20 years, did a buffet style meal for the event. It saved a lot of money, and we spent the days before the wedding making cabbage rolls and other items that could be frozen. My aunt, who makes the world's best lasagne, also whipped up several of those to be frozen before the wedding. We had a huge spread that took very little time to put out on the day of the wedding.
If your meals are to be simpler, like sandwiches and finger foods, you could go and order them from grocery stores or you could also make most of them the night before. Though sandwiches are best made on the day, the vegetables can be prepared, sliced and soaked in water over night and all your condiments can be placed in fancy containers and stored in the fridge. Also, meals like the lasagne can be made/prepared the night before and cooked on the day of the shower.
Try to get as much of the prep work done so you don’t have much to do on the morning of the shower. But don't stress if you still have a bit to do on the shower day ... it's normal and you will make it through just fine.
When it comes to battling the food on the day of the shower, the key is to have it all ready the morning of. Veggies, fruit and all other types of finger foods will keep for the entire day as long as they are wrapped and placed in the fridge. Anything that can be cooked slowly in the oven or a Crockpot can be started when you get up, and anything that needs to be boiled can be prepared and waiting in the pots on the stove about an hour before the party. When it comes time for the party, all you will have to do is set out the food, turn on a few burners and complete the finishing touches while the guests are busy playing a self-directed game.
One last point about food is to set out the napkins, cups and plates the morning of the shower so you don’t have to worry about it right before the meal.
Go to Step #9 of The Good Hostess Guide to Surviving a Baby Shower >>