If you’re anything like me, you love entertaining. Ever since we bought our house almost seven years ago we’ve found many excuse to have people over. House warming party, birthday parties, holidays, engagement parties, BBQs on warm summer days, mommy-group play dates, meet the baby, hosting guests from out-of-town, girls night in, clothes swap, super bowl parties and every other excuse I could find. We’ve probably hosted 50 + events at our place and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
However, if you’re also like me, you’re not into cooking. I know so many people who love to cook and bake as a way to relax. But for me, I cook to stay alive and to feed my family something other than cereal, cream-cheese bagels, and Kraft-Dinner. In fact, I only started cooking about four years ago. So while I’ve hosted several parties, I did what any decent business would do, I outsourced the part that I wasn’t good - FOOD.
With the holiday season upon us, toddler in tow, my very pregnant self and lack of experience (or desire) for cooking large meals, I once again decided to outsource what I feel is the most important part of entertaining. I got a chance to try out the amazing holiday feast offered by Pickle Barrel Catering while I had my family over for a pre-holiday, holiday dinner. This simple, yet delicious and traditional meal is perfect for holiday entertaining. It comes with easy reheating instructions and there’s plenty to offer for vegetarians.
Here’s what you can expect to receive (http://picklebarrelcatering.com/featured-menu/complete-turkey-holiday-dinner.html):
A whole turkey roasted, pre-carved and decorated or ready to be carved and enjoyed; accompanied by stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. This ready made meal for your holiday celebration also includes butternut squash soup, mixed greens salad and your choice of herb roasted mini potatoes, maple mashed sweet potatoes, or garlic mashed potatoes, choice of green beans with caramelized onions and almonds or roasted root vegetables, and a crumble top apple pie and an assorted fresh fruit platter for dessert!
For $25.99 per person, this meal is definitely affordable, especially considering how much food you get. If you were to eat out, you would never receive so much “bang for your buck”. Even after feeding six people, we had enough left-overs for a week and if there’s one thing I love more than a turkey dinner its having left-overs the next day.
Rose Reisman, who helped create the menus for Pickle Barrel has some great tips for easy entertaining on her blog: http://www.artoflivingwell.ca/blog/easy-entertaining-tips/ I also had a chance to speak to her and here’s a few of my favourite tips:
- Inquire of potential allergies and have an option of chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes
- Ask for help from your guests or hire help if you think you’ll need it.
- Set the table ahead of your guests’ arrival
- To involve the kids with the meal, make something special for them (i.e. cheese pizza’s instead of pizza with various toppings) and let them play pretend that they’re servers or cooks.
- Hire a babysitter to keep the kids occupied (arts, reading, playing) in a separate room while you’re entertaining your friends
- Let the kids in on the fun. They may stay up later than usual, but they’ll probably behave themselves knowing that they’re included in the celebration.
The holiday feast is available to order now through December 31st. The Pickle Barrel even delivers on Christmas Day! You can place your order online here: http://picklebarrelcatering.com/holiday-entertaining-menus.html or by phone at 416.493.4333
So any of you moms or parents out there who want a traditional holiday meal but don’t have all day to prepare it, this is a GREAT alternative.