Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Party Time: Progressive Dinner Party

Last month we took part in a Progressive Dinner Party that one of our neighbors arranged.  If you have 3 - 5 houses in the same neighborhood this works perfect since everyone is in walking distance.  It can also be done with houses near by, but driving distance.  (Just make sure to drink responsibly!) 

The concept is simple.  Each house chooses one course.  You start with the first house and "Progress" to the next, and so on.  If driving between houses you may want to have maps to the next location. Either way make sure everyone know the address of each stop.

Our breakdown went as follows:

House #1 - Appetizers & Cocktails
We started the night out with a small variety of appetizers.  It's key to remember that no one wants to fill up too much at any one stop.  There is much eating (and drinking, if applicable) ahead, so pace yourself.  Also, when planning the menu for your house, don't over do it with options.  Too many tasty options this early in the night makes it easier to over do it. 

House #2 - Salad
There we found a nice "salad bar" like set up.  It was nice because everyone could chose their desired toppings and not have any of what they didn't like.  You could however to one large salad for everyone to have a small portion of. 

House #3 - Soup

This is the course we hosted.  I originally thought I wanted to do a few soup options.  However, I ended up doing just one large pot of clam chowder & it was enjoyed by all!  I had bowls of oyster crackers to top it off.  It would be fun to do a few of options, if you had the time of course.  Crockpots would be great for this!

House #4 - The Main Course

It's finally time for the main event and by this point you are probably not exactly feeling hunger pains.  It's important to remember that if you are in charge of hosting this portion of the meal.  So try to keep it simple.  No need for a turkey dinner with all the fixins here!  Our hostess chose a tasty vegetarian lasagna and some homemade focaccia bread.

House #5 - Dessert!
Last, but certainly not least, it's time for dessert! You can offer one item or many options.  Just be prepaird for leftovers!  You may want to have coffee as an option here too.  We were greeted by a small variety of pastries.  A few people opted to to take theirs to go, so some sort of "doggie bag" containers would be nice.

In the end we all had a great time.  Since this was a December party, we ended with one last house.  There we had a gift exchange.  They has some small snack foods and pleanty of beverage options.  Those who were ready to go home did and some of the more ambitious of the the group stayed to play pool and the party continued into the night.  You may want to choose who hosts what baised on what point of the evening their stop is.  It made the most sence to have the last stop of the night be the more party oriented group.  If you are the type that like to end the night at a scheduled time, you may want to opt for one of the earlier time slots.

All in all, find a situation that works best for your group and have fun!  It was great to get to know some of the newer members of the neighborhood better.  We are all looking forward to making an annual event out of it.

If you have any questions on how to arrange your own Progressive Dinner Party feel free to ask away!

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