At my school I am part of a club and this club is wanting to gain awareness in the community so we are planning to throw a masquerade ball. I was put in charge of food, but sadly I am completely lost. I have no idea what kinds of food are eaten at these types of events. I am also on a very tight budget. So if anyone has any ideas please feel free to share.
Walter from Chillicothe, OH
Masquerade or Mardi Gras? Mardi Gras (festival before Lent, best known in LA). For Mardi Gras you could do a lot of red beans and rice, seafood gumbo (if you're on the coast of VA) sausage and chicken gumbo if you're not. This is assuming it's not just chip and dip snacks. Masquerade, I'd go with lots of dessert pastries with powdered sugar and then some casserole that will feed a lot at not much cost (meat and pasta, etc.). See if you can find someone that knows how to make cream puff/eclair (choux paste) dough and make a lot of very small ones. Google masquerade foods. (02/16/2009)
Finger foods, anything that people can eat with one hand from a little teeny plate while circulating. It helps if you can find things that don't shed a lot of dust/crumbs (biscuits and other floured-before-baking foods are probably a bad call).
Chips and dip are never a bad idea; buy the largest bags possible, with an eye towards unit price, and get generic colas (and don't forget diet colas, for weight watching folks and diabetics). Also, it would be responsible to provide a couple of fresh veggie trays. You can get bags of pre-cut baby carrots, broccoli, celery, and cauliflower for relatively low prices, and arrange them with a dish of Ranch dressing in the middle.
I don't know exactly what your budget is or how many people will be attending, but I know two things that will help you. (1) It's "easiest" to buy foods that are small already, like cocktail wieners and mini-quiches and bite-sized pizza rolls. (2) It's "cheapest" to buy foods that are larger, prepare them yourself, and cut them down to hors d'oeuvre size (perhaps with a small vegetable cutter).
Enlist the help of some students for a food preparation party before the main event, so you don't have to do all the work yourself. Also ask around and find out if party goers would be willing to supplement your budget by bringing additional chips, dip, and drinks with them. I doubt it, but hey, stranger things have happened. (02/17/2009)
One inexperienced person in charge of food? That's a disaster waiting to happen. I strongly suggest that you enlist the help of a teacher, maybe someone from the home ec department (?). It sounds like a great home ec project for a few willing volunteers, and you'll get credit for great delegation, and coordinating really good food ; ) (02/24/2009)
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