In Kenya we have what we call Chama meetings. These are investment group meetings. They are popularly hosted by different women groups. Where they meet and contribute money. This money is then given to one member who receives a chunk of the money contributed on a monthly basis. I have a chama too and in my group we normally have bi monthly meetings where one of us hosts us. It normally takes some planning especially if you have a busy schedule.
This blog will hopefully be an eye opener for me too, as I am going to be thinking through the whole process.
When sending out the agenda for the meeting, announce the menu too. It’s important to do this as you may find some people have allergies and may miss out when you prepare food which they cannot eat. This way your guests will be prepared for what you will serve. It will also help you adjust the menu to accommodate others. Thankfully in my group no member has any allergies. However they are not fans of chapatis and mandazi if you prepare these, you will find yourself giving them take away.
When hosting stick to what you know how to prepare and also keep it simple. You do not want to have a day where you spend 90% of your time in the kitchen while your friends are having fun in the living room catching up.
Keep it simple. I find simple dishes less stress free to prepare. Also most of your guests will enjoy what they are regularly used to. For instance in Kenya keep your menu around meals such as Pilau, Biryani, simple beef or chicken stew, grilled chicken. I can bet that if you prepared an Indian Cuisine, or Chinese Cuisine very few of your guests would indulge. I would suggest these cuisines be experimented at hotels.
Buy ingredients ahead of time. Ensure you have everything you need, so that on the material day you don’t spend too much time shopping leaving a little time for meal preparation and hosting your guests. If you have more than 10 guests you may want to consider hiring outside help, or getting a caterer.
You have to also consider meal preparation time, and how you will prepare each meal. For instance are you baking or grilling multiple dishes? Will some of the meals need refrigeration? A lot of these need to be considered when planning for your day.
You can have some meals prepared in advance like Kaimatis, mandazis and samosa. You can also opt to have someone prepare for you and then you pay them for the service. Some snacks such as samosa have a long preparation time and it may be a wise idea to have them prepared by someone else well in advance.
What are your biggest headaches when it comes to planning hosting your guests? Share in the comments below.