Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

How much is enough?

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iggy257:
I will admit that I prepare enough food for at least twice as many people as come to my parties so there is always extra for seconds and leftovers.  Of special items I will make sure that there is at least one per guest.  Is it acceptable to not have enough of one per person at a party and still serve the item?  For instance, should you make sure that there is one cupcake per child at a birthday party , even if there is also cookies and ice cream for dessert?  Should you prepare cupcakes for the adults that are in attendance as well?  Is it ok to serve something were you only have 15 of the item but 30 guests if there isn't another equivalent? (Is ok to serve cookies and say have 15 chocolate chip nothing else instead of say 15 chocolate chip and 15 sugar cookies for 30 guests?)  Also is it ok to refill trays from the kitchen?

These things have come up several times recently and I am at a loss.  Thanks for your help.

lady_disdain:
For the cupcakes, I would certainly have one for each child, a quantity for the adults (depending on what else there may be for dessert) and some to spare.

For the cookies, I don't think you need 30 of each but I would certainly have more than 30 cookies for 30 people (20 of each perhaps, as long as one isn't a clear favourite).

Of course it is ok to refill trays from the kitchen! Where else would you refill them from? Or is refilling them the problem? In either case, there is no reason to not refill. I prefer to refill trays than to have everything out at once, crowded on the table and awkward for serving.

Zilla:
If you are talking about cupcakes and cookies, I would have one each per person.   And might even need a few more for those kids that want two or turn them down. (which is totally fine, I have done this)


As for the adults, it's tricky as you don't know if all will stay or they will take one.  Parents at these parties are often not expecting anything so if there aren't enough, you won't offend.  But to be nice, I would figure 2 per child in case their parent stays.  Good thing is that cupcakes freeze beautifully if you have leftovers.

camlan:
Taking your questions one at a time:


--- Quote --- Is it acceptable to not have enough of one per person at a party and still serve the item?  For instance, should you make sure that there is one cupcake per child at a birthday party , even if there is also cookies and ice cream for dessert?
--- End quote ---

I'd have one person. So at least one cupcake per child. In part, my reasoning is that kids don't always have the best manners. At a party, hyped up with the activity, the sugar, the games, it would be fairly easy for a child to melt down over the lack of a cupcake. I'd want to avoid the melt down. Also, cake is pretty traditional at a child's birthday party--if there were cupcakes instead of one big cake, I'd expect each child to get a cupcake. There would also be enough ice cream for everyone to get the same amount, and enough cookies for everyone to have at least two.


--- Quote ---Should you prepare cupcakes for the adults that are in attendance as well? 
--- End quote ---

This one, I'm kind of mixed on. Some people would say that not having cupcakes for the adults is creating an A list/B list situation, where some guests are treated better than others. In this case, "better" meaning some have cake, some don't. My own take on this is slightly different, and even more so because this is a child's birthday party. The adults are there because they are accompanying their children more than because they are invited guests. If the adults are being fed, I don't think they absolutely have to have the exact same meal as the kids, but they do need a similar meal.

So if the kids are getting dessert, the cupcakes, then then adults need a similar dessert. I might, at that point, be passing around my Navy SIL's rum balls, because all the adults might be needing a little "something" at that point. But most likely, I'd have enough cupcakes to go around. But if I came up a bit short, because a kid dropped a cupcake and needed a replacement, I'd expect the adults to understand that and not make a fuss if one of them didn't get a cupcake.


--- Quote ---Is it ok to serve something were you only have 15 of the item but 30 guests if there isn't another equivalent? (Is ok to serve cookies and say have 15 chocolate chip nothing else instead of say 15 chocolate chip and 15 sugar cookies for 30 guests?)
--- End quote ---

So you have 30 guests and only 15 cookies total? I would probably not serve the cookies. A lot of people take two cookies at a time, so you'd have fewer than 15 people getting cookies. If the cookies were the only option for dessert, I'd just not have dessert in that case. If there were several other options for dessert, say 3 other kinds of cookies, then it wouldn't be so bad, but I still don't think I'd serve them if there weren't enough to go around.


--- Quote ---Also is it ok to refill trays from the kitchen?
--- End quote ---

Does this mean that you'd take an empty tray back to the kitchen, fill it with more food and bring it back to the party? Sounds fine to me.

Thipu1:
My mother always taught me to 'cook for the regiment' when planning a party.  In the case presented, that would mean at least one cupcake and two cookies for each guest.  Parents were considered guests at parties for children.  Of course, ice cream would be available.  So would something a bit stronger for parents who weren't driving.

It's always better to have too much food than to have too little.  Good food will never go to waste.  When guests are leaving, spare cookies will make sure they don't 'die of hunger' on the way home.  Polite guests never came to a party with 'one hand as long as the other'.  They didn't leave with 'one hand as long as the other' either. That was the measure of a good host.   

Of course, you can refill trays in the kitchen.  How else would you do it? 

Relax.  Your party will be good.  Everyone will have a nice time. 

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