Author Topic: How much is enough?  (Read 1195 times)

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iggy257

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How much is enough?
« on: March 26, 2013, 08:10:54 AM »
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

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 09:28:28 AM »
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

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 09:40:29 AM »
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

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 09:42:11 AM »
Taking your questions one at a time:

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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?

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.

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Should you prepare cupcakes for the adults that are in attendance as well? 

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.

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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?)

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.

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Also is it ok to refill trays from the kitchen?

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.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Thipu1

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 10:18:22 AM »
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. 


Hmmmmm

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 11:17:26 AM »
My opinion for your examples:

Cupcakes at kids Bday party.
-Must have one for every child and at least a enough for half the adults. A good number of adults won't take any but some kids will want more. But I'd also have another type of food offering for the adults too, maybe small cookies, or lemon bars, or brownies.**
-To me this is especially true if you have cookies or other sweets too. Kid A will take the cupcake and then devour his ice cream. Kid B will devour his cupcake, see A eating icecream, but B is lactose intollerant and would really like a second cupcake.

If I have 30 guests and planning on chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies, I'll serve 2 dozen of each cookie (48 cookies total) so there are enough in case a good many want oatmeal and some left for anyone who wants a second one.

The only time I want have more than expected is something like serving individual creme brulee's at a sit down dinner. Then everyone get's one (except me because I've hid one in the fridge to eat after the guests have gone)

**I only ever attended one kid's bday party where the adults were not offered something sweet when the cake was being served.  It was at the family home and they had adult oriented snacks and drinks, so were obviously expecting some parents to stay. But at cake time, the mom brought out a very small homemade cake, served all of it up to the kids and didn't offer any sweet to the adults. A friend who was also in attendance admitted to me that she also stopped at a bakery on the way home to get cake. Even though we probably would have turned down a piece, there was just something about watching it being eaten but not even being offered any that made us both start craving something sweet.

iggy257

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 01:35:47 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  There have been two parties recently where there weren't enough cupcakes for all the kids.  One time, the party was at a park and was "crashed" by some other children who took cupcakes.  The other was kind of a Sweet monkey fritters!?  The hosts had some idea of the number of kids coming and didn't make enough.  Its very difficult to explain to a little kid that there isn't a cupcake for him, especially my youngest who loves cupcakes to no end For him cupcakes are his reward for really good behavior, so its extra hard to have to tell him that "yes you were really good at the party and earned a cupcake, but there isn't one for you"

I was taught that there should be enough for everyone at a party.  While everything doesn't have to be exactly the same, there should be enough for everyone to have something, this just seems to be going away a bit.  Ordering enough pizza for everyone to have 1-2 slices, then some people take 3 and there isn't any for those at the end of the line.  I don't know how to handle these things as a guest when things run out.  Its ok for me to not have  slice of pizza or cake, but its really hard when its the kids and they don't understand.

camlan

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 02:05:14 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  There have been two parties recently where there weren't enough cupcakes for all the kids.  One time, the party was at a park and was "crashed" by some other children who took cupcakes.  The other was kind of a Sweet monkey fritters!?  The hosts had some idea of the number of kids coming and didn't make enough.  Its very difficult to explain to a little kid that there isn't a cupcake for him, especially my youngest who loves cupcakes to no end For him cupcakes are his reward for really good behavior, so its extra hard to have to tell him that "yes you were really good at the party and earned a cupcake, but there isn't one for you"

I was taught that there should be enough for everyone at a party.  While everything doesn't have to be exactly the same, there should be enough for everyone to have something, this just seems to be going away a bit.  Ordering enough pizza for everyone to have 1-2 slices, then some people take 3 and there isn't any for those at the end of the line.  I don't know how to handle these things as a guest when things run out.  Its ok for me to not have  slice of pizza or cake, but its really hard when its the kids and they don't understand.

In the first instance, it sounds like the hosts had enough cupcakes, but some were stolen by the crashers? I don't know what I'd do in a situation like that. It's hard to leave the party you are hosting and run and get more cupcakes. And I wouldn't necessarily be on the lookout for cupcake thieves, either. So for that one, I wouldn't blame the hosts so much, unless there was something they could have done to stop the theft. The shortage wasn't planned.

In the second instance, you mean that the hosts knew that, for example, 12 kids were coming and they didn't even have 12 cupcakes? That's poor hosting. Now, if they had RSVPs for 12 kids and they had 12 cupcakes and 16 kids showed up, that's another issue. We hear all the time here about parents who don't RSVP for their kids. This is the sort of thing that results from that.

But, and this is just me, I would never have exactly the same number of cupcakes as kids. For one thing, kids drop things. I'd anticipate at least two cupcakes hitting the dirt. There'd probably be 18 cupcakes for 12 kids. That takes care of any accidents and gives the host yummy leftovers.

The only thing I can think of to do with a cupcake shortage is either to run out and buy more cupcakes, which may or may not be feasible at the time, or cut all the cupcakes in half and everybody gets half a cupcake. Not ideal, but better than some kids getting cupcakes and others nothing at all.

Cake is so central to kids' birthday parties that a host really should plan on enough to go around.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


lady_disdain

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 02:08:04 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  There have been two parties recently where there weren't enough cupcakes for all the kids.  One time, the party was at a park and was "crashed" by some other children who took cupcakes.  The other was kind of a Sweet monkey fritters!?  The hosts had some idea of the number of kids coming and didn't make enough.

The word filter does it again - could there have been a better expression to have been inserted here? :D

I wonder what sweet monkey fritters taste like and if they are as good as cupcakes. I doubt it, but I bet they are full of cinnamon.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How much is enough?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  There have been two parties recently where there weren't enough cupcakes for all the kids.  One time, the party was at a park and was "crashed" by some other children who took cupcakes.  The other was kind of a Sweet monkey fritters!?  The hosts had some idea of the number of kids coming and didn't make enough.

The word filter does it again - could there have been a better expression to have been inserted here? :D

I wonder what sweet monkey fritters taste like and if they are as good as cupcakes. I doubt it, but I bet they are full of cinnamon.
Everytime I see the expression, it makes me want to go make banana fritters in monkey face shape.

On the topic of not enought cupcakes, I do remember a class party where a mom offered to send cupcakes but we think there was a communication mix up because she only sent a dozen for a class of 18. Although there were other cookies and brownies, each kid was wanting to take one of everything. A couple of us realized that and quickly started asking a few kids to split a cupcake "and they could have an extra brownie". Thankfully, most took us up on it so we were able to resolve the issue.