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After funeral food

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have been asked to suggest food ideas for about 150 people for a girlfriend's daughter's funeral in 4 days - Please help, as my work schedule right now is frying all my creative juices.

I need quick, inexpensive ideas for other ladies (not food minded) to prepare. Thanks pros!!
post #2 of 31
Funerals,
There is a lot in the archives on funeral food.

Not sure where you are located, who the non-food ladies are & what equipment they have available, nor what talents they possess.

So fingerfood or fork food.

Ham, always a popular choice. Have dollar rolls, mustard, honey mustard, mayo, possibly jezebel or chutney if they know what they are......

Turkey Breast or chicken salad

Fruit......watermelon baskets or fruit platters

Cheese and crackers.....can be as simple as pre cubed cheese and assorted crackers from Sams

Deviled Eggs if they again are up to it and have refrigeration

Crudites.....dip......

Potato Salad or chips....one is fork food one is finger food

Brownies/bars/cookies


Any of this can be picked up at a wholesaler or Sams.....they can assemble, or cook depending on their time and inclination.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 31
Here in the Uk Well actually England, They use cucumber sandwiches an awful lot. God help me, I dont know why, but out they come every wedding, funeral, Soggy summer afternoon tea. (crusts off)

Petit fours too. These little delicacies are a must.

Ham is an absolute must have. Carved on the bone with spring onions and tomatoes and a decent chutney.

One mustn't forget the crackers with "stuff" on them

Sorry if I'm sounding cynical Foodie, but this really is the way they do it.
I've never catered a funeral, But every one i've been to has been the same. ( maybe I've led a sheltered life)
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

funeral

thanks to shroomgirl and bughut for your info. I will also look in the archives, great suggestion.

It is so nice to have imput from your peers available in such short time periods - much appreciated!!
post #5 of 31
We have typically served foods that the deceased considered favorites and a lot of them. Italian funerals seemed to bring out the appetites in the attendees. Anyhow, recently at my Uncles funeral luncheon my Aunt and family put together a menu of chicken wings, mini tacos, shrimp cocktail, egg rolls, fresh fruit, mini burritos, and chicken nuggets for appetizers and then Mostoccoli, turkey and dressing, corn, Roast beef and mashed potatoes for the entree. They also decorated the tables with bowls of Good 'n 'Plenty and pistachios as well as Fannie Mae Cubbies chocolate bars and mini bottles of Jack Daniels. All being his favorites.

I know that probably none of the above mentioned are suitable for what you need so I'd just refer back to comfort items. Not to slight bughut but shroom had some great ideas.:D
post #6 of 31
In the south and midwest, the church ladies usually take care of this. Since you've been asked, it's not likely you'll be criticized. The last one I did had:

Mini Sandwiches - 2 ounces of filing on artisanal dinner rolls, with four or five flavored mayos or spreads.

Pasta Salad with Pesto and Shrimp

Potato and Haricots Verts Salad

Fresh Cut Fruit

Finger Tarts, Cookies, Brownies and Fruit Bars

I've done the same thing as a brunch, adding breakfast breads, bagels etc.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Shroomgirl - i need your advice again please - I need to know how much cheese (in pounds) for cheese platters for 225 people and also any advise on veggies quantities for the same number of people for veggie platters. THANKS!!
post #8 of 31
what else are you serving, how long, what occasion?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Cheese & Veggie trays

The occasion is a church's 90th anniversary party for 225. There will be a full dinner after the cheese and veggie trays, but i keep hearing horror stories about how much food church groups consume so i don't want to run out. Most people don't care that they should save room for what follows the appetizers, they still overeat.
post #10 of 31
foodie, Chef Ed would probably be able to answer the poundage question way better than I........I don't serve typical cubes of cheese or slices......which is what I assume you are using. Our market vegetable platter varies with season and availability.....now it's new potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet peppers, broccoli, turnips (small Japanese kind), brussel sprouts should be showing up soon, fall carrots......


45-1 hour pre dinner reception for 225 eaters......I'd put out 3 large vegetable platters, have a backup in the stagging area. Probably do buttermilk herb dip aka fresh ranch, 2 qts or 1/2 gallon.

Cheese....normally I'd have a kg of brie with passion cranberries aka fruit goo

2# of chevre with a pint of pesto/2 cups of olives, 1/3 cup pinenuts, (2# backup in stagging)

2# of parmesan or hard cheese broken into bite size hunks with honey

1.5# of blue, another 1.5 in back......dried fruit and toasted pecans

3# of manchengo with membrillo and maracona almonds

6 large baguettes of crostini, a fish box of lavosh, assorted rainforest crackers and water biscuits.


alot depends on if they are all coming at once....after a service, or are coming from home and more apt to come at various times. They'll have to hang up coats, grab a beverage, then hit the food......within 45 minutes-1hour they'll move on to dinner.
Are you providing small plates for them to pile food on, or just napkins......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 

Veggie & Cheese trays

Thanks for your reply market caterer. This being a church function, they are more used to cheddar, pepper jack, swiss and blue cheeses, i don't think most would appreciate or ever had some of the cheeses you mentioned, but the amounts in pounds were helpful. Also I don't know what area you are from, but its interesting to me that your veggie trays have brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc., on them where they are expecting carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, etc. Everything else is covered, i.e. plates instead of napkins, etc., it was just the amounts i was in need of. Thanks again!
post #12 of 31
That's were Ed would come in...
Your amounts would reflect what cheeses your serving and how they are served.....ie cubed or sliced vs. whole and the guests cutting their own. The cheese tables we put together are more fruffier......
ditto vegetables. So sorry I don't use poundage. They never look the same, obviously potatoes are heavier than radishes.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 31
This is New York style, plain middle class non gourmet.
Chunk cheese cheddar, swiss, provolone, sliced american,(triangle sliced) some bleu Garnish with Kale and Grapes Why Kale it holds up at room temp better then anything. I figure 1/4 Lb. PP. Use a serrated cutter to cube cheese it looks nice. Bring some cheddar and swiss large piece of each with you xtra dont cut it. Its backup only if you need it. Crackers, italian bread sliced thin.
Veges in baskets again kale underneith, Celery, broccoli florets, red, green peppers, carrot stixx, cherry tomato, Zuchinni any veges on sale that week.
10bu. celery, 6 Lb carrots, 2 doz peppers mixed
8 pts cherry toms., 1 doz zuch.
6 broc. bunches , 4 cauliflour.
1 gal ranch dressing for dip, 1 gal 1000 isle for dip. Cut it with H2o or its to thick,
Dip broc and cauliflour in boiling water blanch first then chill otherwise to hard to chew.
bring couple of celery and whatever else back up dont cut it unless you need it. Do not put all platters out at once, you set the timeing, not the guest. Good Luck ( Get everything at costco or sams you will save $$$$$) :bounce::bounce::bounce:
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CHEFED
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post #14 of 31
big difference in quantity.....ie 12-15# whole where the guests are cutting or spreading the cheese vs 55# cubed/sliced.....again, it matters if they all show up at once, coming from a church service vs all showing up from home....it matters how long "happy hour" lasts. If they have to deal with coats. If they have to stand in line for drinks. How big a spoon (or if you have a spoon) for the dip(s). For what ever reason, church events are like a swarm of locusts.....they are heavy coffee drinkers.

Untouched backup so that you can use it somewhere else if necessary. This is key. Also having a clock around.


I've got alot of latitude in what (how much) goes on vegetable platters....there are always back up of favorite veg....carrots, potatoes.....the funkier things are more for looks or those that would appreciate them. Tiny pitty pan squash.....fennel....

Ed's numbers are way more usable for you. Thanks Ed.

I'm going to play around with the photo thingy and see if I can download some pix from events in the photo section.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for all the info and your time i really appreciate your help. Pictures would be going the extra mile!!; its wonderful to have such great input from this forum. The guests will be coming from home and they most likely would have coats and the cheese would be mostly in cubes. I hope i answered all your questions - thanks again.
post #16 of 31
I did a funeral for 150 as well and the host asked for only finger foods one mistake I had was the host brought a cake that resembled the man who had died canes well guess what I did finger foods NO FORKS.... were brought on premise be prepeared. We did all apps and it was awesome but a lot of work for 150 a buffett would be much easier for that number. Good Luck
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
i agree about a buffet vs. apps. Customers think a buffet would be more expensive, but the reverse is true.

Hope you had plenty of napkins for sticky fingers from the cake without forks. LOL
post #18 of 31
Thank God the place we were at had plastic ones it could have been my biggest embaressment. But just having a guest ask was enough:)
post #19 of 31
Not quite true. on a buffet it is hard to control what and how much they eat, where as by passing assorted home made hot and cold Hor' D you can contriol the amounts sent out to be passed, plus less clean up and no dishes only cocktail naps and toothpick frills. You could make expensive hors d or inexspensive depending on patrons budget. :talk:
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post #20 of 31
Normally there is more labor for us involved in passed hodos......not always. Ed is right about controlling quantity better with passed. As to ease, it takes a whole lot less time to plop out 2# of chevre, hollow a crater in the middle, pour in pesto, top with pinenuts and olives....than individually preparing crostini with the same goo on top.
Fussy Bites are just that, doesn't matter if they are on a buffet or tray.....3+steps of assembly takes time.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #21 of 31
Ed is right in the sense of money but again the cost should go to the customer, I meant in the sense of labor, I would rather do a buffet any day of the week with four or five items my funeral had 21 apps so labor was intensive for 150 and none was passed all set out. so as you can see we were busy for three days before cutting and chopping rolling ETC. I don't but anything pre made from Sam's sysco ETC.
post #22 of 31
21 apps. is a heck of a large variety. If you can get the $ thats great, I try and limit the variety and make types that I can do assembly line style. Mini wellingtons, home made wontons, mexican spring rolls etc . I try to do more hot then cold as we can really knock them out, the cold take longer. Again everything is based on their budget and therefore yours. As long as they are happy and you had enough is the main thing. :) :) :)
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CHEFED
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post #23 of 31
It ended up being great and not only did we get to include our usual tip but I was given a new roll top chafer and a trip to the loma del mar spa cono three bedroom in I xtapa Mexico for ten days on top the customer was thrilled. wish I would get one a year like that it would save a heck of a lot on vacations:chef:
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have a challenge for anyone interested in replying. A friend of mine is in charge of a salad bar in a brand new organic market. The kitchen has no stove or oven (waiting on permits) only a microwave, rice maker, food processor and blender. The salad bar has 2 large soup kettles (soups are currently bought from a company in NY). The salad bar has 12 wells, 6 on each side. They use one well (with insert) for freshly made sandwiches (powerhouse mostly) and two for lettuces. They are not drawing enough customers to the salad bar and need new inspiration, I thought they could have a 3 section warmer unit and have chili, nacho cheese and refried beans for a taco bar and plug the unit into the outlet next to the soup kettles. Any other ideas???
post #25 of 31
Have they tried a build your own sandwich which they sell on weight? I understand he already has sanwiches but people like to build them you can also get a pannin(sp) maker and grill them after being made for hot sandwiches they do not require a hood in most states. Soup and sandwiches are a better choice in winter and salad and soup in summer.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 

Salad Bar

Interesting concept; a few questions - how would you keep items like bread slices, rolls, etc., from drying out without covers over them and how would you keep the meats and cheeses from becoming contaminated with people touching them without gloves (which would be likely to happen without supervision), since sandwich makers wear gloves, I could see the temptation to just use their hands and not tongs, spreaders, etc.
post #27 of 31
You can start your line with the bread or rolls in the bags again I put out tongs and they did use them when I was watching which was most times as I had to weigh their sandwich at the end. you can also get a covered lexon to put bread and rolls in?
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
thanks, I will try to find a lexon for the bread unless you know of a place.
post #29 of 31
Sysco carries the one I used it was domed with a handle and it hinged on the dome so you didn't have to lift the whole dome top off ? hard to explain kinda of a window on the dome??
post #30 of 31
This thread would get alot of different responses on the Pro Chef section.....alot of the people that frequent that thread have cafeterias/situations that are similar to your friend's.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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