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Progressive dinner

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Has anyone done a progressive dinner? How many couples? How many participants? What was the theme? How did you determine who would be responsible for each course? How did it turn out?
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post #2 of 10
What's a "progressive dinner?"
post #3 of 10
My wife and I did one some years ago, it was fun, turned out well. Sort of, we chose the dessert course, so once the participants got to our house there was no incentive to leave early. Okay, it was actually fun, I had an idea that we'd be the ones that had to entertain until late night.

For those that don't know, a progressive dinner is where you go from house to house for each course. Appetizers at one place, then off to the next house for soup, then hit the road again for the salad stop, and so on. When we did it it was with couples from the area that all lived within walking distance, which was a nice touch for a pleasant late summer evening. And given the lack of driving, the wine and spirits tended to flow a bit more freely.

I can't remember the menu, though I think I did a flourless chocolate cake with a rasberry sauce of some sort, and poured a local brewery's raspberry stout and a nice port.

I think we had five couples - apps, soup and cheese, salad, entree and dessert. My memory is a bit foggy, it might have been six and the soup and the cheese plate were at seperate homes, but I have vague memories of the soup being onion, with various sharp cheeses on the side rather than the classic French cheese bread toasted on top of the soup.

It was fun, took all evening, I think we started at 5 pm for apps, the last stragglers left our place after midnight. I recommend trying it out.

The menu possibilites are somewhat limited, as the best results are being able to do all the prep work beforehand, stash the results in the fridge or a warming oven, then go and join the party. When it is your turn, take a few minutes to finish the presentation and enjoy.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #4 of 10
Something for liberals... :lol:
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #5 of 10
The best progressive dinners are those that run on a continuing basis. The same group meets each week (or on whatever schedule they like), and moves up one position in terms of dishes. That is, if you made, say, the salad, this week, then you do the entrée next week. And dessert the week after that.

In short, a double progression---house to house, and along the menu.

I once conducted a virtual progressive dinner on another cooking site. Had so many people interested we had to have ten courses. By the time we’d completed the second round we could have written a great menu-planner type cookbook.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 10
The Palm Beach Islands hi -rollers do this all the time.,but they cheat. They often hire local chefs to do it all for them, then the housekeeper serves it and they take all the credit.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #7 of 10
Aiieeee. It's hard to be wealthy.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 10
a group of us in the neighborhood get together a lot during college football season. We all just bring something, to one house or another, depending on who has the new Big Screen TV or the best swimming pool.:D

Last week, we had fresh Grouper, baked in parchment paper, a huge pile of ribs, smoked to perfection, 15 pounds of shrimp on skewers and grilled, and the normal potato salads, slaws, salads, dips and desserts.

We then progressed through the beer, wine, and cocktails. :)
post #9 of 10
Progressive dinners are a LOT of fun. My Rotary club does one once each year, though we have it catered, since there are likely to be 60-70 people attending. The members with larger houses typically host - one for apps and cocktail/wine, three or four for main course, and one for desserts. The food is delivered late in the afternoon, put into ovens, and set out for the party. Typically we also hire a couple of servers to help out at the first and last houses, where everybody shows up.

We were in such a group in when we lived in Santa Barbara, and it was a great way to have fun with freinds. We're in a small group now with other Rotary club members, which is just getting underway. It's my turn next, and I'm calling for Greek.

We let the host define the theme and provide the main course, and others volunteer for the other courses. I can see that defining a progression of courses for each member would give a better organization, avoiding a situation of four salads and no desserts... :(
We do, however, coordinate by email.

We limited the participants to six couples, as most people (except for the ones with McMansions) can't comfortably accomodate many more than that.
The ones with bigger houses do sit-down, and the ones like us in a retirement condo do buffet.

Try it, you'll like it!

Mike :chef:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is more like a pot luck. I love those, but usually they don't have the same structure as a progressive dinner, and once guests get to the host house, that's where they remain for the entire meal. These often have a theme, but they don't move from home to home to change courses. (I like the progression through the imbibments, though)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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