Tuesday, February 22, 2011

July 9th, 2006

Beorn's Bar Mitzvah is less than two months away.  I have a budget (extremely slim), I have the number of guests I'm inviting, I have the events I need to feed people for, I have the rules of what I am serving where (rules of keeping kosher and all that), and I have an idea of what non-food items I need to buy.

What I don't have are the confirmed guest numbers (I expect those to start arriving the first week of August or so), set menus, or a definite plan of action.

My total budget is only about $1250 US, unless FIL chips in, for everything. That includes Friday night dinner (B"H for Lubavitch!), Saturday evening dinner, Saturday night dessert buffet party, and Sunday brunch.

It looks like we're inviting about 165 for the ceremony and dinner Saturday evening. Everything else will have fewer guests. I truly am praying that many of the guests will be unable to come, but I feel I have to invite them. And then there are the ones I want to be there, such as several online friends I have yet to meet in person.

At this point, I'm thinking $800 for the Saturday ceremony, including a havdalah set for every four to five guests, $300 for the dessert buffet, and $150 for the Sunday brunch. Obviously, I'll be cooking just about everything myself. I'll send a donation to Lubavitch for Friday night dinner as soon as I can afterwards.

Rules of kashrut for Saturday evening dinner limits me to a dairy/fish vegetarian menu, since the dinner will be inbetween services in the shul's social hall.  Many of my guests will be HK devotees from Beorn's school, who do not eat fish, eggs, onions, garlic, or mushrooms (hence my knowledge about asafoetida).  My sister has wheat allergies...

So, what I am planning are basically two buffet tables, one featuring lasagna made with noodles and one a low carb sort of table substituting  unbreaded sauteed eggplant slices for the noodles in a lasagna/eggplant parmegiana-style dish.  I'll probably use a tapioca based egg replacer for my cheese mixture.

I would like to offer an appetizing table for those who do eat fish, and am thinking maybe I can include my terrific (if I do say so myself) devilled eggs on that table.  Some bagels, cream cheese, lettuce, tomatoes...

What I need to come up with are other things to serve with the Italian based entrees.  I'm thinking a nice platter of roasted veggies (potatoes, green beans, asparagus, multi-colored sweet bell peppers, etc.), but have only used bottled Italian dressing on those in the past.  Most of those come with onion or garlic in them, so I need to find an alternative.

Any other suggestions?  Maybe a tobouli salad made with quinoa instead of bulghar or a couscous platter for those not avoiding wheat?  And can I do this on my budget or am I dreamng?

Obviously, other than the havdalah sets, any decorating is pretty much out of the picture.  However, I plan on using the collection bowls for Beorn's cell phone project as center pieces.  At least we'll have something.

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