I’m working on finalizing the menu for my son’s weekend bar mitzvah. We are down to 35 guests. I have a few considerations:
- I need to be able to finish all of the cooking by the Thursday before the event, so I can set up and handle logistics on Friday.
- I prefer to cook fresh rather than freeze in advance, so that I can freeze leftovers afterward. Cooked food that has been frozen and thawed shouldn’t be frozen again.
- This means I’ll shop for meat and fish on the Wednesday before, and divide the major part of the cooking between Wednesday and Thursday. Vegetable prep work can be done by children, in advance of the actual cooking.
- I’ll bake the challah and rolls a week in advance and freeze them.
- The Friday night meal will be on my upstairs porch, so the food has to be easy to transport. I probably won’t have room for a serving table, so chicken soup is off the menu.
- The guests who offered to bring food will be assigned salads, which need to be prepared at the last minute.
- Once I finalize the menu I’ll make a detailed shopping, cooking, and cleaning schedule. I’ll check that I have the right utensils and enough space in the refrigerator, freezer and oven.
- I’ll try to resist the tendency to add menu items at the last minute. Every additional item will have to be prepared, stored, placed on serving plates, and stored again.
- If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not planning anything too elaborate. The challah is the most time-consuming job as I’ll be kneading it by hand. I’m going to ask my catering neighbor if she has a good mixer for bread dough. For the rest my food processor will do most of the work.
I’ll post the menu in a few days.
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