Friday, December 5, 2008

Soup Social Details

The Malones helping get salad onto the table

Raspberry Chipotle crackers on those $1.00 silver trays from Dollar Store

It's finally time to eat!

Invitations- I had on hand some 'cooking ' themed 12x12 scrapbook paper. So I used that paper, some kitchen style ribbon and a die cut of silverware to make the invite. See invite instructions for measurements. I mailed some and hand delivered those who lived closest. I received phone RSVP's from most, a few 'in person' RSVP's and I personally called the 3 who didn't respond and all said they were coming.
Food- When I made the invitations I put "Please bring a green salad for 8", "Please bring a pot of soup" or "Please bring a dessert to share" on each of the invitations. As I invited people I asked the female guest which part of the meal she would prefer to bring. We ended up with an ideal amount of food. For our 8 total couples we had 3 large pots of soup, 2 green salads, 3 desserts, and hor d'ourves and french bread. I was a little worried about having enough, but it seems that most everyone had seconds of soup and those who brought the soup all took home about 1/3 of a pot. This theme required that those bringing the soups specify which kind of soup they would be bringing. Many of the soups are similiar in appearance, texture, taste and ingredients like Pasta Fagioli and Minestrone. It's always good to have a good creamy potato soup, and then a brothy chicken noodle soup, a spicy Taco Soup or Tortilla soup, and a soup like Fagioli or Minestrone. You should have at least one non-meat soup and the soups with meat in them should have different kinds of meat... ground beef, chicken breast, pork sausage....
Decor- Something that I learned too late was... YOU NEED TO DECIDE ON A TOTAL THEME BEFORE YOU MAKE INVITATIONS. I did not do this. I made cute homey cozy invites with the paper having the names of cooking herbs and spices on it and the inside resembling a recipe card. Then when the time came to get some decor for the tables I collected about 8 gorgeous red satin tablecloths from my mother. I originally got them thinking ahead to January's Chinese New Year party... but then I realized that they would be perfect for a Christmas party. So.. I changed it to a holiday soup social. We had our Christmas tree very simple. It is a prelit tree so it was lit up with no other decorations. Just lights. We had a simple garland on our stair railing. I had 3 crystal taper candle holders and candles. I also had three 6ft garlands for the tables. It was simple and pretty. The only thing I would do next time would be to remember and play some pretty Christmas background music, get out the crystal punch bowl for drinks, and do some more decor like our nativity set and a wreath on the front door.

Tableware- We got some really elegant paper napkins, disposable plastic plates and silver looking plasticware at Costco (can elegant and disposable be used in the same sentence.) I used those clear plastic tumblers for cups... those wedding reception punch glasses. My biggest score was the silver trays, and clear plastic trays for hor d'ourves at the dollar store. I don't throw things away so I washed everything up after the party.... except the napkins.... and will use them at our next nice party.
Darryl fills water glasses for me!
Game- As always we did the game where each couple comes up with something that no one in the room knows about them. Something about them as a couple or what they did as a couple. This is a game that has always been a great ice breaker and usually quite entertaining.

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