Planning a New Year’s eve celebration? Whether you’re hosting a few or a crowd, a little advance planning will allow you to enjoy the party along with everyone else. I like to opt for buffet-style food when I have too many to sit down all at once – serve-yourself mains like racks of ribs, roast ham, slow roast beef, ham or leg of lamb with biscuits or buns and a few condiments and side dishes will make both kids and grown-ups happy, and allow your guests to eat as much or as little as they like. But how much food will you need? What about the bar? Here are a few tips to help you ring in the new year with style- and ease.
How much food do you need? For a cocktail party, aim for 6-8 pieces per person later in the evening; 8-10 if guests arrive between 5 and 8, at which time they are likely hungrier. If you want something more substantial on the buffet table, a roast ham is easy and foolproof, and tastes as good at room temperature or cold as it does hot. All you need is a bowl of biscuits or buns alongside.
Tending bar: It’s not necessary to stock a full bar for a small party. Plan for 2-3 drinks per person, and fill a cooler or tub with ice in which to tuck bottles of beer, sparkling water and white wine. Red wine can stay on the countertop. Slice up a few lemons and limes and if you like, mix up a pitcher of sangria or another boozy cocktail that’s easy to serve on its own.