These are some ideas for feeding your reunions.
Some reunions do their own cooking, others find many other sources
for food, restaurants, caterers, delis, carry out. You need to
decide how to best feed your group at the most affordable price.
Some groups pool their resources and buy food together, others
pay individually. These are all decisions that have to be made
based on your individual needs. How did you do it? E-mail
Chef cooks his reunion
What have you been doing for the last 25 years? Classmates of Otto G. Borsich II tasted what he’s been doing. A lecturing instructor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, Borsich catered his own Firelands (OH) High School Class of 1978 reunion.
Some of Chef Borsich’s faculty colleagues from the CIA, along with students enrolled at the Lorain County (Ohio) Joint Vocational School Culinary Academy, assisted with preparation.
Borsich began his culinary career at McGarvey’s Restaurant in Vermilion, Ohio. Following a tour as a Navy cook, he apprenticed in Seattle and New York City. His professional experience includes New York City, Nantucket, South Beach and Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas.
Reported by Jeff Levine, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York
Chef Otto Borsich Firelands High School Class of 1978
October 11, 2003 New Russia Township Hall
Savory bites of fresh & sun-dried tomatoes with roasted garlic and basil; red curry shrimp, orange lentils with white balsamic dressing, beet, orange and fennel, puree butternut squash with cinnamon, saffron basmati rice with steamed mussels, purple potato salad with shallot dressing
Fruit and Cheese Platter:
A variety of international cheeses and seasonal fruit
Italian-cured meats with marinated olives, tri-color roasted peppers, braised baby artichokes, Portobello, goat cheese and sun-dried tomato panini
Hot Pasta Station:
Penne with wild mushroom cream and mascarpone cheese
Sliced chili-rubbed skirt steak with mini tortillas, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, queso blanco, salsa verde and lime cream. Smoked chicken, jalapeño jack and poblano quesadillas
Whole stuffed suckling pig with collard greens and Chinese dried sausage, roasted sirloin of beef with silver dollar rolls, horseradish cream and grain mustard. Spiced apple butter, potato pancake with chive sour cream
From the Sea:
Smoked Atlantic salmon with shaved red onion, capers, dill crème fraiche and bagel chips
Chilled Thai beef salad, spicy seafood salad with cucumber, buckwheat noodle salad, Vietnamese spring rolls, chicken satay with peanut sauce
Caesar salad made to order, roasted beet salad, white bean and slow-cooked lamb with mint
Tidbits of chocolate treats, assorted cookies, pumpkin cheesecake with candied ginger and Mexican cinnamon cream, Bananas Foster with vanilla bean ice cream
Recipe for a great family reunion
Patience, persistence, planning and favorite dairy foods, according to Wisconsin’s Dairy Council. Like no other family celebration, a reunion is a special time to celebrate heritage and kinship. It's a time to take a break from the sometimes frantic pace of life to reconnect with your past while looking ahead to the future.
Once you’ve managed to get everyone together, you must feed them. With over 500 mouths to feed, the Seidemans of Newburg, Wisconsin, offer a variety of mealtime options. Refreshment stands provide hot dogs, bratwurst, beer, candy, popcorn and ice cream. Some families bring their own picnic lunches. Others join together for an old-fashioned potluck meal. "Some of us make family favorites like potato salad or shrimp salad," says Phyllis Naumann. "It's tradition."
Vera Brooks of Richmond Township, Wisconsin, helps plan two family reunions each year. The Helling Family Reunion, in its 50th year, brings together relatives from her father's side. On the fourth Sunday of every July, the Klug Family (Brooks' mother's side) gets together. Each reunion includes from 30 to 50 people and a potluck meal is the norm. "You get a good variety of food with a potluck and because everyone makes just one dish, there's not a lot of expense involved, either," says Brooks. When deciding what to serve at your family reunion, the trick is to choose a menu with something for everyone. Think hearty, wholesome and home-cooked, not fussy and fancy.
Knapp/Napp family is nourished
August 2001, 250 descendants of Conrad and Maria Napp gathered at the Beetown Hall in Grant County, Wisconsin. At high noon it was time for lunch. Lines formed and Sister Maria Hill offered grace. Thanks to the planning and coordination of cousin Beth McCullick, a resplendent German-American buffet was laid out by caterers from the Red Top Supper Club in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. On the menu were beef rouladen, broiled fish, bratwurst in sauerkraut, German potato salad, green beans and spaetzle, rye bread and rolls, plus hot dogs for the less adventurous appetites among the younger set. In addition to the catered meal, many family members contributed pot-lucked salads and desserts. Several large tubs set under shade trees offered self-serve beverages on ice.
Following lunch the buffet tables were cleared to make way for desserts. A wide assortment of pot-lucked goodies surrounded the centerpiece, a beautiful three-tiered cake inscribed with “Happy 180th Anniversary, Conrad & Maria Napp.”
Reunion hindsight offers some ideas for future gatherings: If you’re serving a buffet meal, call people into line in some sort of order. (Those who don’t have a prayer of getting food for 15 or 20 minutes might as well stay comfortably chatting somewhere rather than standing in line.) One good idea would be to say “Everyone over 60 and under 12, line up for lunch!” Naturally, mom or dad should go through the line to assist youngsters who need help choosing and carrying. In our case — if we’d thought of it in advance — we could have called the group to lunch according to generation, as this was noted on their nametags.
Reported by Mary Thiele Fobian, Pacific Grove, California. Food wisdom
“Food is probably the easiest way to preserve a sense of family and heritage,” says Diana Baird N'Diaye, program curator for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. “Most people love to prepare favorite dishes from childhood and share with others. Recipes are passed down, stories are told. Kids are usually involved in the easy parts of preparation, so they absorb it all.” from the Washington Post