Created on: January 30, 2013
A progressive dinner is one where each course of the meal is served at a different location. This is the kind of dinner that can work very well for a neighborhood party where guests can walk to different homes or apartments. It is a great way to plan a dinner party that has at least four courses, with each host responsible for one course.
Hosts should live near each other
This sort of party will work best of the homes are not located too far apart. Try to allow less than 15 minutes for travel time. This way if you go for a four-course dinner, you can allow 45 minutes for the socializing and consumption of the meal and 15 minutes for travel time. Be sure guests designate drivers if you're serving alcohol.
A progressive dinner requires some planning to work well as a cohesive meal. The hosts should get together ahead of time to agree on a theme and plan accordingly. In addition to preparing one course of the meal, each host or hostess will also want to have the appropriate décor to enhance the whole experience.
The guests and hosts should meet at the first location where the appetizer course will be served. The cooks are encouraged to travel along with the group, so all food should be prepared in advance in a way that it can quickly and easily be served.
There are many appetizers that would make an excellent first course. It is important when planning to discuss how you want to handle this course. Do you want to serve cocktails and finger food or do you want to begin the meal with a sit down course. Whatever the decision, it should reflect the theme that has been chosen for the meal.
A salad is an easier course than a soup in some ways, however there are soups that are perfect cold and others that will keep well in a crock pot or slow cooker. Be sure to consider having bread or some starch such as crackers to go along with the soup.
Since a progressive dinner should be a minimum of four courses, the main course does not need to be overly large. While serving a meat, starch and vegetable may have a lot of appeal, in a progressive dinner, a casserole may be a lot easier to keep and present well. Meals such as lasagna, paella or beef stew all make excellent main courses, especially for your first progressive meal.
The type of dessert will be determined by how heavy the main meal was. If it was a light meal, a cake or pie is an excellent choice for a rich finish. If the main meal was heavy, a light dessert such as mousse or ice cream might be ideal.
Planning and executing a progressive dinner can be a lot of fun. It works well in any season and can be created with all foods that are served cold or hot, or a combination. You get to taste a variety of people’s food and you only have to cook one course yourself — how great is that?
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