Food & Drink 101 – Do-it-Yourselfer’s Sandwich Platter

If you are a do-it-yourself kinda person, you’re probably also rather keen on taking on every single aspect of a picnic party, including preparing your own selection of sandwiches. It is a matter of temperament. Some people thoroughly enjoy having a hand in every single detail, especially when it involves preparing the food.

If you are new to this, you might feel like you need a small nudge of inspiration to get you going. For instance, how do you know how much meat and cheese to purchase at the deli? And what sort of bread should you get? Here are some simple pointers to build an appetizing sandwich tray like a pro. First, the Mars and Venus question… yes, men and women truly have different tastes in sandwiches and overall buffet fare.

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Research shows that women eat more from the side dishes and veggie trays than men. In addition to this, women are more likely to favor sandwiches that include fresh lettuce and tomato. Finally, always according to research, women choose white and pink meat sandwiches (poultry and ham) over red. What does research tell us about men? Definitely carnivores, and red meat is a favorite. Side dishes are not as popular with men. When planning to get the ingredients you need to make your own party or picnic sandwiches, consider the percentage of men to women you expect at your event. Of course, you will probably prove research wrong in some instances and it helps to know individual preferences when possible.

Grinder buns are usually a favorite. They are easy to handle with one hand, while standing around chatting and holding a beverage, for example. They also tend to stay moist longer. You can get these at your deli counter. You might want to call ahead if you need many.

When getting your meats, ask for thin slices. Why? Remember that a sandwich is essentially a layered food. As such, it provides the most enjoyable biting experience when the layers are dynamic and slabs of cold cuts are simply not as appealing to the eye or palate. Thin meats, on the other hand, can be bunched up in the sandwich, giving it volume and texture. That’s just a little structural food science for you!

Last, but surely not least, we must answer the initial question (we got sidetracked in delightful preparation): How many sandwiches and sliced meat and cheese do you need? In general, plan on 1 1/2 sandwich per person. Considering the number of guests is the easiest way to determine how much deli meat and cheese to get. Simply think about how much you would want in your own sandwich and multiply. Also, cut the sandwiches in 1/2 to display an assortment of bites that are large enough to satisfy, yet conveniently sized for easy handling.

Ho! And since not everyone likes lettuce and tomatoes on their sandwiches, you can serve some of these on their own dish with a sign that says “For sandwiches only.” In fact, this is a very appealing way to serve your sandwiches since having a hand in the final product adds undeniable pleasure to the experience.

Food & Drink 101 – Drinks in a Wagon

Our Printable Menu

We make party platters and cakes! Stop by or call 802-644-2069.

Food & Drink 101 – Choosing

In the previous Food & Drink 101 article, we reviewed two practical ways to serve beverages. Today, we focus on a few time-honored tricks to choose like a pro when ordering at the deli counter, and also to help little children make their selection.

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Ordering sandwiches, wraps and salads for several people at the deli counter can be a challenge. The sight of fresh-made food immediately makes the mind jump from one favorite to another. Whether you are ordering with young children or with a group of friends, if you are on your way to a picnic or gathering you might feel like you just want to get it done and get on the road. And who could blame you?

Here is a simple strategy to turn your stop at the deli into a breeze, as much as possible. Not only this, but if you happen to stop during a busy time, this simple strategy can help the counter crew deliver your order in less time than you’d expect. One note: Wherever you shop for your deli food and baked goods, if there is a line, that is often a sign that this place is worth the wait. Now, here are a few tricks.

1 – Review the menu ahead of time – It helps to have a printed menu on hand, specifically for these occasions. Keep a few in the car and the kitchen.

2 – Decide – Have each person decide on a couple of selections. Having actually looked at the menu will help you recall what you wanted once you get to the counter, so you can shoot straight for the goal, so to speak.

3 –  And Children – For young children who might have a hard time making up their minds, verbally give them 2 choices for 2 different scenarios. Do this before entering the deli and place their order for them. For example: Do you like a chicken sandwich, or ham? (choice #1) and do you like a tuna sandwich or cheese? (choice #2). When  you get there, order choice #1. If the deli is out of certain ingredients, go for #2. And you already have enough info to improvise if need be.

Trick: When helping children make a selection, ask, do you LIKE…? Not do you WANT…? For many children, “wanting” does not connect well with envisioning a food experience. “Liking,” however, immediately awakens the senses.

Food & Drink 101 – Drinks in a Wagon

Our Printable Menu

We make party platters and cakes! Stop by or call 802-644-2069.

Food & Drink 101 – Drinks in a Wagon

This begins a new segment on our Blog which, incidentally, we are renaming The Daily Cupboard. The Daily Cup segment will continue to offer thoughts on different perspectives to approach each day. Food & Drink 101 will be dedicated to food and beverage service tips, picnic ideas, party themes and just about any occasion when friends and family gather around food.

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Today, two practical ways to serve beverages.

1- Indoors: Containers help keep things organized. If you set up a self-help beverage bar, one way to do this with a touch of style is to use an old drawer. You can find one at yard sales, perhaps by taking apart a bureau, which in itself can lead to a creative recycling project.

Keep the drawer as is, if you find it pleasant to look at, or enlist the kids to make it colorful. To serve beverages, place the drawer on a large counter top or kitchen isle. Filled various buckets with ice and place them inside the drawer. Add an assortment of beverages within each container.

2- Outdoors: Add a rustic touch by carrying beverages out to your picnic or BBQ area in a child’s wagon. This can hold two or three sturdy buckets, filled with ice and beverages. Older kids who are strong enough will love being of service by replenishing the wagon and pulling it into place throughout your gathering.

Don’t forget to honor Vermont Beers and Wines at your summer parties!

We make party platters and cakes! Stop by or call 802-644-2069.