So I'm throwing my parents a retirement party next week. They're great, their friends are great and it's not a huge party (like 20 people) but, well, they're great so I want it to be special. I don't have much of a budget and it's not in my house so I'll want to do things inexpensively and preferably as much in advance as possible. My dad also can't have much salt, so I'd like to prepare some food salt free too. To complicate things, the party will actually be at my parents' place so avoiding messy foods would also be good. There are two ovens and a grill outside at my disposal.
So far, I'm thinking short ribs, done in advance (in the slow cooker?), heated on the day with a big pot of polenta (the baked kind people rave about here?)
For the people who won't eat red meat, I was planning on grilling some salmon, which would also go with the polenta and salad. I'd probably make some of the salmon salt free for my dad, as I don't think I can make either the short ribs or the polenta salt free and good for a group.
I was thinking of also doing a big salad so there are greens. And just doing a cheese plate and crudites as appetizers.
For dessert, I was thinking of making some vanilla chocolate chip ice cream (my dad's favorite flavor) and maybe some hot fudge, since it's easy in advance and seeing if there's time on the day to make some pies.
My worry with the short ribs is that it might be messy, but at least no one will need to use a knife with it, it tastes good and may even be better done ahead of time.
Is there any other options that would be better?
thanks so much!