I am a long time lurker of Chowhound but this is my first post. I have a lot of respect for all of the ideas I have seen on this website and am hoping I could be privy to some of your advice as well.
What started as a small family gathering has very quickly morphed into a 60th Birthday Party for about 45 people. My husband and I host a lot of dinners, but this amount of people is new territory for us and as the date approaches, I am getting more and more nervous. The birthday boy has requested a BBQ style menu. We are in Toronto, Canada, and the party is happening the first week of May, this is a late afternoon/early evening affair so let’s hope the weather cooperates.
We have the meat pretty much covered – ribs done on the smoker, pulled pork, wings ordered from a local spot, meatballs, chicken and lamb spiedini - but I am at a loss for what to do for the side dishes and on how to keep the food warm without spending the entire party over the BBQ. We have some chaffing dishes, but not sure how well ribs will keep warm enough to eat. Any experience with making ribs ahead? Do they dry out? Can we BBQ them then keep them warm in the oven for a few hours or is it best to serve right from the BBQ?
We would like most of the side dishes to be able to be made ahead of time, and I’d like to throw in a few unique sides while keeping with the BBQ theme. Probably need at least 8 different side dishes given the amount of people. Was thinking a few cold salads (pasta, garden) but would like something warm as well and some cooked veggies.
For beverages, we have a keg coming for beer and copious amounts of wine but I don’t have a whole lot of experience in the non-alcoholic beverage department. Would love to have a signature non-alcoholic option for those that are driving that is more interesting than lemonade or iced tea.
Very much look forward to your input. Thank you