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Dinner - Menu

Preparation    - Menu     - Layout     - Cleaning

Welcome to the most exciting section on the preparation for your dinner. Sure, as you look at the different options under preparation you see that terrible choice called 'cleaning'. But let's not think about that right now. Instead, why don't we just have some fun and let our imaginations run wild.

The first decision you will need to make is whether you will be doing your own food preparation or using the services of a caterer. There is no right answer. We will tell you that once they were organized, many people have actually admitted that they enjoyed preparing the food. If that is your desire, read on. If you decide to follow the caterer route, it might still be a good idea to read the rest of this section to help prepare for the questions they will be asking you in order to help make your dinner more memorable.

It's a good idea to discover the likes and dislikes of your guests. There are some guests who will eat just about anything you prepare and enjoy it. Others are very particular about the foods they eat.

A good idea is to discuss some possible menu options with your guests before the dinner. This serves a couple of useful purposes. It will allow you to gauge their reactions and also help to set them at ease since they will have an idea of what to expect on arrival.

Also, consider whether or not children will be present and their ages. We point this out for a couple of reasons. First of all, their tastes may not be as refined as yours, so a less exotic menu may be needed. Also, if they are younger, it might be better to serve foods that do not require a lot of cutting. This will prevent dinner being served at less than the ideal temperature due to time taken while cutting food into bite size pieces for little ones. Your guests also will be able to enjoy their meal without the pressure of getting their children's food ready.

Another idea to consider is having a few items on your menu that can be prepared in advance and reheated so that you are not rushing to prepare the food when you would rather be relaxing and dreaming of your meal. As far as the main course is concerned, experience has shown that it is a good idea to schedule the arrival of your guests approximately a half hour before the meal will actually be ready to eat. This will help prevent food being over-cooked due to a late arriving guest and also allow your guests to relax and settle in a little bit before sitting down for their meal. An added benefit it that it will provide a pleasant aroma as they arrive at your home and help to make the meal that much more pleasant.

After covering the variety of choices, it is now time to look at quantity. Always prepare more than you think you'll need. It may seem like a waste of money at first, but remember, you get to eat the leftovers.

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