Fresh. Fresh. Fresh.
This year we are being treated to a marvellous May of bank holidays, and of course our new King Charles III ‘s Coronation. What good times and celebrations there will be – but it does mean a very busy time for us here at Merrow Savouries.
For those functions and events that due to demand, we have been unable to accommodate, we have offered (if asked!!!) our prospective hosts some suggestions and ideas as to how to do it themselves, a little å la Merrow Savouries – had we been available.
-It is simple. Biggest tip is Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. If possible, make and prepare everything on the day itself. It really is worth it. Enlist family and friends to help. Make it a fun venture, all chipping in. We rarely freeze anything – but some cakes such as sponge not only freeze well but can actually improve in texture, strange but true. Everything else – on the day please.
-Think colour. Make sure your menu is not all beige – which a lot of food can be. Think red or yellow tomatoes, pretty green cress, purple radishes or curly green parsley for garnishes; red leicester instead of plain cheddar cheese, colourful peppers. Cakes can also often be brown! We always add our red raspberry and coconut cake and lemon drizzle to our cake stands to make them ‘pop’.
-Think of texture – don’t have everything crunchy or crispy. Or everything soft. Think crunchy crudites, crispy bruschetta or filled filo baskets, but then also something softer ie quiche bites.
-Think of the ingredients – it is very easy to prepare a finger buffet and realise it is all based on pastry or bread. Boring...
-Think shape. Cut some items into ovals, some into squares or triangles. Not all square or all rounds.
-Our finger buffets are usually about 1/3 meat, 1/3 fish and 1/3 vegetarian. But remember – even the hardiest of meat eaters often choose vegetarian, without realising it is meat free, as ‘oooh that looks nice’. So, if anything, prepare more veggie items than meat.
-People always comment on our lovely sandwiches! It is not rocket science – buy the bread on the day itself. Fill generously with freshly prepared fillings (again think colour and texture). Cut the crusts off (trying not to think of the wastage) with a very sharp knife or better still use an electric knife for a sharp edge and no squashing of the sandwich. Cut each ‘round’ into 3 fingers. Stand them up against each other – keeping each other fresh. Garnish colourfully. Cling film. Damp cloth on top. Fridge.
Sandwiches are always something we choose to make at the last minute, yes even if it is for 300 guests, often finishing just before we are leaving our kitchen door for the venue.
-Finally, unless you are actually catering for the King’s coronation ball, in which case, Yoh! Yikes! Gosh! Then relax.
-Enjoy your party with your family and friends. Our whole team always enjoys working at whatever the occasion or event. Ok, plan and plan and put much thought into the day. Lots of it. But why not ask for help? And if it is for your own family - definitely do not try and impress, just who? They know you anyway. Just relax and enjoy - It really is a recipe for success.
Sue and Tom
at Merrow Savouries