As a family gathers for a funeral or memorial service, you may have a variety of friends and family to feed after the service. Create a menu that will appeal to guests of all ages, including children. Because the focus should be on remembering and honoring the deceased, make the menu simple, yet delicious.
Make a variety of cold dishes for a buffet. Arrange a platter of ready-to-eat shrimp served with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Prepare a vegetable platter with fresh and colorful vegetables, perfect for dipping in a ranch vegetable dip. Create a colorful fruit salad and serve it in a large glass bowl. Serve pasta salad with rotini noodles, vegetables and creamy dressing. Provide a cheese-and-cracker plate with assorted cheeses and crackers in various shapes that will appeal to young guests.
Create an attractive platter full of deli meats and cheeses. Add a second platter with sandwich toppings like tomatoes, sliced lettuce, pickles and olives. Set out mayonnaise, mustard and creamy spreads with several different kinds of bread or buns so that guests can create their own sandwiches. Don't forget chips and a fruit salad, and the buffet will appeal to almost anyone.
Prepare an assortment of appetizers that guests can fill up on to make a meal. Use readymade mini-filo dough shells and fill them with quiche fillings such as spinach with ranch seasoning or ham and cheese. After baking the mini quiches, serve them warm or cold. Assemble standard sandwiches, filled with tuna or chicken salad, and cut them into small wedges that look dainty on a platter. You could even make bite-sized peanut butter sandwiches with grape jelly for the younger set at the memorial. For a more adult taste buds, try an antipasto platter with deli meats, provolone cheese, artichoke hearts and olives -- all drizzled with olive oil. Add a side of crusty bread to complete the platter.
For a more formal approach, try boneless chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf and several different vegetable side dishes like corn or green beans. To keep the chicken breasts moist, marinade them in a creamy or oil-based marinade. Keep everything warm in crock pots or chafing dishes to invite guests to serve themselves a hearty and satisfying luncheon from the buffet table.
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