Cooking in someone else’s kitchen

For the birthday party I knew that I would be cooking a lot of food and that some of it would not be in my kitchen.  I also knew that we would be tight on time and that although you can get to Easton easily from Oxford, I didn’t want to be missing key ingredients or equipment.  As you can gather from blog, I’m used to planning but for the party I needed to take it to the next level.

I started with my usual list of what I was going to make.  I then made a spreadsheet.  I added a column for ingredients and listed each ingredient that I needed for each recipe.  I used that to make my grocery list (I bought all of the food here in Baltimore.)  I then added a column for equipment needed for preparation (for example, I didn’t think my mother-in-law had a zester so I took mine to zest the lime for the tuna tartar.)  I then added a column for serving (for example, we took our tasting spoons to serve the tuna and our parfait glasses to serve the gazpacho.)  Because we do a lot of entertaining, we have a lot of stuff.  We also took a set of ceramic labels that you can use to identify food on a buffet.  (I like people to know what they are eating.)

I also took my favorite knife and cutting board, my apron and some really good dish towels.  Additionally I figured out which things could easily be made at home and taken along in a cooler (the gazpacho, the bruschetta toppings, the sauces for the beef, etc.)  We got everything done with time to spare, I had everything I needed (from both an ingredient and an equipment standpoint) and everyone loved the food.

A bit of planning goes a long way!