Some groups of people organising a buffet meal for a number of people like to organise all the details in advance. There are lists to sign with all the required items and people indicate what they intend to bring. It works well and (as long as enough people are prepared to co-operate) takes some of the worry out of the arrangement for those in charge.
I remember my daughter (aged about 5 years) coming home from school with the following message. “It’s our Christmas party on —day – I’ve put you down for tuna sandwiches.”
“Right!” I replied. It was not her fault that I had no confidence in my ability to make sandwiches look attractive. I knew I couldn’t get away with tuna on its own between bread and spread; I had no mayonnaise in stock. Fortunately the village shop had some and the sandwiches were produced as promised. Had she asked for sausages on sticks or some sort of nibbles I could have bought, my heart would not have sunk!
An alternative arrangement to the list (common among smaller groups of people) is known as, “Bring and share”. This is a meal, where everyone brings something, but nothing is done to ensure that a balanced meal is provided. I have been to several of these, particularly over the last few years. My contributions have varied depending on the time of year, the type of occasion and what ingredients I have to hand.
There used to be a joke that everyone took quiche!
I can remember taking (on different occasions) hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, upside-down pudding, a bottle of wine, cheese scones, cheese. The latest one I went to was the last meeting before Christmas of the ladies’ Bible study group. I decided the day before, that cheese scones would be suitable and I could get up in time to bake them before the meeting. The previous night I put out all the baking equipment in preparation. There was far too much food for five ladies to eat for lunch (sometimes there have been ten of us). However, the food on offer included fruit – grapes, fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit, satsuma segments (or similar) – meat, cheese, various sorts of cake including the Christmas speciality, known as mince pies as well as fruit juices.
It was an enjoyable meal with good company. I was glad I had taken scones as there were no sandwiches or other bread products. The only information I had regarding what others were likely to take was negative. One lady, who sometimes bakes cheese scones, had a prior engagement.
Have you been to a bring and share lunch? How did it turn out?