Thanksgiving dinner for 20 this weekend
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    Question Thanksgiving dinner for 20 this weekend

    Okay, so it's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, and we're having about 20 guests. In order to make this more manageable and frugal we have turned it into a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the guests are International students, so I will cook the traditional turkey dinner, but they will augment with food from their various cultures.

    My question...we do not have a dishwasher. So, what brand/kind of disposable plate holds up best to gravy? I don't want guests sitting on the couch with soggy plates in their laps. Any ideas?

    Are there any other tips you can think of to make this go easier and with less work? I'm debating trying to fit people around tables (because of gravy), or just letting them make do with coffee tables for tables and the sofa for seating. Not sure I have 20 chairs.

    How do I go about planning this thing so it works?

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanut View Post
    My question...we do not have a dishwasher. So, what brand/kind of disposable plate holds up best to gravy? I don't want guests sitting on the couch with soggy plates in their laps. Any ideas?

    Are there any other tips you can think of to make this go easier and with less work? I'm debating trying to fit people around tables (because of gravy), or just letting them make do with coffee tables for tables and the sofa for seating. Not sure I have 20 chairs.

    How do I go about planning this thing so it works?
    The 'decorated plates'.........usually have sort of a 'coating' on them where things don't soak in............but more expensive too. Any 'plain paper' plates that I have used will soak through...................have any paper plate holders? If not, cheaper to buy the 'waxed plates'.............

    Hey.........they are young.........let them sit on the floor.........or if a nice day, how about outside at a picnic table? the steps...the porch....

    Put up what chairs you have and first come..........first served............the rest sit on floor.

    I am not sure it would be great with that sort of meal.............but think about the SILVERWARE.........any way you could use plastic? I know it is a pain in the butt when cutting meat..........but too often, I have seen people TOSS SILVERWARE when tossing a paper plate................just a thought!! (you could always 'threaten with death' if that happens!! )

    Unless you have PLENTY OF ROOM I sure wouldn't try to 'seat' them all...........Have everything on one table and let the crowd circle around to load their plates.........like a buffet! And arranged accordingly...........

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    Yeah, I'm rethinking the cutlery. I have enough silverware for everyone, but I don't want to lose it. I think I'll head to a local wholesaler to pick up some sturdy plastic cutlery.

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    Get the coated plates, or see if you can find any cheap plastic ones. Our dollar stores have clear hard plastic plates in the party/wedding section 8/$1.

    You're making the turkey, so if you can, slice it really thin, this will make it easier on people who have to cut it with a plastic knife.
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    The plastic plate idea is the best I've seen. Dollar stores? Maybe even GW or thrift stores? If you can find a deal, that would probably be just about as cheap as the coated disposable plates. I'm sure you can find some decent quality plastic tableware, too. As for seating, I agree with ff. Not many people have table space and/or room space to seat that many people. Fellowship and goodwill is the name of the game on Thanksgiving so I think it would be perfectly acceptable to serve a buffet and let people sit wherever they can find a spot. Personally, I love those types of celebrations rather than the more stiff and formal things.

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    plastic coated plates and plate holders if u can afford them..plastic forks and knifes..juice boxes for kids.... let children sit were they can watch theirs....if it is pretty let some sit outside...good luck and have fun.....

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    Thanks everyone. It will be too cold and dark outside to eat/spend time outside. It gets dark at 7 PM here now. But I'm thinking I could set the kids up watching a movie in the basement, away from adults. Think that's a good idea?

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    I think that would probably be fine depending on the ages of the children. They may need some type of supervision if they are young or like some kids I know.

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    I helped host a baby shower/BBQ this past summer and had to buy the disposables. There was at least 50 people. This was what I bought.

    From WalMart:
    * Royal Chinet - appetizer & dinner plates (not platters) - buy the $15 pack - better value
    * Great Value clear plastic cutlery multi packs. These are stronger then the generic white coloured ones

    From Dollarama Plus:
    * Bounty Napkins
    * Dixie plastic drink cups - cold
    * plastic drinking straws
    * foam drink cups - hot
    * foam bowls - for ice cream or whatever
    * fancy'ish serving platters - various sizes, metal & plastic that looked like crystal
    * plastic serving utensils (non disposable)

    Hope that helps. I also agree with first come, first serve gets a good seat (chair, sofa, table) and the rest can fend for themselves. Its not a formal sit down meal, no need to have a formal setting. More casual to move around and sit on the floor.

    As for the option of a movie for the younger or those interested, I like it. Just like with any holiday, not everyone's going to want to sit around together the entire time.

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    I'm with Libby - Chinet is the way to go for plates. They are more expensive, but a lot thicker and sturdier.

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    Don't be afraid to use patio furniture or have people bring a card table and folding chairs. The kids can eat on the floor in the basement. When I had 18 people over I ended up using the sofa and loveseat as extra seating and used a table I had outside and my table the extends to fit 6-8 people. There was enough room for everyone with the added chairs. So the sofa and loveseat were on one side of the tables and the chairs on the ends and other side of the table. I have a small one bedroom apartment.

    Do you know anyone with tv trays you could borrow for the day? Having people sit on the floor near a coffee table of chest is also fine.

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    movie ideal is great and keeps kids occupied..so the adults can visit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by peanut View Post
    Thanks everyone. It will be too cold and dark outside to eat/spend time outside. It gets dark at 7 PM here now. But I'm thinking I could set the kids up watching a movie in the basement, away from adults. Think that's a good idea?
    What movie? How many kids? What ages? How are you going to pick a movie that various ages all like..........unless all young.........or all teens.

    How much "other stuff" is there to get into in the basement? How well behaved are the kids? Who will monitor them?

    Just a few little questions that popped into my head....................

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    the only paper plates w ever use are chinet they are the only ones that hold up.

    cant remember the brand, but there are clear thck plastic dishes in the disposable isle at the store that are wonderful and hold up fabulously.....

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    My family when all together for Thanksgiving is 35. I have my china for 16 place settings & I supplement plain white china also. Anyway - I have a great fix it and forget it recipe for mashed potatoes in the crockpot that you can do days ahead. I usually prepare it the day before and bring to my parents the day of. Ever since I started making them everyone requests them and those nieces/nephews that are working usually request that their parents bring some of Judy's mashed potatoes home as leftovers. I usually double the recipe and do 10 lbs. at a time. Let me know if you're interested and I'll post it.

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