Inviting the Neighbourhood For a Christmas Dinner

‘Tis the season to plan Christmas dinners and holiday feasts. Here is a traditional turkey dinner menu for 50 people, which we encourage you to personalize, adjusting to your space, time, budget and community preferences.

When planning for a community meal:

Half a roasted acorn squash filled with dressing or cranberry sauce is a delicious, simple and attractive option for vegetarians.
Parchment paper for lining baking and roasting pans will reduce clean-up time.
Bring tupperware containers or zip-lock bags for taking home leftovers and a plan for composting food scraps.

When cooking for a crowd, scaling and measuring food weights (pounds, ounces, grams) is more accurate than using volume (cups, teaspoons, millilitres), although most recipes, especially for household cooking, are listed by volume.

To adjust recipe yields:

Check that the recipe portion size is what you will serve.
Divide the desired yield by the known yield to get a conversion factor.
Multiply each ingredient in the recipe by that conversion factor.
Salt, pepper, and spices will need to be adjusted for taste. If more than tripling the recipe, reduce salt (and high sodium ingredients like soy sauce) by half and reduce spices about a third.

If cooking for a large group:

It may be better to make several smaller batches rather than one large recipe, especially when baking.
It will take significantly longer to prepare, mix, bake, or boil a large amount of food.
Oven temperatures do not need to be adjusted.
Keep notes of what worked well for next time.
Carefully check utensils or measure one portion before serving, as portions that are too large will not yield intended amounts

Photo (Creative Commons): Dinner Series

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