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Seek's avatar

Could I get some help with catering my own party? Perhaps someone that likes math and/or cooking for a crowd?

Asked by Seek (34769points) February 2nd, 2010

I’m throwing my hubby his 40th birthday party. I have about 50 confirmed guests so far, not counting children (there could be up to 15 kids there, but there’s no telling)

The main entreƩ will be open-faced pot roast, mashed potato, and Guinness gravy sandwiches.

I’m making the bread in my bread machine. A two-pound loaf will probably make ten good-sized sandwiches, or 20 kid-sized portions. That’s the easy part.

The hard part is figuring out how many pounds of potatoes I need to make. How many potroasts? How big a portion of each should go on a single person’s sandwich?

I want to plan enough that I don’t run out if a few people go back for seconds, but I also don’t want to be eating leftovers for the rest of my life. ^_^ I’m also planning an array of appetizers, a big batch of vegan chili for the non-carnivores, pasta salad, and some sort of vegetable.

Thanks for the help!!

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13 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Since i am not a cook, i can only say this: whatever you have as a leftover, can be frozen and used at a later date. my wife makes a huge pot of veggie soup and freezes half of it for later consumption. you can do this, too with your leftovers. hope your birthday party goes good for you and i know your husband will love it. i would.

janbb's avatar

I would figure about ¼ to ½ pound of meat per adult and 1/8 for kids. You can put slightly less than ¼ lb. on a sandwich for the adults; about 2–3 slices. That should leave enough for seconds for some. I make about 3–4 potatoes for 3 people so about 50 potatoes? That sounds like a lot; I think I would probably do about 15 pounds or three 5 lb. bags for the potatoes, especially since you are serving appies and other food.

MissAusten's avatar

Do you cook from an actual recipe that lists how many servings the recipe makes? If so, you can double or triple the recipe to find the right amount. For example, I have a pot roast recipe that calls for a 5.5 pound roast and serves 12. For 60 people, you’d need 5 times that amount of pot roast. For the mashed potatoes, I’d have about one potato for every two people. Typically, I make a bit more than I think I’ll need because I’d rather have leftovers than run out of food. You can always send people home with leftovers if you think you won’t eat them or don’t want to freeze them.

Do you ever use If you find a recipe similar to yours, you can change the number of servings and it will automatically recalculate the amounts of ingredients. For people like me, who are bad at math and not always great at estimating how much a recipe will make, it’s a useful tool. :)

Val123's avatar

FIFTY PEOPLE??!! Is it ok if I just sit back here and giggle? :) I have no idea. Hey…maybe call one of the churches? Or…a catering place?

trailsillustrated's avatar

whats an open face pot roast

Seek's avatar


An “open-faced sandwich” is a sandwich with only a piece of bread at the bottom, and it’s generally eaten with a fork.

Seek's avatar


I do barbeques with that many people at my house all the time (about once a month or two). It’s easy when you’re doing chili cook-offs and burgers and whatnot… these more intricate meals are a bit tricky, though. ^_^

Val123's avatar

How come I’m never invited!!

Seek's avatar

You are! It’s this Saturday. I start serving at one o’clock. ^_^ Bring your instrument, if you play one.

Val123's avatar

:) How about I just sit there and look like Farrah Fawcett and then no one will notice that I DON’T play an instrument! (My husband would LOVE it, BTW. He plays 12-string, and he’s quite good.)

HungryGuy's avatar

I can do whatever math you need done. But I have no idea about estimating how many pounds of free coldcut meat and smashed potatoes a person will mooch at such a shindig…

Though as a rule of thumb, I’d go by what YOU would eat given free grub buffet style. Some people will eat more, and some will eat less, so go with the average what a reasonable person will take off the buffet table. From my own experience at family dinners, expect the kids to fill up on chips and crackers and cookies and pop, and have a negligible impact on the meat and potatoes.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

This has almost your exact quantities. 5 lbs. of potatoes feeds about 18 people. You can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time in a crock pot.

I once had a mashed potato martini bar as an appetizer at a cocktail party. Served mashed potatoes in martini glasses, and had cheese, bacon, chives, sour cream, etc. as garnishes. It was a big hit.

Seek's avatar

@PandoraBoxx That sounds so awesome! ^_^

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