Ever since we showcased our ideas for seasonal wedding menu I have received several emails from brides asking for some advice on how to make the menu “come to life”. For this special post I had to call in my friends from Rambling House Events since they are the experts at making a menu work at a party. Here are their 4 tips for planning a seasonal menu.
4 Tips for Planning a Seasonal Menu
Do some digging
What’s in season and when it is varies greatly from region to region, so do a little research! Not only will in-season foods be at peak quality, they’ll also be cheaper than out-of-season items that need to be shipped in. And remember that seasonality is about more than just what’s growing. The weather dictates what people want to eat: cool, composed salads are light and refreshing for a summer event, while roasted vegetables and warm vinaigrettes take the chill off in the cooler months. Once you’ve discovered what ingredients you’ll be using, you can decide what to prepare.
Mix it up
While one pot meals are great for family dinners, guests at an event are expecting a menu full of dishes that look as good as they taste. Consider using a range of colors, textures, and food groups. Limiting yourself to seasonal ingredients does not mean limiting the variety of dishes and flavors.
The key to a seasonal menu is balancing flavors and keeping the star ingredients fresh and exciting from course to course. If blueberries are in season, you can use them in a salad dressing, as a glaze for meat, in a rice dish, and in dessert, all by switching up the way you use the ingredient. Don’t forget that seasonal flavors tend to compliment other seasonal flavors; nature provides us with foods that work well together, and taste delicious on their own and when combined.
Remember to be flexible
If you’re choosing to create a seasonal spread, remember that your menu plan will probably not be an exact match of what ends up on the table. Things as seemingly simple as too much rain or too many hungry deer during a season can wipe out an ingredient that you may have been planning to use. Just relax, and remember that whatever foods are available locally are going to be quality and delicious; it’s all about applying your intended flavors and ideas to a different ingredient.
Repeat after us: It can be done!
Rambling House – Rambling House is an event and food design company that specializes in personalized event décor and unique culinary products with a local focus. A traditional Irish “Rambling House” is a family home where localsgather to share in good conversation, storytelling, and song and dance. We strive to bring that spirit of community, tradition, and celebration together with each personal touch we add to your event, from handmade décor to our quality dishes produced from local food sources. Above all, our mission is to make your family and friends feel right at home. Visit Rambling House Events on Facebook.