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Ideas for meal for LARGE group

Last post Feb 07, 2008 4:44 PM by zakons . 10 replies.

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  • Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Good morning.. Our community has been chosen as an overnight stop for a bicycle ride that brings about 20,000 people to the communities it passes through. For those of you that live in Iowa you will know it as RAGBRAI.

    I am involved in not only one but 4 groups that wants to fundraise by having food stands or a meal of some sort.  Two of the groups that I am involved in are very small so I think we would be better off selling something like pop, water or a quick one item menu like Sweet corn or Root beer floats. But the other two groups need some creative ideas.

    We do have one idea to do a baked potato bar with all kinds of toppings (chili, cheese sauce, broccoli, etc) and I think the Music Boosters may do that, but my church would like to do a supper at the church and I would think that we could easily plan to serve between 500 and 800 people from the sounds of it.  I have been doing some research and lots of churches do Pasta dinners but we are the wednesday night stop and I have talked to a few people that ride on it and say that Pasta is nice but since so many places do it, they are kind of sick of it by mid week. I can think of stuff like BBQ pork sandwiches or something like Scalloped potatoes and Ham but then its July in Iowa (HOT!)  so that may not be popular!  I thought a taco bar may be nice, but that may be too much to handle for that big of a crowd.

    So if anyone has any fantastic ideas I would appreciate it. I have one meeting tonight with the Church so I would like to bring some thougths along!  Even if they are ideas for other single item hot sellers that you may have done at fairs or carnivals.. or something different! Thanks in advance for the help!  



  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Hot or not, I'm sur they'l enjoy the BBQ sandwiches, or potatoes/ham.  Serve raw veggies and dip as sides to keep things balanced, and maybe ice cream for dessert? 

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

     Another idea -- hotdogs. . . we do them in crockpots, and let the people add their own toppings.

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    From what I'm reading, this will take place in the summer.


    How about cold meats with salads?   We have done similar things at the curling club (admittedly for nowhere near as big a crowd).  But if you buy hams and big roasts of beef and cook them, then slice them on an electric slicer when they have cooled down, you know you have good quality meat (because that's what you bought) and it goes a long long way.  Much, much cheaper than buying cold cuts.  If you're  fundraising for local groups, ask your local stores if they will give you a discount if you'r e buying huge quantities.  Every little bit helps.


    In the summer you can then take advantage of local produce which will be guaranteed fresh plus it's supporting the local economy.   Whether you serve a meal of cold cuts and salad or a "snack" on buns where people can help themselves, in summer this would make a welcome change from the pasta nights these people may have everywhere else.


    Sounds like a lot of hard work but loads of fun as well.  Have fun with it.

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Nachos are a big year round seller here. People don't care if it's 100+ outside...they want nachos. LOL

    Heat up one of those #10 sized cans of nacho cheese sauce in a crockpot or two, ladle it over a pile of chips, and offer sliced jalapenos. We can get the supplies at Costco or Sam's and the bottom line is something like .22 ea. for a rather large plate. Charge $1.50- $2 depending on what you think you can get by with.

    I like the ease of prep. Aside from buying the ingredients, heating the cheese sauce is the only prep involved.Yes 


  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    one of our favorite meals is...bbq pork (can be done ahead and keep in crockpot), potato salad, slaw, baked beans, and a vegetable tray....have something cold for dessert....maybe angel food cake with fruit salad? or ice cream of some kind....

    Hope you have lots of fun!


    Check out my cooking facebook page! Cooking in Jill's Kitchen~ 

    Been a big fan of TOH since I was a 'tween'!!! I was sooooo excited to be asked to become a Volunteer Field Editor in June 2013!!

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Good post Carny! My town is the Monday night stop, Hard to imagine 20,000 people in our little small community! Have not heard many plans yet of what will be going on here! I am watching this post tho!

    Sue in Iowa

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    I'm from IA to and I just love Raigbria!!! So fun!! It went through our town a few years ago when I worked at our local soda shop. My job was to bag donuts. To this day I can not eat donuts!! LOL!

     That day we also did hot dogs and hamburgers...easily cooked in mid morning when it's still cool and kept warm in roasters. That and some potato salad or a small bag of chips is great!


    Another idea is walking tacos...


    It also went by my parents house and for fun my entire family (we are a big bunch) came over and we had signs up that said free shade and we gave away bottles of water and bananas. We had a guest book for people to sign that stopped to rest in our yard. My dad had got a Carmen Electra Budweiser cardboard cut out from a local bar and every where it said budweiser we taped a label from the water bottles and we taped a bottle of water to her hand. We also found a huge blow up banana and a couple of bikes from long long ago! Just way too much fun and one of my favorite memories!!

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Don't know if this would be good or not...but a caramel apple stand...

    Get one of those apple slicers that you push down on the apple and it quarters it....

    Put some apple slices in a paper bowl, and pour some melted hot caramel ontop of the apples...

    These are great sellers at a festival we go to all the time...

    Make sure they each get a napkin..

    Don't drown the apples, just pour some caramel ontop of the apple slices...


    Easy to serve, eat and are very good...

    A great way to eat an apple that is not really messy..

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    Hot Dogs in a crock pot
    RE: gaudrey's Hot Dog Heaven
    Posted by: TriainAtlanta
    You don't have to add any water. I got the idea, originally, from an old Rival recipe. I used to make them for Gymnastic meets when my boys did gymnastics in high school. Actually - we sold them at some of the meets. I would also make hot dog chili to put on them sometimes - or at least when we had a smaller gathering or a party for the kids.

    You just pile the hot dogs in the crock pot and cook it on high for about an hour. If you are going to leave them longer - turn them to low.

    Posted by: candykisses_Oklahoma  it.


    Serves: 8 generous servings
    Effort: easy

    1 lb. ground beef, lean
    2 med. onions, chopped
    3 t. minced garlic
    1 T. prepared regular mustard
    1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
    2 T. chili powder
    4 hot dogs
    salt & pepper to taste

    In non-stick cooking skillet cook ground beef and onions. When done put in strainer and make sure all grease is pushed out. Then run through food processor to grind up small.
    Combine garlic, mustard, tomato sauce & chili powder. Let simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I covered with a lid. Grind the hot dog and add to sauce. Stir. Cook 15 minutes longer. Put over hotdogs in a bun.

  • Re: Ideas for meal for LARGE group

    I remember last year this topic came up...One lady said, the bikers requested different kinds of pies....They just craved pies.....Just a thought...