I realized yesterday, I haven’t had people over since January. I have wanted to, but between social distancing, health concerns for others and lets be honest, stress, I just hadn’t planned out a get together. A few of my girlfriends and I have gotten together, more often spur of the moment, to sit in one another s backyard, but I hadn’t hosted yet. I started to think about how can I host a social distancing get together and still serve food and drinks and make people feel safe and comfortable? Here is what I created.
It was a small get together, four of us, but it’s about quality not quantity. I’d rather have a small group where I feel I can provide a safe gathering than have many people over and I am stressed out about guests social distancing properly.
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How do I Serve Drinks at a Social Distancing Get Together?
Before COVID, I never worried about having a bunch of drink options all thrown into a cooler and people digging in, touching a bunch of cans or bottles before they found what they wanted. Or offering multiple bottles of wine or liquor at the bar for guests to pour themselves a drink. It didn’t matter that someone had just touched what I was now picking up for myself. But, things are different now.
Therefore, I had to change my set up for drink options. I know my girlfriends enjoy sweet wines, but I also know they weren’t going to finish their own bottle.
So what should I do? THE ANSWER – individual four packs of wine! I bought four 4 packs of different wines, then I gave one of each bottle to everyone. Everyone had an individual bottle of Moscato, Pink Moscoto, Sweet Red and Sangria. And, everyone had their own cooler to keep their wine chilled.
At this chair, the guest had the wine in the cooler, but could also use the cooler as a table.
My director camping chair has a side table on one side and a cooler that pops up on the other side of the chair.
I also had a large lunch box I used for another guest and placed it on a small round outdoor table.
For me, I used my zero gravity chair with the side table. I did not have a cooler, but I was in and out of the house often to get food so if I wanted another bottle, I could grab it out of the fridge.
This was a fun setup because they never had to get up for a drink, no one had to put on gloves and they had options.
How do I Serve Food While Social Distancing?
I was supposed to host a couple weeks ago, but due to an unforeseen reason, I has to postpone. But as I was thinking about how I would have served food to accommodate social distancing and not having everyone touching the same serving spoons, I was puzzled and, a little thankful, I had more time to figure out the answer.
I was talking with my mom about the dilemma and she suggested THE PERFECT ANSWER – ramekins! I have a few small round ramekins. Ok perfect, I can use these for a warm dip!
BUT WAIT! OH CRAP – It’s 11:30 PM! They are coming over in a day!
I’ve created a menu that was made up mostly of appetizer dips and I will need more than just four ramekins!
Literally at 11:30 PM Tuesday night (they were coming over Thursday evening) I realized I only had FOUR ramekins and needed 12!
So, what do you do at 11:30 PM when you need more ramekins the next day? You tired shop on Amazon and hope that they will arrive the next day so you can get them cleaned up to use the following day!
I placed my order 11:45 PM Tuesday night, the ramekins arrived Wednesday night at 8 PM and Thursday morning they were going in the dishwasher so I could use them later in the day!
What did I buy?
Considering I bought these very tired and late at night I am VERY pleased with my purchase! I did have buyers remorse the following morning, but when I opened them, it was gone!
Even in my sleepiness, I had criteria. They needed to be colorful, larger than what I had, dishwasher and oven safe.
I bought –
How to Prepare Food for a Social Distancing Gathering
First, I created a plate of dippers for everyone. Instead of having everyone reach into the same bag of chips, I opened brand new bags, put on my gloves and placed tortillas chips, pita chips and Bountiful Beer Bread on each person’s plate.
Then, I added the ramekin with the cold Mediterranean Dip to the plate. I placed all of these dishes onto a tray and walked them out to my guests.
While we enjoyed the cold dip, the warm dips were heating up in the oven.
Warm Dip Prep
For the warm dips, I built each dip individually in ramekins and heated them in the oven on a cookie sheet. This was fantastic! The ramekins are such bright and cute colors so the presentation was fabulous with pops of color! And who doesn’t enjoy individual servings on their plate?
I used my dinner plates to serve all the warm dishes. Since the ramekins were coming right out of the oven, I folded a paper towel onto the dinner plate and placed the hot ramekins on the paper towel. This protected the plate from the heat of the ramekin and it helped to keep the ramekin in place while serving.
We had a wonderful time visiting with one another. Later into the evening we started the fire and enjoyed a pineapple trifle dessert too. Those were served in parfait glasses.
You CAN still Host a Social Distancing Get Together and Have Fun!
Don’t let COVID and social distancing stop you from enjoying time with your friends. We all wore masks as I served food. The chairs were set up a safe distance from one another and we could still talk easily.
I also washed my hands multiple times while preparing the food & before serving the food, wore a mask while prepping the food and used gloves when handling food.
What about the bathroom? When a guest needs to use the bathroom, ask him/her to wear their mask inside. Also, have antibacterial soap available outside to use before entering the house and keep disinfecting wipes in the bathroom so the guest can wipe down surfaces before leaving the bathroom.
Don’t be afraid to tell your guests that you are following these actions, wearing masks and social distancing, at your house. Your friends will respect this and they can come prepared. If you feel better, have extra masks available if someone forgets their mask.
If your friends aren’t following social distancing and mask wearing then say you’ll see them when things get better. Things WILL get better!
Remember these hosting tips:
- Set up chairs before your guests arrive at a safe distance
- Prepare food in individual serving dishes
- Provide guests with their own table, cooler and drink selection
- Have antibacterial soap available
- Place a garbage can outside
- Take precautions when prepping the food
- Tell your guests your expectations – social distancing and wearing masks before they arrive
Have fun and know you have done all you can to keep yourself and your guests safe.
Save to Pinterest for your next get together