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How to Create the Perfect Memorial Day Meal Plan

May 19, 2015

Summertime is on its way and the official kickoff of the season, Memorial Day, is coming up fast! Memorial Day is a day to remember and celebrate those who sacrificed for our country, but it is also a day to enjoy with family and friends to celebrate the start of summertime.

If you’re hoping to celebrate with a group, chances are that group is going to get a bit hungry. If you’re going to keep all your Memorial Day Weekend tummies filled, you’re going to need a meal plan. Check out our tips for creating the perfect Memorial Day meal plan, so you can get back to enjoying the start of summertime.

Know Who You’re Feeding

The most important thing when planning out a meal plan is knowing who you are feeding. Not just how many are on your list, but their ages as well. Are there going to be kids at your gathering? If so, it’s always a good idea to have a few kid-friendly items on your menu, like hot dogs, fresh fruit, and ice cream!

Take a Head Count

When planning your menu, be sure to take a head count. Although it sounds obvious, many gatherings have been derailed by too many guests and not enough food. It is always better to have too much than not enough. If there’s extra, consider encouraging guests to take home extra desserts like cookies or cupcakes with them to enjoy later!

Keep the Season in Mind

When you’re planning your Memorial Day menu, keep in mind what season it is, and what kind of foods people want to eat (and not to eat!) during the season. In the summertime, it’s always a good idea to have a few items on the menu that are refreshing to help beat the heat. You wouldn’t want chicken noodle soup when it’s hot outside! Alongside your hot options, make sure your menu also includes crisp items like salads, veggies, fruits, and lots of beverages. Having refreshing options on hand will make sure that the people you are feeding stay cool and comfortable during the first big gathering of summer.

Tackle the Main Dish First

Planning an entire menu becomes a lot less daunting if you know where to start, and getting the biggest item out of the way takes a bite out of your planning duties. Start by planning the main dish for your gathering and go from there. Depending on your gathering, a main dish could be a simple salad, chicken, sandwiches, or other great options. Just make sure that there is a main dish on your menu so the rest of your items can play supporting roles. 

Don’t Forget the Sides

Your main dish might be the star, but side dishes and desserts will make the menu. Depending on the size of your gathering, you can offer anywhere from 2-5 side items, and always include at least one dessert. Don’t go too crazy, or your table will be crowded and you’ll have way too many leftovers!

Don’t Get Stuck in the Kitchen

Although it may be tempting to cook everything yourself, that is one way to ensure that you don’t get to enjoy your gathering. Instead, focus on one or two things you can make right before your guests arrive, a few more items that you can make ahead, and others that are store bought.

If you want to save time and stress with your Memorial Day meal planning, you can let the folks at the Village Deli do all the hard work for you. The Village Deli can handle groups of any size with their catering or carry out options, so you can focus on enjoying your gathering with your family and friends.


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