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Cooking for a family reunion with distant relatives.

 
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My cousin just let me know through instant message that they’re planning on organizing a family reunion to meet our estranged relatives, who are flying in from all over the world. Since I’m the chef in our family, he’s tasked me with coming up with the menu for the event and cooking some samples that would suit everyone’s palate. Apparently, we have an aunt and grandmother traveling all the way from Barranquilla, so I want to make sure they can appreciate the food I cook for them. Any tips on cooking for Colombian women?
 
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Location: Northern AZ
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solar greening the desert homestead
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Ha! There's no pleasing everyone - good luck.

We tried a menu based around salads for a recent get together, which worked out great. We made all the food the day before and stored it in bags in the fridge so we could easily refill serving bowls as needed. We made
Jicima and grapefruit salad (just 2 ingredients),
Apple, carrot, and raisin salad (tossed in a little lemon juice),
Fruit salad with walnuts - lightly coated in yogurt,
Mediterranian salad with quinoa and bacon,
Black bean and mango salad (w/ onion, cilantro, lime),
Green garden salad.

We stayed away from pasta/ breads, mayonaise, added sugar, and meat (except the bacon) to include as many diets as possible with the salads. Grilled meat kabobs, a cheese/olive tray, bread basket, and a cheesecake rounded out the table.

I'd just focus on keeping it fresh - since that brings a quality to the table that is appreciated worldwide.
When I'm traveling, it's the exotic tastes that you never experience at home that I love to try most... so just cook what you know best and trust your guests will be gracious and have adventurous palates.
 
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Around here, we have a rather standard meal that we prepare for such occasions.

Funeral potatoes: potatoes in a cheese sauce and baked. Served hot.

DIY Sandwiches: bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, or other sandwich veggies and an assortment of sauces.

Salad: Only mixed vegetables. Things like dressing, cheese, crotons may be added separately by the guest.

Having a do-it yourself sandwich and salad allows people of any dietary type to choose which ingredients to include or exclude from their plate.
 
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