Thursday, October 2, 2014

How much is enough?

This morning I had a meeting with our neighbor about our coming joint housewarming party. We decided to organize the party together by the compound pool as we intended to invite same group of people anyway. The meeting was rather interesting, I think, and that's why I wanna share it with you.

So the intention of the meeting was to agree what to buy and prepare and how much and who is responsible of what. The usual, you know. Yesterday evening I prepared a small list of the foods I would like to have. I also checked from Internet how much meat and other things you should expect one person to eat. All together we should have around 20 adult guests and 10 kids. According to a Finnish webpage the amount of meat per person should be around 200g. On top of that there should be about the same amount of vegetables, salads and other side dishes. Plus 40g of bread. Kids would eat half of it. I know, for some of you so specific gram amounts might sound ridiculous. But I hate, absolutely hate, throwing food away, so I don't want to have too much of it. Of course I thought we'd add some extra for the ones who skipped breakfast.

Anyway, I went and showed my calculations to my Polish-German neighbor. She seems to be the planning type also, as she had her own lists prepared. But she was rather shocked about the amount of meat that I had calculated. She wanted to double, maybe even triple it. I'm a bit stubborn and as it is also our money that is involved, I had to disagree. But my neighbor kept her mind, and so we agreed to disagree for now (we decided to ask a French guy, who hosted grill party earlier, how much meat he bought for the same group). Ok, so let's say that we have the ~13 kilos of meat for the crowd mentioned earlier as my neighbor suggested. There has to be some sides of course. I had some grilled veggies, mushrooms and a couscous salad on my list. My neighbor accepted all of these, although she was not convinced someone would eat the veggies and the mushrooms ("I love grilled vegetables and mushrooms!" "But it's not food for you, we will offer what other people want to eat.") Well, I wanna at least have the vegetables, I'm sure someone else likes them too. What my neighbor had in mind was onion bread for starter (I'm looking forward to that :)), cabbage salad, tomato salad, bean salad and potato salad. Plus bread. For dessert there will be altogether five or six cakes. Okey dokey.

Now, my point is not by any means to diss my neighbor as her plans were as good as mine, just different. But I do think the above is absolutely insane amount of food. Here, I cannot not think about our wedding planning in Poland and the crazy amount of food the hotel wanted to offer us. And how we decreased the amount and still it was too much. So what I was thinking is, is this a cultural thing (I love to make all issues "cultural differences")? That in Finland we count the food exactly so that everyone gets something in their belly and it is ok if the food finishes in some point. And in Polish culture (and maybe German?) there has to be always, always food on the table even if no one would be hungry anymore. Or does this have something to do with my education, that I like to calculate and be cost effective? Or maybe it's just simply me being cheap? Also what I noticed is how different things word grill party brings in mind. For me it's some good meat, maybe some sausages, but as much grilled paprika, zucchini, onions, corn and those lovely mushrooms. For me BBQ is definitely not only meat. On the other hand to my neighbor, grill party means loads of meat and different salads as a side dish.

Anyhow, next week should be interesting, especially Wednesday when we will go buy the meat and the veggies with my neighbor. I try to behave and be flexible when necessary. ;)

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