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May 10, 2012 07:40 AM

I call it a graduation garden party, kids call it a kegger...

Two of our adult children are graduating college this spring, one with a bachelor's the other with an associate's... soon to be 27 and 23 yr. old. We are having a party at the house Saturday for the both of them. I'm in charge of the food, husband is doing the grilling, sister-in-law is tending bar. I really have no idea how many are coming, but have 96 plates. 16 gallon keg.
We asked what they wanted to eat, and they want burgers and hot dogs. For my daughter and some others, I made vegetarian (not vegan) burgers. I've pre-cooked them, have them in the freezer, will put on a foil grill pan on the grill to heat through. We have a grill dedicated to just that. One type of burger is made with red lentils and a bunch of odds and ends, including ginger, soy, lemongrass, chili. Those will be basted with "Hawaiian" sauce (from a jar, mango, papaya, passion fruit. daughter has spent some time in Hawaii and those flavors). The other batch of veggie burger is a brown and wild rice blend with sharp cheddar cheese, Montreal grill/steak seasoning.
We'll pick up some beef and beef hot dogs, haven't quite decided which route to go there. I know the kids wouldn't mind cheap dogs, but, I just can't go there. We have options for the beef, ranging from supermarket (which here is fine), and a couple of butchers to choose from. I took the day off tomorrow, so will probably figure that out then.
I'm making a big pot of vegetarian baked beans (molasses based), and I'll make cupcakes for dessert. I think kids will get chips, have someone bringing salad, another bringing veggies and hummus... I want to keep it simple. I have a variety of sandwich spreads in squeeze bottles, (catsup, mustards, mayos, relishes, etc), and will do some sliced onions, tomatoes, pickles. Will have butter lettuce to use as wraps for the red lentil burgers.
Waters... variety of some soft drinks.
hmmmmmmm......... am I missing anything? (other than my mind?)
People are bringing instruments, jamming around the fire pit, plus the kids play a game with pvc pipe, balancing a beer bottle, and a frisbee... there will probably be a hula hoop or two as well...

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    1. re: nemo

      Yes, was thinking of fruit, maybe some cut melon, strawberries, pineapple? .... cupcakes for dessert.

    2. If you have a bunch of vegetarians (which it sounds like you might from the food list), might want to pick up some veggie dogs? Since you'll have all the trimmings for the meat dogs already, grabbing a pack of those and letting people throw them on the veggie grill wouldn't be much extra work for another veggie option.

      1 Reply
      1. re: antimony

        Good idea. I thought about a vegan option, and some vegan dogs might work.

      2. congratulations! i think you have plenty going on. just wanted to add remember some n/a beverage options. there may be some designated drivers or abstainers in the crowd.

        plus one on some fruit.

        1. Yes, plenty of water, juices. Special gifts for the designated drivers are nice....our college used to do homemade chocolate chip cookies. Make sure the twentysomethings there designate drivers if they're drinking, or have them stay over. I'm in Massachusetts, and liability laws are scary...not to be a schnook with the comment. I'm sure you and your kids have already thought of that. :-)

          1. Yep, waters, ice tea, soft drinks, and DD's. We have a tipsy limo service in town, I think the driver will be by during the evening. I talked to my daughter on her way out to her last final this morning about liability, sober drivers, kids sleeping in the yard.... we have some small tents, sleeping bags, that type of stuff. back yard.
            and we've told the neighbors, invited them. We aren't going to supply hard liquor. Maybe I'll get some sober badges or something, a gift for DD's is a great idea.