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Make an Ice Buffet for outdoor entertaining

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I don't know if this is the proper board on which to post this, but I'm sure the mods will move, if necessary.

There are so many requests this time of year for recipes that can sit out at ambient temp for pool parties or other backyard entertaining. I was at a party last year where there was this ingenious Ice Buffet that I thought I would share.

It was a box about 3' by maybe 4' and maybe 8"-10" deep. I believe it was lined with heavy-duty plastic, like construction garbage bags cut open or maybe a shower curtain liner. No holes in the bottom for drainage, I assume to avoid having people walk through water. Set up on sawhorses.

It was loaded with ice, and whatever anyone brought was set into the ice. It was under a porch, so direct sun didn't hit it. Lids were on the dishes. Everything stayed very chilled.

I don't know how long this would last, but I assume you could scoop out water and replenish with more ice if you had a long party.

Apparently, the owner of this box takes it upon request to the homes of friends and family. I ate the food and lived to tell the tale. I guess what I'm saying is, if you entertain outside a lot, you might want to consider something like this for guests bringing items, if you have an amenable area.

Of course, comments are always a good thing.

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  1. Did you come to my mother's house, nemo? Great minds think alike. She had one made years ago (my uncle did the construction.) He used heavy vinyl, like a pool liner. The only thing was storage, it was pretty long with room for dishes on each side.

    Now I see, in mail order cats, inflatable "kiddie pool" kinds. Makes a lot of sense for storing off-season, but my mom has this one and is really attached to it since my uncle made it. We even stick bottles of beer in it.

    1. What was the box made out of? Cardboard? Wood? Or ????

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      1. re: goodeatsgal

        My mom's is plywood under the vinyl.