June 27, 2011

Starving Artist: Progressive Dinner







Having a youth pastor for a father is an infinitely helpful resource. For one thing, it means never having to think twice about keeping guests entertained at an impending shindig. Simply pull something sensational out of Dad's bag of youth group games which easily translate into fabulous party games!

For another thing, it means oodles of ideas and inspiration when it comes to outings and daytrips. Today we focus on the progressive dinner.

Aptly named, the progressive dinner is a well-loved youth group dinner outing that moves from location to location as it progresses through the courses. This might sound like something that would be complicated to orchestrate, but it is actually ideal from a planning perspective. Each family involved in providing the meal need only prepare one item! None of this dinner-party drama where you have to figure out which side dishes go best with red meat versus poultry and making sure that you have enough salad for everyone and whatnot. Participants are only responsible for one course, usually one of the following:

Salad or fruits & veggies- Pretty self-explanatory. Dip or dressing is a must.



Appetizers- More savory pre-meal munchies. Potato skins, mozzarella sticks, or even a light soup are all great options.

Drinks- Because this is a course all in itself, step it up a notch. None of this milk, water, or juice business. For adult crowds, this stop can be all about fabulous mixed drinks. For a younger crew, unique punches are ideal. Other stops should provide only water as their drink so as to make the most of this one.

Main course- Again, pretty self-explanatory. Just remember, only a main course. None of this spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread. Stay focused and save yourself some trouble.


Dessert- Go wild and wind up the night!



When organizing an event such as this, map out the most direct route among all of the homes of those who have volunteered to cook (or to just buy drinks) and then assign them one of the above courses based on the sequence in which their house will be visited. You will also need people to volunteer to drive. Carpooling makes this easier on everybody. It's so fun to caravan from place to place.

Also, make sure you limit each stop to to 15 to 30 minutes. This might seem rushed, but that is the whole point! The slight frenzy makes it a thrilling dinner you and your friends will remember.

Josh and I would like to try this at the beginning of next semester with the other married couples on campus (all three of them, guess we might need to enlist the help of some other people).

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