It takes A LOT of food to feed 55 people 3 meals a day for 5 days! Here is how we planned and prepared all of the family reunion food.
We filled 3 flat beds and 3 carts at Costco one evening and that was only HALF the food!!
We were the only family that lived locally so a lot of the planning and executing for the reunion fell on us which we were very happy to do.
Our group was divided between three houses. We stocked each house with breakfast and lunch food so they could eat when they wanted.
Family Reunion Food Ideas for Breakfast
Breakfast foods included lots of cold cereal for all those kids, eggs, sausage, pancakes, bacon and bread for french toast.
- Family Reunion Food Ideas for Lunch
Lunch foods included lunch meat, cheese and condiments, top ramen, mac & cheese and hotdogs.
There was lots of snack food too – chips, fruit, Goldfish crackers, licorice, fruit snacks, granola bars, trail mix, animal crackers, juice boxes, etc. No one went hungry!
Meals Ideas for Large Family Gatherings
Dinner menus were pre-selected and then assigned to various family members. We all ate dinner together each night. The house that was cooking that night hosted dinner at their house.
Friday night was our arrival day. Since we couldn’t check into the houses until 4 p.m. we needed to make sure dinner was quick and easy. We made a stop at Costco on our way out of town and picked up lasagna, salad and garlic bread for dinner. Brownie bites and pineapple upside down cake was for dessert – all bought at Costco. We love Costco!!
Saturday night was our cookout. We had hoped to do it on the beach but it was a little windy so we opted for the backyard. The kids had a great time roasting their hot dogs over the fire pit and we put the burgers on the grill. Thanks to my niece Brendy for making the great JDawg sauce for the hot dogs. It was yummy and I even ate a hot dog! I’ll be sharing the recipe soon.
My two handsome boys were home!
For dessert of course there were s’mores. What would a cookout be without s’mores.
On Sunday we had a special celebration for my in law’s 60th wedding anniversary. We rented the Community Hall in Manzanita and had a lovely program and dinner of roast, potatoes and carrots, salad, watermelon and rolls. Dessert was brownie sundaes with fresh berries.
Monday’s menu was Hawaiian Haystack. One of the great things about this meal is people can personalize it to their own taste. We had a table full of lots of fun different toppings.
Cheese, celery, pineapple, peanuts, chow mein noodles, sunflower seeds, bananas, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and I’m sure I have forgotten something!
Tuesday was our final day and that was Cafe Rio night! Yum!!
We had sweet pork, lime cilantro rice and black beans. There was also a yummy cilantro dressing for the salad. I think there was watermelon at every meal! Dessert was banana pudding.
On Tuesday morning we headed down to Tillamook to hike Cape Lookout. No trip to Tillamook is complete without a stop at the cheese factory for lunch! Cheeseburgers!!
and of course ice cream!!
Pre-planning the meals really worked out great and people appreciated not having to decide what they were going to make. Between Emily and I we did all the shopping and then just divided all the food up between the three houses.
Most of the dinners could be made ahead of time and just kept warm in the oven or crock pot. I took my two crock pots and rice cooker from home which helped a lot as well as a couple of additional bigger roasting pans.
The great thing about Hawaiian Haystack and Cafe Rio is that people can tailor it to their own taste. Adding on or leaving off whatever they want.
We ate well and no one had to spend every day slaving away in the kitchen.
Would love to hear what you have done for food at your family gatherings or reunions! Leave a comment and let me know.