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Food for the Soul



Helpful tips and ideas on designing your dream kitchen
by Maggie T
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FoodFriends' Tips

Our top tip for enjoing life here is to take advantage of everything Penang has to offer.

The first big tip: join FoodFriends!

Second big tip: join the IWA (International Woman Association)

Planning a Party

Just because you are the host, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy the party too. Cooking and entertaning should be fun for everyone, including the host. Here are a few simple suggestions to ensure your party goes smoothly and that you enjoy occasion as much as your guests do.

  1. Make a list of all the people you have invited and work out how many you need to cater for. Check for any dietary requirements.

  2. Select a theme and issue invitations; this is good for creating ambience.

  3. Decide what you are going to serve, choosing dishes you are confident with.

  4. Make a list of all ingredints needed, shop for non-perishables early and perishables the day before, giving yourself time to track down any missing ingredients and for preparation on the day of the party.

  5. Ensure you have enough space in the refrigerator for ingredients, drinks and dishes that need to be chilled. Borrow an extra cool box from a friend if required.

  6. Prepare as much as you can in advance. Include some dishes that can be prepared or partially prepared the day before.

  7. On the day, always leave yourself a little to relax before guests arrive.

  8. For that special table arrangement, call Boon at Buds and Blossoms.

  9. If all of the above stresses you out, call one of the 5-star hotels or other caterers to do the catering for you...that's what I do. Davina

  10. If you are catering for large numbers and need to place your drinks on cool boxes, call Iceman at 2281270. He will deliver large bags of ice and even arrange them in the cool boxes for you.

  11. Take note after each event. Learn from your experience about what works, what does not work - however small.

  12. If you are planning a special celebration and want no stress, call Susan from Focal Concepts, a party planner and she can organise everything.

  13. For those special occasions, it is a good idea to hire someone to take pictures. Call Frankie at De Santia. It has been hard lesson learnt over the years seeing friends cry when there was no film in the camera or, now with digital technology, when the battery goes flat. Also check the lighting - you may have to turn up the lights for a brief period to take pictures. If you have someone taking pictures you can be in the shots with friends. I did this for my big O party and the pictures were fantastic - a good investment. Maggie T

  14. When inviting locals to your house for food, cooking dishes in your own style will usually be more appreciated than trying to reproduce local food (except rice!). Be considerate to culture sensitivities and find out in advance what your guests will and will not eat.

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