Bored at home? Here's some ideas of things you can do while stuck at home due to the Corona Virus

March 22, 2020

If you’re at all like me this social distancing can get old real fast.  I know, I know, it’s necessary right now if we want to help control the spread of this Corona Virus but sometimes, I still complain.  I’m a social person!  I like to be around my coworkers and my friends.  I enjoy their company and want to spend time with them. 

In the Catering business we spend a lot of time planning.  Planning a menu for a corporate luncheon/meeting or planning a wedding menu we are using our time being creative and find ourselves looking forward to executing the actual event(s).  We run around.  Literally, run…. around.  We run up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs…. we run to the grocery store for supplies, run out the door with a delivery or run across the parking lot to pick up a delivery slip that the wind took out of our hands while loading a car.  Lots of running!  But right now….. we sit.  And I don’t like it one little bit!  I sit at the computer, then I sit on the couch watching the television…. I don’t want to sit.  If you’re like me this quarantine is getting old real fast. 

SO, I came up with a list of things that I’ve done or plan on doing to help be productive and make the time go by.  Feel free to steal some of my ideas if it helps with your own sanity. 

  1.  Clean the dreaded basement or attic.  This I’ve done already but it was no easy feat.  The amounts of bins of Christmas decorations alone were enough to take over half of the basement.
  •  Us the “Touch it Once” rule.  I love this rule!  I read about it in a magazine once and try to incorporate it into my life.  If you pick something up, you “own it”.  You must now put it in its place.  You can’t pick it up, put it down somewhere and say to yourself, I’ll put that upstairs where it belongs later.  Touch it, put it where it belongs. 
  • Cook!  Make a big red sauce that you can freeze when it’s done.  Add some meatballs and sausage to make it nice and hearty.   Or a Soup/Chili that will warm your bones on this chilly day!
  • Set up a facetime chat with your relatives/friends!  You can do it right through Facebook Messenger.  Just click on the symbol that looks like a video camera and add your guests in from there.  Very easy!
  • Clean your cabinet and drawers.  Just do one or two a day so you don’t overwhelm yourself.   And it is Spring already so bring out those spring clothes and get them ready to wear!  Start a “Good Will” boxes.  One for clothes and one for household items.  It feels good to purge and even better to help someone who might need it.  One mans trash is another man’s treasure!
  • Plan your wedding, Family Reunion, Big Birthday Bash!  Now is the time to sit down, make a guest list, seating arrangement or vision board!  This will all pass and you will be ahead of the game when it’s all over!
  • Challenge your family to a game!  My personal favorite is Rummy 500!  “Rummy on the board!”  Break out the Monopoly or the Scategories game, pop some popcorn and have a ball!
  • Organize your contacts, your computer pictures, your files.  Now is the time to get this stuff done while you’re not working. 
  1. GET UP AND EXERCISE!  Every day, go for a walk/run, turn on a streaming work out video or chase the dog around.  We may not all come out of this fit as a fiddle but we don’t want to come out twice the size we were when it all started.

Post some replies on this blog as to what you are doig to keep busy.  We could all use the advice and need some ideas!

Stay healthy all of you!

Sally McCaffrey

Great Circle Catering

Happy Spring!

It’s finally time to move those snow boots into the back of the closet and break out your sandals! What is it about the warm sun on your skin that puts people in a good mood? Brides are planning their weddings from their holiday engagements and parents start planning graduation parties for their graduates! Don’t forget Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Easter! That’s a lot of things to celebrate this time of year and food plays a pivotal part of it all. There is the planning of the menu, the invitations, the RSVP’s, picking the venue, flowers, drinks………it can be exhausting but a labor of love nonetheless.

If you are responsible for hosting an event, then you need to realize that the food is generally the most important part of your job. Remember to provide food for vegetarians, special diet needs and sometimes you’ll need to accommodate different cultures.

But it’s not just the type of food you serve. It is also very important to remember that “Presentation is everything!” My mother instilled that phrase into my brain as a girl who always wanted to help her plan her holiday parties and bridge night gatherings. As a young adult, I tended bar at a local restaurant chain. The restaurant wasn’t anything fancy, just a neighborhood pub, but the food was decent and the price was right. We had many regular customers but there was one woman who I do remember well. Reluctantly I actually learned something from her. I can’t remember her name but at least once a week she would sit down at my bar and enjoy a very cold dry vodka martini. After perusing the menu she would order her dinner and insist that we serve it to her on a “white plate.” Now, roll your eyes if you will, God knows we did, but if you think about it, she was right! The chef’s used to serve their food on “Fiestawear” plates rotating the colors of Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Green, and white and I promise you, a piece of Haddock or a juicy steak always did look more appealing on a white plate which highlighted the entree and let the food stand out.p

Just a few tips to help you get through the spring season cookouts and social gatherings. It’s a lot of work but in the end, after you finally sit down and enjoy a glass of wine and banter with your guests, it’s worth it.

OR, you can always hire a caterer to alleviate all the stress of planning, cooking, presentation and cleaning up. Just sayin……

Happy Spring!

Sally McCaffrey

Great Circle Catering

Happily ever after……

February 6, 2019

Congratulations to all the newly engaged couples out there! It sure is an exciting time in your lives so try to enjoy every minute of it. From choosing the dress, ordering the invitations, picking colors for the wedding party, and more! All fun! Do not let these things stress you out! They should be chosen with love and don’t let anyone rush you through this process.

Now comes………the venue. Where to exchange your meaningful vows to one another. Those beautiful words that you will promise to each other for as long as you both shall live. Make sure you make this one count! My husband and I got married on a beach in North Falmouth, MA. It was 10:30 AM in the morning and a beautiful beach day in August. Our guests were seated on covered chairs on the boardwalk. A sheer runner ran from a courtyard behind the them, through the guests and down the stairs onto the beach. The resort staff had sanctioned off a section of the sand all the way down to the water so all of our guests had a perfect view of us and the water. We had the perfect day. The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot. The sky was blue with white fluffy clouds floating by and the smell of the ocean and the sand between my toes made for a beautiful memory. After seventeen years this day is still vivid in my mind and makes me smile.

Because of this I am an advocate for outdoor weddings. The seacoast is a beautiful backdrop for any event but a wedding makes for a truly special memorable occasion. To this day, I still have friends and family tell me that ours was the best wedding they ever attended. Other outdoor venues includes State Parks, gazebos, gardens, wineries and a good old backyard wedding. With a little imagination and trust in your caterer, you can make any outdoor venue everything you want it to be on your wedding day!

XO

Sally McCaffrey

A Delivery from St. Mike ~ A day in the life of a Caterer.

A Delivery from St. Mike
BY Sally McCaffrey

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the kitchen
Not a creature was stirring, not even our Egan;
The dishes were piled up high in the sink,
With the hopes that St. Ruthie would soon close the link.

Kaitlyn was setting up our jobs for the day
While Linda decided which bills, she should pay.
And James in his chef hat and Marisha in her cap,
Had just prepped the food for our mid-day attack.

When out on the runway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my office to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the back door and I gasped!

The moon beams that lay on the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When I saw something that I only dreamed of,
It was a cargo plane from Ukraine called the Antonov.

While I thought it was Santa or maybe a mouse
Another loud noise came from the front of the house,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Mike!

More rapid than eagles his workers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Kaitlyn! now, Sally! now Angel and Bonnie!
On, Abdoulaye on, Noah! on, Mary and Shelby!

To the window’s, To the wall…..!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane flew,
Off went Sparky out of the parking lot too!
Off to deliver our customers some pie
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So off to the offices the workers they flew
With Sparky full of sandwiches and wraps too—
And then, in a twinkling, she saw in the mirror
The red lights flashing and drawing nearer!

As she drew in her head, and was turning to see,
Down the street came St. Mike and just missed a tree!
Hey Kait, you forgot the garnish”, he yelled and then ran
She grasped the greens but backed into the van. ☹

St. Mike got out of the reefer with a bound.

He was dressed in kitchen whites, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with sauces and smot;
A bundle of parsley he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples you could trace!
Until he saw the dent in the van and the look on her face.
The damage was minimal so he sent her on her way
So we wouldn’t be late for our deliveries today!

He wasn’t that chubby, or plump or even jolly,
And I laughed when I saw him, all covered in holly;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And filled all the boxes with food; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, out the front door he rose;
He sprang out to his car, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Relax……You got this!

Image result for hosting a christmas party

Ho Ho Holy Moley the Christmas Season is upon us already!  Our elves are working so hard in the kitchen cooking up lunches and dinners to our customers!  I want to thank those who have chosen Great Circle to cater to their events! 

If you are like me you like to gather friends and family close to you during this holiday.  My advice to you is “KISS”.  “Keep It Simple Stupid” with these 5 easy steps:

  1. Send out a Holiday evite electronically:   They can be sent out via E-Mail or you can share them on Facebook.  Some are free online like https://www.evite.com or https://www.smilebox.com.   Be sure to include all the pertinent info like date, time, place and be sure to ask for an RSVP so you know how many guests are coming.  Chose your evite card carefully as it will set the tone for the party.    
  2. Host a “Sample Party”:  This year you might consider hosting a “Sample Party“,  where you ask some of your guests to bring their favorite appetizer and others their favorite dessert, right from their own personal recipe box.  Everyone seems to have a traditional dish that their family makes for the holidays.  Why not share the love?  To add to the fun, you could leave out blank recipe cards and those who want to can write down their favorite recipe(s) from the evening.   You could also ask your guest to vote on the top app & dessert dish and provide the winners with a special prize.  It could be as simple as a pair of Christmas oven mitts or a Chocolate Santa.
  3.  Holiday Signature Cocktail: To continue with the “easy” theme, think about serving your own Holiday Signature Cocktail.  You could prepare it the day before and serve it in a big punch bowl or some pretty pitchers.  You could have one pitcher without alcohol for the kiddos and add your favorite spirit to the other.  I find lots of different recipes on Pinterest!   
  4. DecorDecorate to match the theme/atmosphere your trying to create for your party.   Candles go a long way in setting the mood and white lights create an elegant and warm feel.  This, with a few colorful cocktail napkins, is all you might need for decor for a party like this.
  5. Party Favors:  Now he is where you can shine.  Sending your guests home with a little token of your appreciation is key.   I might suggest a recipe box personalized with their name on it and maybe a few treats inside.  I’m pretty sure you can find these at your local Dollar Store and maybe even some things to “BeDazzle” them with.  This will send them home with something they can keep the recipes from your party in.  It’s personal and something they can use every Christmas when they are looking for that “something different” to make.  It’s a nice way to commemorate the occasion.

Creating meaningful memories doesn’t have to drain your energy or your wallet. Save time and money with these easy 5 steps and enjoy the holiday with friends and family!

Sally M