Sunday, January 14, 2018

Game Day Hospitality Tables

This blog was originally intended for hospitality room foods at conventions but it can also serve as a game day spread for whole families to enjoy in front of the tv to watch the playoff games and the Super Bowl.

Another season of hospitality rooms is about to get under way.  We usually started off with a trip in early March to State College for the State Hoop Shoot Contest where the season is officially started.  Last year's was a success from what I heard related to me by people who made.

Typical Hospitality Room Food Table
Over the years, I've attended many local, state and national conventions.  In years past in Pittsburgh we were honored to have an annual visit from the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in which there were 10 hospitality rooms set up at the hotel.  At the time, only my husband was an active member but the preparation for the Lodge Hospitality Room was a group event which involved not only the members but their wives as well.

Chopped Vegetable Tray
Many a night was spent chopping vegetables and cubing cheeses to be used on trays.  That is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak if you need to host a room.
Cubed Cheese Tray
 Preparations such as making sure there are enough electrical outlets in the room and the use of a refrigerator needs to be ascertained prior to even checking into the hotel.

One year, the person in charge of the room at the State Convention then held at 7Springs only had a selection of fruit trays.

Fruit Tray
 A tray of cut up melon and grapes is always a good addition to the table.

The year my husband was in charge of a smaller visit from the Grand Lodge a group of ladies from his work donated several boxes of assorted cookies that they had baked.  The cookie trays looked like they belonged at a wedding.

Cookie Tray
Another aspect is to be sure that you have enough donated desserts, cookies and other dishes to make a good presentation on your tables.  This trifle would be a good selection to be taken to the convention.  The pudding can be purchased in cans and not need to be refrigerated prior to assembling the dessert.

Pound Cake Trifle

One of the best dishes that was prepared by our Lodge was barbecued sausages.

BBQ Sausages
 A past president and his wife were also involved in Boy Scouting and he had the best recipe for barbecue sauce and would bring a gallon to the convention to be used in an electric roaster full of either the sliced sausages or meat balls.  Either one was immensely pleasing to the attendees.

Sandwich Ring

At conventions where we were not permitted to use electric roasters, we would bring sandwich rings and cut them into individual portions.

Sandwich Ring sliced for serving.

Having a good mixture of donated foods takes planning and a list of what is being brought needs to be worked on for months in advance of the event.

Ham Barbecue

In recent years, we have been lucky enough to have a volunteer to handle the hospitality room who not only plans but also prepares his own selection of hot foods.  It was great being able to come to the hospitality room between sessions and eat a ham barbecue or sloppy joe sandwich.  That is what I call going above and beyond duty.

Sloppy Joe's

Another aspect of the room is having a good list of volunteers for bartenders and a list of when they will be on duty.  Again, this means having someone available to slice and chop lemons and limes as well as having a nice selection of drinks available.

Once you have all your preparations in place and people to help with the room, you need to make up a schedule of when your room is going to be open to guests.  It is important to leave time for yourself and the people helping you to get to meetings and other functions at the convention.  The schedule for the room should be set and adhered to in order to give the people running it time to clean up and set up for the next time it will be open.

The reason for this blog is to point out that it isn't easy being in charge of the hospitality room.  It takes careful planning and the help of many people to run efficiently.  For all who attend the convention circuit, happy travel and happy socializing.

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