With May comes college graduations and with them come parties. The best are the old fashioned kind done in the backyard. They can go a number of ways , from elegant to super casual. The bottom line is to celebrate the graduate and honor what he or she wants.
If your grad likes an elegant affair, then think casual formal with some catering involved.Many restaurants can offer a wide range of dishes, from shrimp scampi to bruschetta. Some also offer carving tables with roasts like London Broil and turkey. Cheese and cold cut tables can be set up if the grad thinks that hot dishes may be too much for guests.Favorite restaurants also can figure in as well, as the honoree picks out beloved dishes. If money is tight then think maybe just champagne and hot hors d'oeuvres. Luckily there are less expensive brands of sparkling wine such as Asti Spumente if a large crowd is expected. Sparkling non-alcoholic cider can be served to those who can't have alcohol along with the littlest guests. The nibbles can be anything from toasted Brie and apple slices to shrimp pate on toasted baguette rounds. Desserts can be petit fours iced and decorated in the university's colors or small plates of miniature pastries. You can also buy a chocolate fountain for the event. This may seem like an extravagant but it can be used for other gatherings like showers and holiday parties. They can also be rented too for a cheaper deal.If this is too messy then consider making homemade truffles to serve. It's an easy recipe using a simple chocolate and cream ganache.
Most college graduation parties are usually backyard affairs.Again consider what the graduate wants and likes.It could even be a pot luck kind of deal where friends and relatives bring the grad's favorite dishes.Mom and Dad can be in charge of the hamburgers and hot dogs while grans and aunts along with godmothers can bring the chili or potato and macaroni salads.This is the time for celebration so you can even go whole hog - literally - with a pig roast.Some rib joints can roast it for you or it can be roasted at home in the back yard, however remember that the set up is labor intensive and dealing with an entire animal is not for the faint of heart. Consider buying a few racks of ribs instead These are easy to handle and dole out to guests.Fried turkey is another outdoor party favorite. Serve it with a cranberry chutney and grill roasted sweet potato halves along with grilled veggies. If your grad has eschewed all meat, then think of vegetarian or vegan barbecue.Morningstar Farms has some excellent sub ins such as soy dogs and black bean burgers along with chicken patties and even nuggets. Soy bacon and soy cheese can be added for a healthier , more humane bacon cheese burger. Salads can be made with a non egg mayo called Nayonaise that can do the same trick as the real deal. It can be used for salads and dressings. There are vegan bakeries that can make a dairy and egg free cake as well.
Let the college graduation parties begin. Celebrate that degree with a party that the grad will remember for decades. he or she deserves it.