We had a super hot weekend where it got into the hundreds on the Peninsula… these old houses don’t have air conditioning either! 😦 It was poor timing to schedule a family get together in conjunction with the heat, but it seemed like the only weekend that family could get together to catch up. So I held a party. We ended up hanging out outside, which worked out well.
The party was also a good excuse to use up my 45 homegrown tomatoes (for so many people). So I ended up doing a Mexican build-your-own buffet. My tomatoes ended up going into fresh salsa and my chicken tinga sauce.
My chafing dishes arrived on the day of the party as well, which was nice to use, but super last minute! The burners and half-sized hotel pans did not come in time, but I was able to keep everything nice and warm or cold by utilizing the hotel pans beneath (i.e. adding ice or adding boiling water and pre-heating in the oven) and make do without the smaller hotel pans.
Below is my spanish rice, some flour tortillas (from a bag), and black beans that were soaked overnight and cooked with bay leaves, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion powder, s&p.
My condiments/fixings/toppings were easy to put together a day in advance and pull out straight from the fridge. I had cilantro, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole, sour cream, limes, and mixed cheese. Next time I will put ice around the condiments to fill in the gaps, but it kept pretty well nonetheless! It was such a stress-free party, unlike the other ones I’ve hosted where I’m cooking to the very last minute so everything can stay hot. These chafing dishes will definitely be used for when I host Thanksgiving this year! 😛
Inside peak at the condiments: