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Let's Have A Picnic

We have hosted and planned many reunions on both sides of the house. We started small and built them bigger and better with each passing year. It truly has made huge families closer. We are spread out across the country and while a lot keep in touch through email, Facebook and other means, it isn't like being elbow to elbow in line to fill your plate. We've met cousins we most probably wouldn't have. We've shared weddings, births and the passing of loved ones. There are lots of treasured memories.


Let's Start With The Menu

For 100 People


Hot Dogs

Cowboy Baked Beans

Ramen Noodle Salad

Sweet Club Crackers


Bottled Water



Relish Tray

This tray is a stand alone pre-dinner tray for 50-60 people. If served with other veggie trays and other food, it will easily serve 100. This relish tray includes any number of marinated or "pickled" things, both fruits and vegetables, but no fresh veggies; spiced apple rings, pickles, pickled peppers, spiced pickled pears, pickled mushrooms are some examples. Everything should be very carefully drained and no dip or dressing is served.

Here are quantities guidelines.

64 ounces (4 pounds) assorted pitted black and green olives

64 ounces (4 pounds) pepperoncini or sweet banana peppers (mild pickled peppers)

62 ounces (4 pounds) marinated artichoke hearts or pieces OR marinated green bean cuts

62 ounces (4 pounds) tiny dill pickles

62 ounces (4 pounds) small sweet pickles, cornichons

62 ounces (4 pounds) bread and butter pickles (may substitute whole marinated mushrooms)

Tray garnishes/ section dividers- you need about 6 cans (8 cups,) any assortment.

Canned baby corn

Gardineira marinated mixed vegetables

Pickled onions

OR you can use green onions or stuffed celery and/or carrot sticks as dividers

Chill ingredients, drain well. Divide platter with garnishes, then arrange olives and pickles as desired on a large (14-18 inch)chilled platter. Usually served slightly chilled, may be at room temperature.

Many variations

Rosette radishes

celery stuffed with chicken salad, pimento cheese, nut butter or cream cheese

carrot sticks or baby carrots

whole trimmed green onions

crunchy jicama strips

4 large fennel roots, marinated, sliced

4 pints grape tomatoes (replacing cherry tomatoes)

marinated or pickled pearl onions

marinated mushrooms

hearts of palm

dilly beans (whole marinated green beans)

pickled cauliflower

tiny pickled beets

marinated artichoke hearts

mixed vegetable pickles or gardineira

hot or mild pickled okra

watermelon pickles (made from the rind)

corn relish

chow chow

pickled peaches

spiced crab apples or apple slices

benne (sesame)seed sticks, savory

pickled walnuts

spiced pecans

pickled red beet eggs or deviled eggs

hard boiled quail eggs in curry sauce

Now The Extras - You'll Also Need ...

  • Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns - You will need at least 100 each, maybe even one or two loaves of bread. These can be picked up 3-4 days ahead. Also when ready to serve, keep them in their plastic wrapper and only open 1 or 2 bags of each at a time.
  • Lettuce - You'll need about 5 heads of lettuce. Wash, drain and dry then tear pieces to fit the hamburger bun. Put in ziplock bags with one damp paper towel. You can do this the day before.
  • Tomatoes - 12 to 14 tomatoes. Slice the day before and put in a plastic container.
  • Cheese Slices - 3 pounds or at least 150 slices.
  • Pickles - 2 quarts of hamburger dill pickles.
  • Ketchup - 3 Quarts (preferably squeeze bottles)
  • Mustard - 2 Quarts (preferably squeeze bottles)
  • Dill Relish - 3 Quarts (preferably squeeze bottles)
  • Ice - 50 lbs.
  • 5 Gallons Drinking Water or

    8 or 9 Cases of 24 (16 oz.) bottles of Drinking Water

Hope you're hungry!


What About The Supplies - You'll need ...

  • Gas Grill w/full tank of gas or Charcoal Grill w/super size bag of charcoal
  • Long stick matches
  • Yard Guard insect repellent
  • Plastic table cover rolls (minimum of 150 feet)
  • Couple rolls of paper towels and at least 200 paper napkins
  • 150 foam or sturdy plastic plates

    200 sturdy plastic cups (preferably 16 oz size)

    150 foam or sturdy plastic bowls

  • Utensils:

    125 each sturdy plastic spoons, forks & knives.

    Flippers and Tongs for grilling and serving

    Serving Forks

    Serving Spoons (some solid spoons, some slotted spoons)

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Empty ziplock bags
  • Trash bags
  • First Aid Kit

How to ... - Everything starts with a committee.

It is best to have a team of three people to plan, organize and pull off this shindig!

  1. The committee needs to:

    Plan the menu.

    Compile a list of who will be coming.

    Compile a list of supplies needed.

    Decide where the event will be held.

    Split each list into thirds and each one spend the next week contacting everyone and volunteer/assign everyone something to do or bring. Stress to each person contacted that must bring/or do whatever they have signed up for or make sure it is done.

  2. If working with a park, make sure your deposit is made and the space is reserved.

    If it is at someone's backyard or farm, the team will need to make sure there are tables and chairs. Can use hay bales to sit on, blankets and quilts on the ground, etc.

  3. Compile a shopping list and schedule a date about a week before the event to shop for the items that were not assigned.

    Also about one week before the event, each committee member contact the people on their list to make sure they are coming and bringing their assigned items.


Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

Approximately 150 to 200 hot dogs.

100 to 125 Hamburgers - best to use 75/25 ground chuck. You can ask your local grocer to make these up in quarter pound patties. Pick them up the day before.


Cowboy Baked Beans

Janet's Recipe

1 Gallon Pork & Beans

1 Box Brown Sugar

2 Tsp. Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Red Pepper

1/2 Cup Ketchup

1/2 Cup Prepared Mustard

1 Lb. Hot Sausage

1 Cup Chopped Onions

Fry sausage until done. Drain and crumble into small pieces. Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot or crock pot and simmer for at least 2 hours before serving. These beans are very hot. This is for a large group but you may need to double the recipe because they are so good. You will need to take into account that these are spicy hot and not all people go for them.


Ramen Noodle Salad

Wilma's Recipe

16 oz. Slaw Mix

1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Radishes

1/2 Cup Chopped Red or Green Pepper

Mix together and set aside

Melt 2 Tbs. butter and mix with:

2 Pkg. of Oriental Noodles (crushed)

3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds

3/4 Cup Slivered Almonds

Mix with the melted butter and bag at 350 degrees for 25 minutes but do not let the noodles get brown.

Mix the above together and add the following dressing 1/2 hour before serving:

3/4 Cup Oil

1/3 Cup Vinegar

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp/ Soy Sauce

2 Flavor Packets from the Noodles

This recipe would also need to be doubled.


Sweet Crackers

Deb's Recipe

This almost has the taste of peanut brittle with more of a cookie consistency.

160 Club Crackers

2 3/4 Cups Sugar

2 Lbs. Butter

32 oz. Slivered Almonds

Place foil on cookie sheet, place crackers on cookie sheet. Place almonds on crackers. Melt butter and mix with sugar. Spoon over crackers. Bake at 300 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Remove to a plate and let them cool.

You may want to triple for quadruple this recipe. These puppies are GOOD!



Serves 100

4 Cups Water

8 Cups Sugar

7 1/2 Cups Lemon Juice

Sliced Lemon Rinds

4 Gallons Water

Boil the 4 cups of water and 8 cups of sugar for 10 minutes. Cool. Add lemon juice, lemon rinds and remaining 4 gallons of water.



  1. Live music. If not possible, have a boom box with lots of CD's ready. Learn how to program it for random continuous play and change the CD every now and then.
  2. Have plenty of coolers on hand to hold the ice or use a kiddie pool and cover with clean white trash bags. If serving canned sodas, fill kiddie pool or tub with ice and place individual cans in the ice.
  3. Have a sign in table, set up with a donation jar for the next year. Have several pages and pens ready for groups to list their names and addresses including all their "e" addresses. It will make it much easier to communicate for the next year.
  4. Have door prizes. Have about 25 for a group of 100. They need to be inexpensive and can be like white elephant gifts. You could also do a themed reunion/party and the gifts reflect the theme.
  5. Have tournaments that build fun family rivalry year after year.



    Corn Hole

    Also, it's fun to do bingo. You can use gift cards for prizes.

  6. Have old family pictures mounted on poster board and scattered around the area. It's great to see different groups looking and talking about old times.
  7. Raffle off a homemade quilt for funds for the next year. Have the tickets set up at the sign in table.
  8. Have a football, soccer ball, badminton, volleyball on hand. Also depending on ages that are attending you may need some activities for younger kids.
  9. If using a boom box with a microphone, have a family member who knows most of the people attending be the MC. They can break in and give away the door prizes, keep the tourny's going by announcing who is up next. They can tell funny stories, etc.
  10. Have someone in charge of making tee shirts for each year with the reunion year or theme.

Find Things on Amazon


Proverbs 4:23

The Message

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts.

Reader Feedback

amy1980 on October 02, 2009:

One of the best and most useful recipe lenses I've seen! This is great, thanks!

daviddavid200 on August 11, 2009:

I'm hungry! :)

anonymous on July 21, 2009:

Top notch lens. I have been to your picnics and y'all know what yiou're doing. 5 stars*****

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