Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby, You Might Need A Shower

"Lawzy, we got to have a doctor. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies" 
Prissy, Gone With The Wind, 1939

Fifteen years ago, I knew nothing about babies. A month before my son was born a lovely shower was held in his honor. The highlight of everyone's afternoon was during gift unwrapping time when I held up what I now understand is a bib and proclaimed... "Oh, look a darling little apron!" 
Later, when the laughing subsided, I learned there were many, many more baby things I was clueless about. Having catered bundles of them, baby showers I do know.

Serving from the kitchen island, photo rfontes
First there is no set rule for when or where showers are to be held, but typically they include refreshments. Depending on the time they are held they can be simple cake and punch affairs or include a full meal.The number of guests, budget and style of the shower help determine what menu a host offers. Most showers I have catered are brunches, luncheons, and teas.

The following is a menu for a luncheon for about 35 guests catered last year

baby shower menu
mandarin chicken salad with wonton ribbons and sesame dressing
 greek salad with julienne turkey
 and lemon vinaigrette
creamy shell pasta salad with fresh spinach and yogurt dressing 
grand mariner fruit salad
fresh baked zucchini bread
variety of tiny bite sized desserts

Salads make a beautiful presentation, photo rfontes
Shower Fare
Classic menus for breakfast and brunch include quiche and other baked egg dishes. Crepes, Belgium waffles or French toast, salads, fruit and pastry are also popular. Lunches typically feature a light entree or entree salad. Palm sized sandwiches or sliced cold cut trays, prepared salads, cake and cookies. Teas are known for small sandwiches, petite sweets, and scones.

Petite sweets and chocolate dipped strawberries, photo rfontes

How To Turn Up A Shower Menu 
While the above classic menus are great shower offerings, consider serving your own creative dishes or something unique and memorable. Here are some ideas to get the ideas flowing;

Dim Sum breakfast
DIY decorate a cookie or cupcake station
Soup Bar
Tempura and stir fry
Tapas menu
A variety of fondue
Mini Dutch potatoes with toppings
Tiny burgers or mini chicken sliders
Wrap sandwiches or stuffed pita
Luau style lunch
Unique foods like baby Kiwi

Baby Kiwi?
I interrupt this post to bring you a cool new, well new to me, fruit variety- baby kiwi. I just learned about them from Melissa's Produce. Fuzz-less grape like beauties you can just eat as is.The babies are here for a short time, tasty, sweet and oh, so fine!

Melissa's Baby Kiwi, photo rfontes

Baby Shower Basics
Hold a baby shower about two months prior or about a month after a baby is born, invitations should be mailed. In the past, baby showers were women only events given for the family's first child.Today, it has become common to hold showers for subsequent or children, and invite men as well. Showers are still considered adult functions unless it is held after the baby is born then baby is the guest of honor.

The term shower is in reference to the gifts which are "showered" on the mother- to- be. The purpose is to set the family to be up with the essentials they need for baby care, this is one occasion guests must bring a gift, (typical gifts related to babies include diapers, clothes, and toys) which are opened during the party. Since a baby shower centers on gift-giving, it is arranged and hosted by a close friend at their home or suitable location.

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt


Chef Debbi said...

Not to leave out your other gorgeous photo's but BEAUTIFUL kiwi's!

~ Chef Louise said...

i love reading your posts renee, your voice comes out so clearly... it's like i can hear you laughing after you say something funny. u da best!

Sean Langley said...

If only the babies could eat all this amazing food!

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

Sean, Debbi and Louise-Thanks for your comments on my Baby Shower post

Kim said...

Renee - what a lovely, and timely post!! Because I'm due to assist with some baby showers this year, and your ideas are wonderful. :-)

See you soon!