A Progressive Dinner is a meal that is set up and run at 5 to 7 locations. It is a good way for friends to travel and explore different types of food.
When I first heard of this idea from some close friends, I didn’t know if I wanted to eat and run five to seven places over the period of a few hours. However, once we got started, we ended up enjoying ourselves as well as the food.
The first thing that we did was have a small meeting to set up plans for the meal and the order in which we would go. Since we were going to be traveling by automobile, we decided no alcohol until the last stop. Then if we needed, we could have drivers that were alcohol free take them home.
We picked a Sunday afternoon, after the church services were concluded, to have our progressive dinner. This way we didn’t have to hurry from one place to the next. Each stop that provided food, would also have some type of a small beverage. We also decided to use paper plates and bowls along with plastic utensils. This made the cleanup a lot easier at the end of the day.
Our first house that we went to is where we were treated to three different types of appetizers. Cheesy fried onion rings, deep fried mushrooms, and a Spinach Dip were on the menu there.
The second house is where everyone went next. At this home , we were treated to two types of salad. A Taco salad and a regular garden salad was waiting for us on our arrival. Several types of dressings were also available. When finished, we all left for the second house.
The third house had a mixture of different vegetables. This was probably the lightest of the meals. Asparagus with chopped carrots cooked in some type of sauce till very tender was on the menu. At this point , I was starting to get pretty full.
Next up was stuffed baked potatoes. These had been baked and split. The middle had been taken out and mixed with bacon bits, seasoning and a ranch style of dressing.
Our next stop had my favorite. Baked Pork Chops served in a white sauce. These were the boneless type of chops so that nothing was wasted.
Being ready to bust, we next geared up for desert. This was just a mixed fruit of blueberries, strawberries, and green grapes. If you wanted, you could have them served over a yellow cake, ice cream, or just the way they were.
Our last stop of the day was for a cup of coffee or glass of wine. The ladies shared their recipes with each other, while the men just sat and talked. We all had a very filling day.
Progressive dinners are a great idea for socialization with your friends. Besides eating, it gives everyone a chance to show off their house, backyard or deck area. You can set up any type of meal you want. You could do various ethnic foods or even do it from a picnic type of idea. One tip that I would give is to let the couple leave first that is serving next. Usually give them about a 5 to 10 minute head start. This is so they can prepare for the next stop on the Progressive Meal tour.
It is also a good idea to set time limits and stick to them. This is so that the different types of food are not sitting out too long. Although I have never done it myself, I also think the Christmas season would be an excellent time to do a progressive meal. That way you can also set up gift exchanges and display your house decorations. Progressive meals are a great idea for eating and fellowship.