Food: How to Have A Progressive Dinner

My ‘Ski’ friends and I have been doing them for a few years. And I think it is a tradition that will go on strong for a long time yet.

We started off with Entree at our house at 4pm. I made Dutch Croquettes, which is a speciality of my mum’s. Mr Cool and I  like to run with a theme, last year we had a mexican theme and another year we did cheese fondue. Our friends all have children, so I put out some food the children will like and make sure that they all get a good jump on our enormous trampoline.

At around 5:30pm we move on to main course. It is fun seeing everyone file off and head to the next venue. We say goodbye and wave and make a big deal about it… only to then have a happy reunion at the other end!

The lovely Crafty Mummy hosted main course. Our dear friend Jodie and Crafty Mummy made some lovely food {Lamb Ragout, fresh pasta, delicious salads} and of course I forgot to take a photo of this! But, we had bubbles and a very nice red with it.

The kids all played on Mr Crafty’s perfect lawn and had a hoot and got sweaty again. We usually give the children a bath here and get them into some ‘lounge wear’ ready for the next course.

Time to move on to dessert. The hosts are always the last to leave, Crafty Mummy and Mr Crafty loaded the dishwasher and packed up all the salads. We try to leave one venue relatively neat and tidy so that there is not a huge mess to return to.

Jodie hosted dessert and our super friend Shelley was in fine form with this dessert, she calls it a ‘Stack’. The bottom layer was chocolate brownie, then raspberry cheesecake, then strawberries, then chocolate mousse, then some raspberries and some macadamia nuts. She made us one between two – which was a very nice way to present it!

The children had an ice-cream as soon as they got to Jodie’s house and then they went into the lounge to watch a movie and the adults get to have a nice chat {and maybe some more bubbles}.

We end up talking really late and children either fall asleep or stare bleary eyed at the television until we finally decide to call it a night.

Why have a progressive dinner?

  • It spreads the fun! The children don’t get bored as there are new things to do and play with at each place
  • It spreads the cost! Dinner parties are a fun, but can be expensive. A progressive dinner spreads the cost.
  • It lasts longer! It is so nice having a nice long time to talk to peeps. We start at 4pm and usually wind it up around 10pm. Great times!

Some tips for organising a progressive dinner…

  • Tee up 3 or more couples/people/families to be part of it
  • For main course, it is good to have two people to do the cooking
  • By making food that is prepared in advanced means the evening moves along smoothly. I made the croquettes the day before, Jodie made the ragout the day before, Tonya had all the salads prepared before we arrived, Shelley made the components of her ‘stack’ in the days before. It takes some pressure off the cooks and it saves a lot of mess
  • Start early, each course takes longer than you anticipate
  • Don’t have too much alcohol involved, or have a ‘designated driver’ in each set of people

Theme Ideas…

  • You could set up a theme for your evening {we tend to not all cook to a theme}
  • A ‘Mexican Night’ would be fun with fajitas, sangria, soft tacos etc
  • A ‘Japanese Night’ with sushi or sushimi, tempura, katsu curry etc
  • An ‘Indian Night’ with samosas, vindaloo, korma etc

So… are you going to revive this with us?

We think they are so much fun – well worth a bit of organising!


I am linking in with ‘Domesblissity’ for ‘Thriving On Thursdays’

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  1. We have a group of friends and while we don’t do progressive dinners we do have theme nights. The last one was Vietnamese food and before that we had an Indian night. Everyone contributes to a different course and we decorate the table to go with the theme. Sometimes we do armchair travel and have a good old fashioned “slide” night – except it’s digital these days! It’s so much fun.
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  2. I haven’t done a progressive dinner since my youth group days! Should do it again sometime soon!
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  3. I love a progressive dinner B. I haven’t done it for years and years. It was all the rage in the 70s. Our church youth group always did it. We didn’t cook of course but our parents did. Good old fashioned fun. I never thought about doing it as a grown up because of the alcohol factor but you’re right. A designated driver or it doesn’t have to be a huge night. Great fun. Thanks so much for linking up today at Thriving on Thursdays.

    Anne xx
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  4. Haven’t done one of these for years B but you’ve reminded me how much fun it can be – definitely time for a revival I think!
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  5. I’m so keen to do this this year B. Thanks for linking up at Thriving on Thursdays. I’m featuring this tomorrow. Hope to see more of your wonderful ideas this year. Happy New Year my love.

    Ane xx
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    • Thanks Anne! I was so busy putting together a post for your linky that I hadn’t checked comments yet! I am very chuffed! You will see me most Thursdays, a great way to ensure I post a recipe each week. Mwah, B