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The Family Buffet

 by Nikki Willhite

It is always a wonderful occasion when family gets together to share a meal. What a blessing it is to be with those you love. 

Family meals may be difficult for grandparents. If they have to do all the cooking as well as the cleanup, they may find  themselves expended afterwards. To keep things simple, most of  us plan meals where everyone brings food. Splurge on a few paper  plates, and the occasion becomes much more enjoyable. As much as I want to be frugal, there is one thing that trumps money, when possible. That one thing is Simple Living" As you  get older, you do slow down. Sometimes you have to take shortcuts.

We have 3 sons, with their children, that all live near us. We are lucky to have one family just a few houses down the street from us. So we have a lot of family dinners.

The thing about food is that it must be served at the right temperature. If foods that should be served hot are cold, they will never taste good. Cold food that tastes hot is never appreciated either.

So how do you keep casseroles and other dishes hot when you have a lot of people to feed and limited kitchen space?  One way to do it is to have a buffet and make use of slow cookers and warming pans.

We have a somewhat small but adequate kitchen...until you put 17 people in it.  Here is what we do to keep our food warm while everyone waits to get it.  If you look at the picture at the top of the page, you will see our electric strip.  When we removed the section of wall above the counter to open up the kitchen, I had my handyman place this strip just under the counter. These strips are usually reserved for shops. However, placed discretely under a molding they do  not look bad.  These strips give you a half a dozen places to plug in the crock pots and other items that will keep your food warm.

Obviously you could do the same thing with power strips and extension cords, but it is both safer and more convenient to use one of these strips.  These strips are readily available at hardware stores.  They are an easy solution for family buffets that all will appreciate.

food warming with shop electric strip

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 


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