Planning and hosting a party or a get-together is not a walk in the park. Well, at least for me. As often as possible, I change it up a bit every now and then by introducing something new to the menu list, in addition of course to family favourites.
On New Year’s eve, I skipped the silverware and china and went for clean hands and banana leaves instead. Yes, I hosted a boodle fight New Year’s Eve dinner! It was one marvelous celebration with
great company, good conversation and sumptuous finger-licking dinner.
Boodle fight is a terminology coined by the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for their eating combat. It is the academy’s eating tradition wherein members of the military, regardless of ranks, gather around a long table where a jumble of food is spread over banana leaves, and eaten with bare hands. It is usually prepared in celebration of a successful event or a special occasion and it became a symbol of camaraderie, brotherhood and equality. The “fight” part refers to the fact that it’s every man for himself during these feasts. This means you grab and eat as much as you can before the food runs out, or else go hungry because everyone else is gorging away.
So if you’ve hosted too many parties, get-togethers and dinners, and you’re getting tired of the usual buffet setup of pansit, menudo and leche flan, why not try boodle fight. And here are some tips to take it to the next level and make it the talk of your dabarkads:
1. Come up with a theme.
Why not? You can introduce boodle fight at your next Hawaiian luau party! Throw in some tacos and enchiladas for a Mexican fiesta. If you have vegetarian friends, challenge yourself and host a vegetarian boodle fight dinner. If you want to make it more fun for everyone, ask them to come in costumes to get them into the eating combat mood. Heroes versus villains. Sports team rivals. Better yet, make it an authentic boodle fight and make them come in army outfits.
2. Set up food stations.
One’s appetite is stirred to see all the food spread out on the table. But distributing the food equally on the table is a common setup. Try to change it up a bit and go for food stations. Meat in one area and seafood on another. Station the sauces at the corners. Place the desserts at each end of the table. Unleash your creativity!
3. Order or Dine out?
If you do not have the luxury of time to prepare and cook and yet dying to host an amazing boodle fight dinner then order the food! Even if you did not do all the cooking, an extra effort in setting up the boodle fight table will be greatly appreciated. But if you really want to get away from all the
preparation and cleaning then take your friends out for a boodle fight dinner. There are various Filipino restaurants that offer this dining experience such as Casa Manila (North York), Cucina Lounge (North York), Quiapo! Quiapo! (Mississauga) and Bella’s Lechon (Scarborough & Mississauga). Make sure to check it out first if they have reservation requirements for their boodle fight offering.
4. Wash your hands, Mom said so.
Before you and your visitors dig in, wash your hands first! Instead of screaming at the top of your lungs asking everyone to clean up before the meal, put up some neat and fun signs to remind them. Direction to an accessible wash area is also a wonderful idea.
All set? Attack!
For comments and suggestions,
email the author at Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org.