Dine at Mine
Dine at Mine
Dine at Mine is Age Action’s version of the TV programme Come Dine with Me - with a fundraising twist! Whether you’re an experienced party host or a complete cooking novice, your evening can take any form - from a three course formal meal or pizza parties, or a good old fashioned BBQ! The possibilities are endless!
Sounds easy, and it is.
Just invite your friends and family and raise funds by asking them to make a donation for their meal.
Plus, we’re making it extra easy for you, with tips for planning menus and running successful parties, complete menu suggestions, recipes, and simple ways to manage the fundraising.
Rhona OConnor, Fundraiser at Age Action said “Whether you’re a great cook or not you can invite some friends around and have a fun evening. You can make it formal, fancy dress, murder mystery, or a good old fashioned one pot supper!
Our Care and Repair service is free and you can help keep this essential service going,
€ 5 Replaces a light bulb for an older person
€10 Fits a handrail in a bathroom which makes having a bath safer
So every €5 you raise will pay for a home visit to some one and help them live independently.”
If you would like to take part in Dine at Mine, please contact Rhona OConnor on 014756989 or email email@example.com for your fundraising pack complete with a suggested menu and recipes, a foodie quiz, an apron and tips to help make your meal a massive success!
This event is being kindly sponsored by Bluebird Care and Superquinn are providing the yummy fresh cream cakes and the scones.
Burn the whole meal or cook a feast – you’re sure to discover new and interesting things about your friends as you chat the night away. Here are some of the ways you can make sure your guests go home happy at the end of your night:
1. Don’t go too fancy with the food.
Of course you want to impress everyone with your godlike culinary magic, but remember everyone there would rather eat something simple and well-prepared than overly fussy and challenging. So make things you often make anyway – that way you know how to time them so everything is ready when you need, and no one’s stomach starts to rumble. Remember just because you eat this dish all the time, doesn’t mean everyone else does!
Nothing ruins your seafood bouillabaisse more than the pained expression of a friend who hasn’t told you about her violent shellfish allergy. Don’t feel bad about calling in advance and asking everyone who’s coming if there’s anything in particular they can’t eat – whether they’re just fussy eaters or have actual medical issues, you still want everyone to leave full. And it’ll be hard for someone to enjoy your food if they haven’t eaten any of it!
2. Ambience is half the battle
Of course you can’t beat a roaring, crackling fire for lending your house or apartment some instant atmosphere, as well as that lovely homely smell, but don’t forget the other staples: lighting and music. Make a playlist of songs for the evening – perhaps starting off a bit livelier and becoming more mellow as the evening wears on and the courses pile up. Candles are a nice touch too but need to be placed in areas that don’t see much traffic or there’s a danger that someone will set their sleeve on fire, or spill wax onto the cheese plate. If you have dimmer switches on your lights, use them, if not, turning off your main lights and using lamps instead can create the same effect, but remember, not so much that no one can see the food. Later, for the chatty part of the night, why not do the whole thing by firelight?
3. Invite the right people
Perhaps you just want a few old friends round who all already know each other, but if you’re planning on being a bit more adventurous, then be sure to try and strike a balance between people who will “spark” off one another, and people who will get along. A little controversy is never a bad thing, but too much and the good china could end up being broken, and all the cosy fireside confidences in the world can’t save a night like that! Not to mention the fact that you have to see each other quite a few more times…
4. Read the newspaper that day
This might sound like a strange one, but we all have experienced the discomfort of the awkward silence that happens at the very beginning of a night before the wine and conversation is in full flow. Having music on, and a fire crackling in the background takes the edge off, certainly, but reading that day’s paper will ensure you’re a mine of trivial and not-so-trivial information that can prompt a hesitant group to start chatting.
5. Having too much is no bad thing – especially the wine!
Stock up on peanuts and nibbles in case the meal is late or you continue on late into the night, and, of course, on wine. Your guests will probably bring a little gift – usually a bottle – themselves, but having some extra should the well run dry is always advisable. You shouldn’t ply anyone with drink, of course, but neither should anyone go thirsty and it’s a mark of the chemistry of the evening working well if, once you’ve moved from the table to the fireside, everyone fancies just a drop more…
6. Don’t go OTT with rules and etiquette.
The main reason you’re having this night is of course so everyone can enjoy themselves, and if there’s too much pressure on which fork to use, or on who gets what chair, then the mood can be easily spoiled. Most of these so-called rules have been officially relaxed anyway and no one is really expected to know which side to tip your soup bowl to anymore.
7. Game playing
If you want to organise some after dinner entertainment, make sure it’s the type of game that gets everyone involved and interacting. We will provide you with a quiz that is fun and not too difficult. Classic board games like Monopoly aren’t so great for this purpose but simple old-fashioned games like twenty questions are great fun, don’t require any special equipment and can be adjusted easily to suit the particular crowd. Also, sometimes team games can work better so that they shyer members of the party don’t feel like to spotlight is on them individually. Just nothing too active: warmed by wine and a full of dessert, its unlikely anyone’s going to play Twister.
8. Home time
You’ve had a long day, and have put a lot of work into the evening, dinner is enjoyed and every time you talk, you yawn. Don’t feel you have to last until the last person has drunk the last drop of wine – if it’s the small hours and you’re tired beyond the point of enjoying yourself there’s no shame in politely letting everyone know as much. It’s your house – they’re your rules, and better you leave them all wanting more than making everyone feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome.
9. Age Action part of the night
You’ve all enjoyed the night and want to raise a few bob for Age Action; you can ask your guests to put a donation – perhaps what they would have spent on the night in a restaurant in an envelope. You might like to suggest a donation amount of say €20 each. You can then send this money to Fundraising, 30 Lr Camden St, Dublin 2.
10. Enjoy yourself!
Your guests will take their cue from you. So of course you want everything to go smoothly, but don’t worry if your starter turns out wrong a bit or something gets forgotten about – no one’s expecting perfection and everyone would much rather laugh their way through a collapsed soufflé than sit through a perfect main course in stony silence. If you’re relaxed and happy during your dinner party, and have created a warm and happy atmosphere for your guests, it’s infectious and from the moment the first doorbell rings till you finish the evening in front of the fire, that’s all that really matters. Remember, great food is only one tiny part of what will go to make up the success of the night.