refreshments that don't leave crumbs and aren't sticky?
February 23, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Which refreshments can I serve that won't leave crumbs or sticky fingers?

I'm having a meeting in my living room, and a meeting's no fun (to me ;-)) without food. I have a bad back and there's no way I'm going to clean afterwards, so I'm looking for food that won't fill my couch with crumbs or leave it sticky. Any ideas?

(so far the only idea I've come up is carrot sticks and that seems sort of too-healthy-and-not-much-fun to me. not that there's anything wrong with carrot sticks per-se...)
posted by ThiefOfSweets to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cheese platter? Strawberries and chocolate?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:41 AM on February 23, 2011

Cheese cubes. Pieces of cheese and salami threaded on toothpicks (or other things already placed on toothpicks - proscuitto wrapped melon? Bacon wrapped schrimp?). Sliced cucumbers, carrot chips, and red pepper strips with some kind of vegetable or garlic dip. Puff pastry bites like these ones from Trader Joes - Pillsbury also makes some that you can get in regular grocery stores.
posted by cabingirl at 7:42 AM on February 23, 2011

Different kinds of cheeses, cubed and on tooth picks. More effort, but very little mess. You could do the same thing with deli meat. Just ask the deli to slice the meat 1/2 inch thick, then when you get home you can cut it into cubes and insert the picks.

If you're going with sliced carrots, you could do a whole relish tray: cucumber, bell peppers, celery, etc.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:43 AM on February 23, 2011

grapes, cheese slices with small bite sized crackers, mixed fruit (forks not fingers), unsalted mixed nuts
posted by raztaj at 7:44 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Deviled eggs. Cucumber slices with cream cheese-y stuff on them.
posted by amro at 7:47 AM on February 23, 2011

My boyfriend plays a bi-weekly poker game with some of his buddies, and "he" hosted last weekend. I made scones, these brownies (except with half goat cheese/half ricotta instead of mascarpone), and also had small dishes of walnuts and blueberries for them to graze on. The card surfaces and floor came out just fine. (They had plates to catch the few crumbs from the scones.)

If you bake, make those brownies. They look and taste really fancy and fudgy but are actually really simple to put together. And they also stay firm and aren't gooey or crumbly like other brownies. (Also, they're really good straight out of the fridge.)

But really, just make sure you give everyone a small plate and napkin and (unless you're meeting with toddlers) everything should be fine.
posted by phunniemee at 7:47 AM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

along with the cheeses and the salty meat slices, olives and pickled yum could work too.
posted by anya32 at 7:57 AM on February 23, 2011

Avoiding the crumbly/sticky makes sense, but keep in mind that if you serve people food in your house - especially standing people - someone's going to drop some of it. They just are.
posted by jessicapierce at 8:10 AM on February 23, 2011

That said, I would find/make some smallish (one-bite) soft cookies. Crackers and chips are probably the crumbliest things ever, so I'd avoid those and provide saltiness some other way.
posted by jessicapierce at 8:12 AM on February 23, 2011

Sushi is always a good time.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:31 AM on February 23, 2011

There are two issues - spillage and residue.

Lots of foods leave little or no residue - dried fruits and nuts, crackers, chocolate below room temperature etc.

To mitigate spillage the key factor is doing one/both of the following:

1) Make sure there are bowls near everyone, or
2) Serve food that can only be picked up one at a time and is good for one bite.

For 1) if you really want to make things easy for you, then have central bowls of stuff and small, personal bowls for people to fill up. This is a really good resource for thinking about bite size snacks.

For 2) you have carrot sticks and other crudités, dates, larger types of nuts (brazils, walnuts etc).
posted by MuffinMan at 8:32 AM on February 23, 2011

wow, great! Thanks for the ideas! I didn't think I'd get so many so soon.
posted by ThiefOfSweets at 9:40 AM on February 23, 2011

"Which refreshments can I serve that won't leave crumbs or sticky fingers?..."

A lot of NYC street push cart chow pretty much fills those requirements, while remaining mega-tasty. You can easily adapt some of the dishes suggested in the linked article for interesting party/meeting food. Some classics are:

Hot dogs.
Egg rolls, or spring rolls.
Jamaican patties.
Fried oyster rolls.
Chicken nuggets.
posted by paulsc at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

- crudites with dips (hummus, red pepper, etc)
- almonds, various nuts (maybe some are honey glazed or tamari style?)
- grapes
- cheese, salami/other deli meat and pickles (with serving toothpicks/skewers)
- pita or flour tortilla wedges
posted by SassHat at 9:54 AM on February 23, 2011

Wife provided snacks for an opening party at a furniture/antique store, and needed to make things with similar limitations, since we didn't want people smearing stuff on the expensive inventory.
She ended up making savory shortbreads (blue cheese with poppy seeds, and lemon-thyme), and quick pickles (pickled green beans, though carrots or cauliflower would work as well). There were also seasoned pecans (plain buttered, and curried).
posted by Gilbert at 11:49 AM on February 23, 2011

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