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Trust me, I've been to a few

Margaret Eby
October 30, 2018

Like Liam Neeson in Taken, I have a very particular set of skills. Unlike Liam Neeson's, they have nothing to do with finding your kidnapped daughter, but they will probably come in handy more often in your non-action-film life.

Over the past four years I have been to a whole lot of bachelorette and bachelor parties, and so I have perfected the art of cooking a breakfast for a large group of usually women who I have barely met before but who happen to be very close friends with a good friend of mine. I love being in situations like this because it makes me feel useful and lets me make friends with new people or catch up with old friends as we assemble a meal. 

The bachelorette party breakfast is a delicate thing. First, you want to make sure that it's heavy enough to either soak up the alcohol from the previous night, or the alcohol to come, but not so heavy that you spend the rest of the day in a food coma. Second, it should be something that's relatively easy to assemble and doesn't require a lot of special equipment or spices. Remember, you'll be assembling it in an Airbnb or a friend's cousin's cabin, and you never really know what kind of things they'll have in their kitchen. (I have fashioned a sheetpan out of tin foil and sharpened a chef's knife on the rolled down top of a car window before.) Third, you want it to be something that people with allargies, food restrictions, or diets can navigate without feeling left out. 

To that end, you should make a breakfast taco buffet. Bacon and pancakes are great, but not if you have a vegetarian and a celiac in the mix. Breakfast tacos allow you to make an array of different fillings—peppers, onions, eggs, sausage, beans, cheese, salsa, etc—that play well together but aren't totally dependent on each other. People can mosey in as they wake up and fix themselves a taco or two with minimal fuss or worry that things are going to get cold and turn gross. (You can always do a couple batches of eggs if that's a worry, eggs are easy.)

You basically just need a skillet, some bowls, and some tinfoil to wrap around the tortillas to warm them in the oven. No oven? Just drop them on top of a burner for a few seconds on each side until they get a little charred. Got someone who can't do gluten? Grab some corn tortillas. If you're feeling ambitious, most taco fillings can be cooked the day before, so you don't have to deal with it when you're hungover from, I don't know, doing tequila shots at a dive bar or attempting to build a Miller Lite pyramid at the beach. I'd recommend against doing the eggs in advance, but if needs must, they must. 

A few rules that I've learned through trial and error: ask about people's food restrictions and preferences in advance, so you know roughly how much to prepare. Always, always figure out the coffee situation the night before—you will regret it if you don't. If you're not doing the grocery shopping yourself, be super precise about what you need. Everyone shops in different ways, which is how once I ended up with four bunches of radishes when I needed... four radishes. And if you can, bring hot sauce. Hot sauce covers up a lot of mistakes. 

 

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