Help from pro-cocktail partiers: how do I prep with limited time and no running water?

Here's the perfect storm: cocktail party on Wednesday night, I have a few dozen frozen latkes in my freezer that I made yesterday and two big balls of cookie dough to cut out and bake before guests arrive (they'll be able to decorate cookies at the party). I was planning on doing all the rest of the prep (making a last hors d'oeuvres or two, baking the cookies, setting up, etc.) the afternoon before the party, because I have a final exam that morning and will be studying until then. Now my building has just told me they're shutting off the water from 9-5. No dishes washing, no running water at all. Guests arrive at 8. Aside from filling up every container I have beforehand, any advise? Unfortunately I have to focus on my test today and tomorrow so can't do much prep ahead of time.

  • Posted by: LucyS
  • December 19, 2011


SKK December 20, 2011
I totally agree with Sam and Susan. And it isn't a perfect storm because if I read your question correctly you will have water by 5:00 pm and your guests arrive at 8:00 pm so you will have water and be able to flush the toilets. A perfect storm would be no water AND the power goes out. Been there.

And you are so organized in your food prep, it will be easier than you expect.

Read you bio and the line that stood out for me is "I grew up learning that cooking meant helping others..." Now you have the opportunity to have your friends contribute to you and have the same experience.
This will be a fun, well-deserved celebration for you and your guests! Let us know how it turns out.
susan G. December 19, 2011
Are there a few of your guests who would come a little early, after the water has been turned back on, who could do some assembly line clean up for you? Where I live, we lose power often enough that we have many bottles of water stashed, and when there is no power there is no water, since it comes from an electric powered pump. (I hope you are aware that you will not be able to flush the toilets!)
Just keep going with your plans, use saved water needed in prep/cooking; keep a tub of water to put all dirty dishes to soak so cleanup will be easy when the water is back; have enough water for sparing use for handwashing. You will have lights and heat, you will have a working stove and refrigerator, and phones (all things we lose along with the water!).. Just role play in your mind the steps you would take normally take to get ready, and see where you need to adapt.
You will be fine! Your guests will be sympathetic to any shortcomings, and I'm sure will support you in any needs you may have.
Sam1148 December 19, 2011
Get a couple of 2 gallon water jugs...the kind with the spigot at the end. Or ask some of your guests that are into camping and outdoors stuff if they have a igloo round cooler with the spigot.
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