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Does Anyone Have This "Problem"??


Mar 26, 2005

I have a couple of shows under my belt now, but I have one problem that is kind of looming in my head. My first show was with a friend, so I offered to buy the recipe ingredients just to get started. I did my prep work at home and brought them to the show with me. ( I kind of shred half the cheese, then demo half so the whole thing is not too long).
Since then, I have had the hosts purchase the ingredients, but I must say I rather when I had bought them. I put brand names when necessary with the shopping list I send, but almost ALL the time, something is not right!! My last host bought the garlic already peeled in a jar!! It just keeps happening to me!

I also feel like I am all in the hosts kitchen, as I try to prep before the show and put all the ingredients in my prep bowls. Then I am washing all the stuff I used to half chop, shred, etc. , so it can be clean for the demo. I don't like it at all!

I have never been to a PC show before I joined, so I don't know if I am doing it all wrong. If I am, please forgive me for my ignorance! I just feel like I would much rather bring the ingredients to the show, already prepped, but I don't know if it is cool to ask the host to reimburse me.

How do you ladies overcome this? Am I just crazy?? Any suggestions???
That is frustrating!

I've learned that I have to be ultra-specific when I'm sending out the list of ingrediants to the host.

For example:

4 ounces mozzarella cheese (in a block, not grated.)
1/2 cup whole black olives

I also preface my list with this statement:

I'll be coming over 30 minutes before the show to help prepare a few of these items. Please don't shred, chop, dice, press, juice or slice anything... that would be cooking and that's the whole reason I'm coming!

I also call the host after they've received the list to see if they have any questions about what they need to purchase and to reitterate the "don't touch my ingrediants" statement. Usually we laugh about it and they feel good knowing that they don't have to prepare anything for me.
Hope this helps

Here is what I do. When I book the show, I tell the host that I will be bringing the ingredients so she doesn't have to worry over what to buy and that she can reimburse me when we total up her order. This way I can prep at my house and be able to just set up when I get to her house. I know what to buy and for example if the recipe calls for cheese I can purchase lg amount to use in a couple of different recipes and just take what I need (charge her for 1/2) and distribute the rest among my other shows. I have found that this causes less stress on the host and myself. :)
I haven't had the problem of wrong ingredients yet, but I tell my hosts that when they get home from the store, put all of my ingredients into one of the shopping bags and just put that whole bag in the fridge. Seemes to have worked for me :)
My suggestion is to make sure you communicate to the host that she is to either purchase or reinburse you for the Ingredients. One of my first shows I did, I didn't stress that the ingredients needed to be there, and she assumed that I brought them and we had nothing!!! Lesson learned ... ALWAYS communicate with your hosts what you need and expect! :eek:
Problems happen sometimes when hosts buy the wrong ingredients, but just take that as a learning moment with your guests. For example, she bought jar garlic....tell the guests about why jar garlic is not the best (it is sometimes stored in amaldehyde (sp?) which is a preservative. Why does it need a preservative? Well if it is stored in water, you have a shelf life of 1-2 weeks to use it up before it starts growing stuff! Also it doesn't have the taste or health benefits of fresh garlic.) I ALWAYS keep a garlic clove in my crate because this has happened many times.

Are you doing too much prep work ahead of time? You need to make your show FUN and not work so hard ahead of time. Don't prep half the cheese...it takes 2 seconds to grate. Don't chop with the food chopper...it takes a few seconds to chop. Let your guests do the chopping and grating.

You are making this too hard.
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  • #7
I figured as much!

Thanks so much for the advice. Ginger, I think you hit it on the head... I thought I was doing too much..thanks for straightening me out!! My director told me to kind of have everything half done before the guests come so that is where I got that from. As I am working though, I find it just makes things more difficult...and I'm 8 months pregnant. I am literally exhausted from all my "prep" work. To tell you the truth, I usually have the garlic clove in my crate, but in an effort to try to make things easier, I thought I should rely on what the host is bringing, and stop with the "back up" ingredients. Now I know better. Some things just keep happening and is worth bringing.

The garlic wasn't in any juices, but I did quickly turn things around by stressing that I was not getting my fingers all stinky and that all the essential oils come out, more flavor, etc.

I have a show this weekend, and I am going to try to work smarter, not harder. I do think that comes with time, but I am happy I have you ladies, because it would take me double the time to figure this stuff out.

Thanks again! All your advice was helpful and I am grateful!!
Another tip..

One of my cluster meetings we discussed this, and our speaker for the evening said she had great success with this bit of advice. I have never tried it, but my recruit has and she had success with it .

When you give your host packet... include your recipe options they circle which one they want to do, and send you a check for $15.00 to purchase the ingredients in the SASE you provide.

Not only does this give you the ingredients to prep at home, but it also guarntees that the host will not cancel her show... she has $ invovled in it.
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Good Idea

Sounds like a good idea to me, especially since I had a little problem with ingredients on my Sat. show, but I can't say its all the host's fault. I was making the Florentine Garden Ring and listed on the shopping list to buy Pillsbury brand crescent rolls (I feel they taste far superior). Her hubby did the shopping and bought the generic brand and when I opened one package it was completely moldy!! UGH!!!

I was supposed to make 2 rings b/c the crowd was big, so she had three others on hand, and her hubby went out and got the right one.
Then she got the tomatoes, but one had all green seeds inside, I think it wasn't ripe, I'm not sure...
I just used the one tomato and sliced it very thin. Needless to say, I want to buy my own stuff!!!

One thing though, I didn't do the prep work this time, I really noticed it doesn't add much more time and was far easier~ thanks Ginger!!!
  • #10
Glad it was better and you managed to make it through the moldy crescent rolls and green tomatoes.
  • #11

About the garlic... I always bring my own garlic cloves. I have plenty at home so I just tell the host I will bring it. I have done that with a couple of other small ingredients before too if I think that there is a possibility the host will bring the wrong thing. So far so good... :p
  • #12
I always bring my own garlic also... and I have found that if I email my ingredient list to the hostess she is more likely to get the exact items that I need. She can just print out my list and take it to the store with her, and my phone number is on the same page if she needs to call me from the store.
  • #13
Helping husbands?

Funny you should mention about the husband buying the wrong brand--one of the shows I did, the host's husband decided to "help" by cooking the cressant roll crust for me ahead of time (we were doing the Cool Veggie Pizza). Of course, hubby seperated all the pieces, didn't roll them together and bascially ruined the potential crust. Fortunately, my host had another pkg of cressant rolls, but because we had to cook it later, I had to do my stoneware talk and other things I perfer to do later in my show at the beginning so the crust would have time to cool.
I think it's great that husbands get interested and involved, but I wish there were 'helping husband coach tips' to provide them so they wouldn't mess it up!! :D
  • #14
good ideas!

I usually email the ingredients list and I find that it works well b/c when I get to the show I see the copy they printed off to use... they usually have all the right ingredients too. I have even been a little prepared and put the ingredients list in the host packet, but that doesn't happen that often!

What I have been doing as a courtesy is taking some of the ingredients with me, especially if it is a grocery item that I am only going to use a small amount but you have to buy more and if it is something that they might not care to have extra of. For example - for the Thai Chicken Stir Fry Salad, I always took the peanuts and gingeroot and garlic. I just let them know that I will be bringing some of the ingredients, to help them out.

I am liking the idea of having them send me the $15 in the SASE though. I have had several cancellations (mostly last minute) and I also think that the shopping is the "hardest" and least liked task of the hostess. I may give this a try to see if it helps with the cancellation problem! Do you have a "no refunds" policy in writing on other communication, or is to be assumed? I try to make the same recipe for all the shows in the month anyways, so this would be a great idea to try. Plus I know when I had my own show before I signed up I was out just a couple hours before the show getting my ingredients - LAST MINUTE! I wonder how many do that and then feel more stressed about even having a show?!?!?!? Let me know if anyone else buys ingredients and gets reimbursed/paid up front for the ingredients, I'd like to hear more!
  • #15
I really like bringing all of the stuff myself. My last host brought everything already done. She brought the cheese and lettuce already shreeded.
  • #16
My first kitchen show at someone else's house is 19 July, and I asked the host for the $15 upfront. She kind of had a little attitude about it (she said that she'd never been asked for that before from other consultants, she'd always had to just pick up the ingredients) and I simply said, I have food allergies, I want to pick up the ingredients so I can make sure I can handle the food, and I don't want to make you have to stand in the commissary reading all the packages for me. That made her happy that she wouldn't have to do that.

So maybe, you guys don't have food allergies, but you can say "I need specific ingredients and I don't want to make you have to search the supermarket for them. I want you to have fun, not be stressed out!" That might work, if they think you are doing the shopping to save them trouble, rather than that htey have to "pay" you to do the show.
  • #17
Just a thought for everyone. This is what I do. I tell all of my hosts that I buy all the ingredients and I mail all the post cards. That way all they have to do is give me a list and clean the house. This has helped me to book alot of shows. I have had alot of people get really excited and say " Great!!" I know that this option might not work for everyone. But my husband is an Independent contractor also and makes pretty good money so it will be good for tax time. And I figure that $ 15.00 or less ;) is really not that big of a deal if I have a $600-$800 show. But that is just me. :rolleyes: I actually had a lady book a show with me specifically for that reason and I know that she is telling all her friends about it.And her show is not even until December!!! I am so excited for her show!!
  • #18
When I make the Pampered Chef recipe ahead I always ask for payment at the show not ahead. All my hosts have been real comfortable with this. This has allowed me to make some Pampered Chef recipes which don't adapt themselves to making at a show.
  • #19
I just tell my hosts during the first coaching call that I will bring the ingredients for the recipe, along with the receipt, and they can reimburse me! I make sure I tell them, "This way you don't have to make an extra trip to the store, or worry about getting the right things! One less thing for you to worry about!" I always get hosts that love this! I've never had a host be unhappy about having to pay for the groceries. After all, they get bonus $$ in free product for that reason!
  • #20
using these new ideas.....

I never really had any problems with the wrong ingredients being purchased by the hosts, but I was having problems with cancellations. After reading some of the posts on here, I tried some of the ideas for August - I get the ingredients AND mail out the postcards. I cover the cost of postage but ask for the $15 from the host ahead of time. This way they have a (non-refundable) type of deposit on the show. It is not refundable b/c I buy the ingredients at the beginning of the month, so therefore it is already spent out of my pocket.... I give them a SASE and a paper with 40 places for adresses and another paper that I have attached here explaining what needs to be sent in the envelope, then I give them a date that it needs to be in the mail by. This has worked GREAT!!! No cancellations - only one postponement (b/c of child's specialists dr's appt out of town). And it has made things easier for me!!! I can buy the ingredients for less than they can b/c I can buy in bulk. I do the same recipes all month and then prep things even as early as the day I buy it all. For instance, I am making Clubhouse Chicken Squares - rather than buying canned chicken (yuck) I bought frozen chicken breast in a 3 lb bag, cubed it and made individual baggies, put the 7 baggies (one for each show) in a freezer bag and put it back in the freezer (this way I can cook it in the Prof cookware at the show). I also cooked all the bacon (bought a large package) and made them into the bits and also bagged them and put it in the freezer. I also bought a 16 oz block of cheddar and cut it into the 2-3 oz blocks that it calls for and wrapped in foil, and so on. This also allows me to make the crescent roll crust at my home in the morning, not needing to use their oven when it is so hot outside. Obviously, some things I can't buy too early - but it has made it SO easy for the hosts and also nice for me.

In fact, one of this month's host told her daughter-in-law (from whom her show was booked) and the D.I.L. was a little jealous that I had not done it for her!!!! So it has worked out great! I just got an email from last nights host and she said that I made having a show SO easy for her. I told her to be sure she told her friends so that they would book too! I am having an AWESOME month and looking forward to another AWESOME month in Sept (8 dates already booked), and I really think that I owe a lot to this board and everything I've learned in the past weeks since I found you guys!!!! Thanks! (Sorry this is so long, I'm just so excited!)


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  • #21
Nell....I really like your letter for the host. It makes the idea sound appealing. I might have to give that a try. I had 4 cancellations this month!
  • #22
Nell, I really like the host checklist. I had been having a hard time asking guests to buy ingredients. I never thought about that they are getting at least $15 in free product. For my first show I bought the ingredient for one recipe and had not really decided what to do about upcoming shows.

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  • #23
Must admit

I like buying the recipes b/4 hand, doing my prep work and coming prepared. I am nervous like heck about asking for the $15 back. I know all the stuff to say, just can't see myself saying it... Oh my gosh, just thinking about it is making my stomach flip... Just when I thought I was a strong girl...

I think I'm just going to eat the cost of buying the items until I work up the nerve!!! :eek:

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