Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cook and Bottle Washer

I am in planning mode. Serious planning mode. I've been assigned the position of chief cook and bottle washer for next Monday's Community Bread on Main. What will I make? The meal should cover all the basic food groups: carbs, veggies and protein. I am leaning towards shepherd's pie. How easy is that!? Hhmm. Think about it: 50 lbs of potatoes will have to be peeled. That's the challenge... because I'll be on the hook for that job. The team of volunteers wonders in between 3.30 - 4.30. Dinner is at 5.30. The pie should be out at 5.15 to set, in the oven by 4.30 at 325°F for 45 minutes. Potatoes and meat to cook at 3.30. This means that I'll have to be in at the latest 2.30 to start peeling. Conclusion: potatoes are a heck of a lot of work! Hhmm, what about using instant mashed? Hey, don't knock 'em 'til you've tried them. Believe it or not, I've got a box in my pantry and they taste pretty darn good! I think that might be the way to go! hhmm... the box says that holding temperature should not exceed 160°F. There goes that idea.

How about this Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Dinner. Chicken à la King. Chicken is labour intensive. All those bones. And then cubing the meat.

Two hours later. I've settled on Beef Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping for 120 servings. What a process! I'm thinking coleslaw for a side. Hope they like it. Who am I kidding! How can I be sure that I can cook 50 lb of beef cubes into tender and juicy bites. Tough one.

OK, I'm settling with my first idea: Italian Sausage Mozzarella Dinner. Lots of bread. Caesar salad as a side. Hhmm...what about an appetizer? I'll have to check the flyers for an idea. Maybe egg rolls. Garlic bread. Whoa Nelly. Confession time: I've never shopped from flyers in my life. Jimmy has. I'll have to recruit his help.

My spread sheet is ready! My team will think me green and keen! Oh well! So, grocery shop on Saturday. Pick up a truck load of bread donated from a local bakery after six on same day. Cook time starts at 2 pm Monday!

Sausage and Mozzarella Dinner
Serves 150

  •     20 lb Link or bulk Italian sausage, sliced or crumbled
  •       3 gallons Spaghetti sauce
  •      16 c  Sliced fresh mushrooms
  •   1 1/2 qt  (6 cups) Tomato juice
  •       3 large Onions, chopped
  •       3 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  •       2 tbsp Salt
  •       1 tbsp. Pepper
  •      12 lb Corkscrew noodles, cooked and drained
  •       5 lb Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  •       8 lb Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  Brown sausage, drain fat. Mix  browned sausage with the Spaghetti sauce,
mushrooms, tomato juice, onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  Grease 8 6-quart baking pans. Layer half of the noodles, sliced cheese and
  meat sauce in pans. Repeat layers. Sprinkle shredded cheese equally over
  each pan. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 15 minutes
  longer or until cheese is melted. Serves 150


  1. It won't be the first time you've passed off instant for the real thing. I was fooled.

    My sister-in-laws cooks for 100+ every day; I'm gonna ask her what's the easiest meal she preps. I'm trying to think of an easy dish and it's not that simple to come up with.

    I'm sure your dinner will be lovely. Sounds good to me.

  2. Serves 150.... OMG........... it's like Madame Benoit! lol... I will hae to show you that cookbook sometime, you would get a kick out of it. I gave it to Rob over 30 years ago. Do you know her? French Canadian, home cooked meals for a crowd.

    kudos to you for your public service. if there are any leftovers I'd love to sample.

  3. Annika, what does your sister-in-law do to have to cook for 100+ every day?

    Diane, I know Madame Benoit. I have a book of hers. I would like to see a 30 year old copy of one of her books though.

  4. It was guerrilla warfare! All good. I hope to blog about it...