Do you know that show with the guy who is given a mission at the beginning of the show and it is to cook for a group of people with specific complications or venues that make it hard to accomplish his job? Well, tonight my husband and I had a very similar experience.
We were asked to cook for a youth program at our church. We expected to have a given set of instructions, number of people, etc when we got there. We were presented with a half set up room with tables and chairs, a bunch of food on the counter in the kitchen and a basic set of instructions. The instructions went something like this:
Cook sauce, meat in refrigerator
Make salad and bread, use left over vegetables from last week.
Dessert in freezer, 42 Ice Cream cookies already made.
On the counter was 8 jars of spaghetti sauce, four loaves of french bagette bread, frozen butter in a ziploc bag, 2 large bags of spaghetti noodles and 5 small ziploc bags of broccoli and 2 small bags of baby carrots. In the fridge was 10 lbs of hamburger meat and two large bags of lettuce precut and a big container of grape tomatoes.
Okay, start the hamburger meat and put on a big pot to boil the spaghetti noodles. Oh we arrive at 4:15 and dinner is promptly at 6pm. We start with that. We look at the jars of sauce and noodles and figure that we will be feeding an army. We get the meat browned drained and in a pot and I put in four jars of spaghetti sauce. Water hasn't boiled yet and it is now 5:oo. We start getting the room put together, chairs set up, places set with plates, salad plates, cups, forks, knives, napkins. We then find someone who tells us to figure for 40 people and we serve family style and each of the six tables need serving bowls or platters with food. Great! Now we are working. Water still not boiling, we figure out how to work the convection oven, stir the sauce again, find six platters, six bowls. Start making the salads. Is the broccoli left over from last week? We decide yes since no one can help us and start to cut it up. Water boiling, add the pasta, it is 5:30. In the salad goes the broccoli, cut the carrots, add the tomatoes. New big kid comes in and asks to help. We pour the cheese into bowls and send him out to put them on the tables. In goes the bread. Salads are done, stir the pasta and sauce. Turn off sauce. Pasta almost done. Salad goes to the passthru. Bread comes out and onto serving plates. Kid puts bread on tables. Drain the pasta, and start to put the sauce on the pasta. Toss, put on serving dish, put more sauce on top and to the passthru six times!
Kids all pile in and a server comes from each table to get the food. In two minutes they are all eating and we sneak out the back door for a little quiet time. We decide to run down to the bookstore and veg out for a minute before picking our kids back up.
When we get back we found out that they all started banging on the tables and chanting "we want the cooks, we want the cooks". Then they all sang to us except we weren't there because we didn't know. Oh well, next time!!