Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm Thankful For . . .

Friends like the Hinckleys, who let me drag them along on one of my hare-brained ideas last night. Usually my wild & wacky ideas involve dragging along a friend or two; sometimes it's Dan or other family members; & thankfully everyone's always a good sport about it.

We have supper each Wednesday night before Bible study, & each week one family or group of families provides a main course, while the rest of the congregation that comes brings a side dish or dessert. Signing up for these suppers has slowed down, & I wanted to sign up for one week but didn't want to do it by myself. So I asked Tanya if she'd be interested, or if she at least could give me an idea for what to cook. So, she came back with several ideas & offered to help (or did I ask? I don't remember). We decided on spaghetti. Sounds pretty easy, right? Why, oh WHY????, do things have to be so complicated when they should be so very easy? The basic food prep was pretty easy, but the timing of everything was a lot harder than it should have been, & there were lots of little things that I forgot about. I felt responsible since it was my idea in the first place. I felt bad for dragging Tanya & Jonathan into it without having a clue as to what I was doing. But, as always, they were good sports about it & SUPER helpful!!

In case you need some tips on preparing a meal for a large group, here are some ideas that should make it easier for you, based on what I learned last night:

1--A large pot of water will probably take longer to boil than a small pot. (Okay, so maybe for most of you, that's common sense, but some of us are a little slower)

2--Watching a pot of water & waiting for it to boil will make it take longer to boil (ask Tanya if you don't believe me)

3--If you're planning to serve drinks with dinner, you need ice. (Again, maybe common sense for some of you)

4--Don't use the spaghetti sauce spoon to stir the tea. (once again, common sense probably...)

5--If you don't mind dragging yet another friend into the mess, ask one to help watch the kids while you're setting up; but don't be surprised if everyone else coming in thinks you must be someone else because your 3 extra limbs (otherwise known as children) aren't hanging off you for once.

6--Enlist a guy (a strong one, like Jonathan) to help set up the chairs & tables & to lift the big heavy pots of spaghetti sauce & pasta.

7--It's helpful to check your supply of plates, cups, napkins, etc., BEFORE the night of your activity.

8--However long you think it's going to take to get everything ready, add 20 extra minutes.

9--Above all else, when you're planning an adventure (even if it's not a far away, exciting adventure), take a friend along for the ride. I'm glad I did!!


Tanya said...

Too funny! Don't forget that we set the fire alarm off, too :) I had fun! It was more fun than stressful. I would definitely do it again! And please don't feel bad about anything. It was definitely our turn to finally help out. Maybe we could do sub sandwiches next cooking involved!!

Love ya!

Lisa said...

Oh, shoot, I knew I should have asked you before I posted this!! But I wanted it to be a surprise. Oh well. Yes, definitely, #9 should be "Open windows & doors so the fire alarm will not go off (& scare all the living creatures in the building especially little Derek in the process)." And #9 will then move to #10, & 10 is a nice round number for a list!

What are we both doing still up?!?!

Dawn's Thoughts said...

I wish I could have seen you. I just did a spaghetti dinner for the high school play cast and crew. (128) I found that 18 pounds of noodles, 25 pounds of hamburger and 20 large cans of sauce do it. Depending on how many you do next time, remember what I did Thanksgiving. Cook it, put it in tins, and heat for 2 hours on 300. It works every time. Love ya. Bye the way Who took the video?

laura bull said...

do you remember that Chio retreat we did in Memphis? That was my first experience cooking for large groups, and all weekend at that. Gary was a HUGE help in figuring out quantities. But it's still alot of work. Another big group meal that works well is taco stack. use chips instead of taco shells, and really the only thing you have to cook is the taco meat, maybe heat up some beans... and the rest is just chopping up letuce, tomatoes, and grating cheese (oh wait, i forgot you're in the mother land and you can buy grated cheese in a bag). Also, sounds a little weird, but grated coconut, chopped pecans, and salsa add alot to taco stack. also chicken curry is a great big group meal. but i won't make my comment any longer than it already is. So glad you guys had fun! wish we had been there to help out! would've been fun!

Anonymous said...

Just checking back!

Every blessing!
Maria in the UK

Malia said...

Yes, Tanya and Jonathan are two of the most helpful people I know! And I'm not just saying that because I'm related to them!

jonandjen said...

So some of that "should" be common sense, but who cares? Common sense develops from experience and if you don't have the first year here at Wheaton I had some friends over to eat lasagna. I doubled the recipe and had everything scheduled to go for when they got to my apartment. But I didn't factor in that I had DOUBLED the recipe and this meant that it had to stay in longer. Needless to say, we were starving by the time it actually got out of the oven!