Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cooking for a crowd-- advice please!

Okay- so we live in a "college town"- as some of you know.

It's a small town, on the northshore of the island and the University and PCC are the big influences in the area.

Our family has been assigned to work with a student ward. Some call my new position as "The Mother of the Ward", I think I'm too young for that title. So my mother-in-law teasingly titled me the "First Lady" of the ward-- which secretly I do like the ring of that.... except it seems a bit pompos to presume... so I guess in the very least... I'm "The Bishop's Wife".

Regardless- it really isn't that much work for me. (It kinda is what you make it- I am learning.) But I want to support my husband so I suggested we invite students to our house for Sunday dinners. (This is a HUGE step for me on SO MANY LEVELS!)

Level 1- I don't like to cook

Level 2- I have a hard time cooking for our family of 6- figuring out enough portions

Level 3- I don't have any meals that I feel are 'guest' worthy. I mean- I make my family eat my meals but purposely inviting other people to eat my cooking? Will they like it?

Level 4- on a regular basis... my meals don't turn out. (something gets burned or I forget an item so I improvise and under pressure I tend to mess up and miss calcuate cooking times, portions, etc.)

So I told him I would make a sign up sheet for students to sign- if they want to eat at our house. (I mean- I am NOT going to force anyone to come and eat.)

I'm thinking the sign up sheet would have:

Dates available:

what I am planning for dinner on each Sunday:

5 slots for students to sign up under each Sunday.

My husband thought that was strange. Why would I let them pick a meal they like?

For me it takes some of the stress off- I mean.

We have students on campus from 74 different countries

-- what are the chances I am going to make something they will like or want to eat?


Amanda said...

I don't think I'd put menu options on the sign-up. I think when someone chooses to have dinner at someon else's house, they're prepared to eat what is made for them....sort of like missionaries. And if they don't like, they won't sign up again.

Remember, you're doing your part by sharing, opening your home and hosting them....they can do their part and be polite and thankful.

And here is a link to me blog for crockpot options look on the right side of the page (since it is Sunday dinner, crockpot might be a good way to go)

Also, I've found if you make lots of veggies, you can't go wrong. The if there's not enough meat to go around there's always other fillers! Try recipes you can make on Saturday so you have less to do on the ABC salad (look under the broccoli tab). Honey carrots are easy to make ahead and warm over or if you're using frozen carrots tey only take a few minutes to cook because you're basically warming the carrots (look under the carrots tab). My sauteed broccoli and cauliflower is ALWAYS a hit and is very simple and quick. The fruit salad (under the fruit tab) is an easy make ahead, too.

Good luck and what a wonderfully sweet gesture!

Michelle said...

It seems like Leanne Ely of "Saving Dinner" (affiliated with FlyLady) has a menu planner for crowd-type cooking. I would definitely look into that. Her recipes are usually very down-to-earth and very yummy.

I think you are wonderful to want to do such a generous thing. Go for it! Things like that make such a difference in people's lives.

Who cares if they like the food or not, eh? (Can you tell picky eaters are my pet peeve? :) They will feel of your love for them and that will be what makes it such a neat thing.

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