Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mouths to Feed

It takes a lot of food to feed 15 people. Especially when 75% of the mouths are male.

Growing up in a household of 11, I am accustomed to making and baking large quantities of food. When friends remark that producing a Thanksgiving supper for a party of 10 is nothing less than overwhelming, I'm not sure how to react. That was dinner every night during childhood. In fact, when I went off to college, I had difficulty with the notion of dinner for one. I often made familiar dishes that fed a large crowd, which meant lots of leftovers for the week ahead or the occasion for a dinner party. (I usually went with the latter.)

It's been a few years since I've been out of the house, so small meals are becoming second nature now. However, I revisited the art of 'meals for a large crowd' when I went on vacation with my family recently. Staying in an antique farm house on the northern end of Fort Bragg, there was ample space in the kitchen to feed our party of 15. We took turns making meals and cleaning the kitchen afterwards.

Breakfast nearly always turned into brunch as it took half the morning to prepare. My sister-in-law (who grew up in a family of 10) and I offered to take on the task one morning. 

The boys sippin' o.j. and waiting for breakfast

I took waffle duty. I used almost an entire bag of Bisquick -- the Costco size(!) -- to make the batter. The waffles warmed in the oven while I spooned and pried waffles in and out of the iron for around 2 hours.

Teresa was on egg duty. She decided to go gourmet and chop up tons of yummy veggies to add to the mix, along with a large bowl of grated cheese. An industrial size saucepan was necessary to cook the 3 dozen eggs (which wasn't enough, in the end). 

 Vegetables carefully chopped and meticulously cut...mine are never this uniform and pretty.

Unpictured (with good reason) are the mimosas we delightfully sipped in our p.j.'s as we cooked. A good drink at hand always makes the time go by swiftly and, nearly, effortlessly. Add a few good tunes on the radio and you can go for hours.

At last.

I had blissfully forgotten how long the process takes to feed that many. I caught a glimpse of the fear that fills the novice, but fell back into step without too much trouble. All were sated before our trek to the beach for the day...which, of course, included a long nap.

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