Polygamy Now
The unfolding story of polygamy in the United States

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cooking for Thirty -- Easy as Pie!

This week we cooked for our community. Twenty-five adults and ten children under 12 signed up to eat. Children under 12 count as half, because in theory they eat half as much as adults do. Hah! Anyway, that gave us a total of thirty mouths to feed, and a budget of $80 to feed them.

Meals normally get a cook, a helper, and two cleaners. We like to cook and clean as a group house, as part of family night. Karen or I cook, Lisa and Josh help, and all of us clean up.

I decided to cook Broccoli chowder Andy, a recipe straight out of college, or rather out of The Campus Survival Cookbook #2, by Wood and Gilchrist --
2 boxes frozen broccoli, 1 cup milk, 3 cups chicken broth,
4 Tsp butter, 1 cup light cream, 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese

Cook broccoli in chicken broth 8 minutes. Do not drain. Add everything else.
Stir over low heat and eat right away. Serves two hungry people.

Applying a little basic math and knowing that people eat less than I think, I scaled the ingredients by ten --

12 large packages chopped frozen broccoli, 3 qts milk, one jar of chicken boullion paste,
1 package butter, 3 qts light cream, 5 one pound blocks of Swiss cheese.
Then it's off to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, and then to CostCo, our nearest giant food wherehouse, where I added --

three long loaves of potato rosemary bread, a package of one dozen large muffins
(chocolate, poppyseed, blueberry), a large bag of chopped salad greens, and
another of chopped roumaine, and three tubes of sausage.
Then back to the common house to begin preparation. I started two 10 quart pots boiling with 15 cups of water in each, scraping half of the boullion paste into each pot. Then I started the sausage cooking in a large frying pan. While the water was boiling and sausage frying, I rammed 5 quartered bricks of Swiss cheese through the food processor.

Once the water boiled, I dumped in the chopped frozen broccoli and let it come back to a boil. That gave me time to finish the sausage and slice the bread. Then I added the cheese, milk, cream, and butter to the broccoli and let it heat up. Did I mention that the predominant spice is cholesterol? I put the sausage into one of the pots, designating the other pot as the vegetarian option.

People were starting to arrive, so I finished up the show. I mixed two bags of greens into two large metal bowls and put olive oil and balsamic vinegar nearby. Then I removed the paper from the muffins and sliced each into quarters. Viola! Forty servings of dessert.

It was a succesful meal, and we had enough left over for dinner for five the next day. That's less than three dollars per person for a three-course meal, with a total preparation time of one hour.


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