Thursday, September 20, 2012

Feeding the Hordes

So this morning, Mike told me he hadn't slept much.  He said he was figuring food for our campout this weekend. 

Did you ever feel like a bowling ball just dropped on your stomach?  In that moment, terror made the hair raise up on the back of my neck and all of my internal organs readjusted themselves. 

I have to feed 37 people this weekend.  I've never cooked for that many people before.  Well, I have fed forty people for Nick's birthday party, but that was one meal!  This is four meals and we don't have enough pots for stroganoff on Saturday night.  I figure we need two huge pots for the beef and at least one to boil six bags of egg noodles.  We don't have enough coolers to keep all that food cool.  Shoot, we wouldn't have enough room in our refrigerators at home to keep this food cool. This kind of job really needs a walk-in refrigerator.

A chef would be nice too.  I'd really like to call this man we know who owned a restaurant for thirty years.  Yeah, he could take over.  He could make this happen.  People would go home praising his cooking abilities.  I'm not so sure about how Mike and I will do. 

I stood in my kitchen in my pajamas and pictured 37 boys and their dads in their tents puking their guts out early on Sunday morning.  It would be like the pie-eating contest  scene in the movie 'Stand By Me.'  Do you remember that scene?  It's really funny until it's you throwing up.  Worse than that is if you're the cause of all that sickness. 

How can Mike stay so cool, calm, and collected?  While I stewed, Mike sent out a couple of emails.  He's acting like he does this kind of thing all the time.  Coolers.  Stock pots.  He's good under pressure.

I, on the other hand, am not good under pressure.  I spin around.  I try to do three things at once.  I step back and try to simplify.  That's the big picture here.  I'm going to simplify.  Tomorrow, I'm going to simmer eight pounds of stew meat in 72 ounces of beef broth with the right spices long enough to make it tender.  Then, I'm going to make up five pounds of ground beef for tacos.  Mike is going to commandeer two or three huge stock pots and three or four coolers from people who are coming anyway.  It's either going to work out, or it's going to be a great comedy that I'll entertain you with later. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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