Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cooking for a Crowd

How to finesse cooking for a crowd (on my mind this week as I host five houseguests, and cater the Composer's video shoot tomorrow--eighteen crew members!):

•Beg, steal, or buy a couple of large pots if you don't own any. A large, heavy-duty canner is the biggest thing I have, and nicely holds chili for twenty.

•This is not the time to try out new recipes--stick with old favorites you know will work.

•It is possible to selectively reduce specific ingredients like chopped onions--four can stretch to five if you just can't take chopping any more.

•On a related note, don't think that just because the pot is big, big sloppy pieces of onion will be just fine.

•Check out some once-a-month cooking recipes--they already give ingredients in bulk, tend to be stable dishes (rather than fussy, fiddly last-minute affairs), and often offer helpful advice about timing your cooking, planning your steps, etc.

•Good luck, and wish me the same!

8 comments:

C.A. Worcester said...

Oh Anna you sound so organized.....please tell me SOME things go wrong for you sometimes....or, maybe you aren't a perfectionist and just enjoy the moment as it comes. I think this is why I love your blog: It gives me a place to breath and to enjoy. I think of your blog and the content on it as "Common Everyday Living" with an eloquent twist. My kind of life. Oh, and many blessings for you this week. It sounds like you have a plate full. hee hee!!

Cheryl

Julian said...

wsh I wer there to help you. It sounds lik too much fun! I hope everything goes well. Knowingyou, it will!
Christina

karen said...

I love cooking for a crowd! I learned the hard way about the value of preparing old, favorite dishes instead of new recipes. If a dish just sits without being touched, or touched very little, there's probably a reason why.

I so enjoy coming to visit you here every few days. The photos are wonderful as are the patterns, sewing projects and snippets from the books you've read.

~Karen

Cindi said...

May God bless your endeavor!

Milehimama said...

Two things are your best friend when you cook for a crowd -
The Buffet and
The Assembly Line

If you aren't used to it, seve foods you can line up. Like a chili bar (sounds like you got that one down), taco bar, spaghetti bar.
I use my ironing board with a sheet on it to make extra serving space.

If you must do more individualized cooking, use your kitchen table. Lay out all the tortillas or bread, then fill them up, then roll them up or cut them.

Good Luck!

Mrs.B said...

Great tips! I hope it all goes smoothly. (o:

Chrissy said...

Good luck! Please let us know how it all comes together...

Scrappy Mom said...

I've been a "lurker" for a bit, but I felt inspired to post a comment for this topic.

First off, I'm sure you'll be fine! You seem very competent and very confident.

Secondly, if you would like to try a new dish for a crowd, try Javanese Dinner. If leery, first with your family or be adventurous and try it with your crowd! I doubt it is from Java, has anything to do with computer programming or coffee but it is very easy to make and is wonderful for a crowd. Here are the ingredients for Javanese Dinner:

Cooked Rice
Chow Mein Noodles
Chicken, cooked & diced
Celery, diced or chopped
Green Onion, chopped
Crushed Pineapple
Coconut
Slivered Almonds
Mild Shredded Cheese
Chicken Broth

I set up 10 bowls and have them layer it themselves, starting with the rice and ending with the hot chicken broth. To see more details go to my blog!

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