Friday started out okay, cooking 30 gallons of pasta sauce in the morning. Luckily for the Relay for Life walkers who were going to consume it, Mr. John Cale came to the lodge to impart his recipe to us. I quickly found out making that much sauce requires massive muscles to break up the sausage and hamburger, not to mention opening those huge cans of tomatoes.
Since the man in charge was in ill health, I made up a list of requirements for each of the meals to make sure we didn't forget something. Early Saturday morning we began gathering up all the supplies for lunch, including the barbecue. It was then I noticed some outdated condiment packets and the discussion/war began. We are NOT serving these ... oh they're fine! We are NOT serving these!! They went in the trash!
It was about that time that we noticed there were no hamburgers or hot dogs, which were to be supplied by the Relay for Life people. It's always something, right? The guys made a quick run to the meat store and saved the day. We served over 400 lunches, with all FRESH condiments, chips and icy fruit cups.
Wish I could have gotten pictures of the crowds, but we were just too busy. Next up, pasta dinner, so we switched out the small barbecue for this massive beauty owned by the Fire Department. It takes a town to cook for 900 people ... and THIS beauty has FOUR grills just made for cooking!!
We loaded the sauce in my truck along with salad, rolls and supplies, making our second trip to the college. With the grills blazing, we heated up the huge square heads filled to the brim with sauce, and set up two propane burners to boil water for the pasta. Yup .... we make it FRESH! So far so good ... I haven't burned anything or made any big mistakes like last year when I poured the pasta in the water without the strainer. Ask me how to get 20 pounds of pasta out of a 50 gallon pot of boiling water!!
Can you imagine cooking 100 pounds of pasta ... mixing in the sauce and serving people at a college track field?? We did it with EIGHT people .... and these great kids who came from the Key Club to help serve. Thank goodness the butter and dressing weren't past dated! We got rave reviews on the pasta!!
Sometimes you just hurry up and wait!! There weren't many minutes that we got a chance to sit down, so we took advantage every time we could. By the end of Saturday, we packed up all the pasta utensils and pots, taking them back to the lodge where we had to wash every single one!! Geez ... I didn't know dish washing was included in this endeavor!!
At 5:00 am everyone was back at the college ready to fix breakfast. Pancakes and sausage, syrup, butter and fruit cups. The big grills were lit as we mixed up 50 pounds of pancake batter along with something like 200 cups of water. As I surveyed the pile of supplies, I discovered old syrup that I remember from last year ... it tasted like ... well you know, so I surreptitiously threw it in the trash. I made sure we only served the good stuff!! For that I became known as the General, a title I wear well!! I'm really not a stickler for dates, but anything over a year is just asking for trouble!!
Hundreds of pancakes came off the grill along with perfectly cooked sausages. I'm kind of picky about breakfast food, but these were pretty darn good!! From a 5 gallon mixing bucket (with a huge drill connected to paddles), to a pouring bucket, to the pancake dispensers, they whipped out hundreds of perfectly cooked tasty Krusteaz cakes. YUM YUM!!
By now we're all pretty tired, but we have a big mess to clean up. Everyone's truck got filled up as we headed back to unload at the lodge. The next thing I knew, there were only two of us putting everything away and cleaning all the pots and pans. Hey!! Where did everyone go???
I spent the rest of the day on the couch. I finally got up and walked around to be sure I didn't get rigor mortis, when I discovered it was only 10:00 in the morning. How could that be? I was sure it was past noon!!
The best part is I have 5 little sausages to savor, our payment for working our butts off serving almost 900 people for a good cause. It was worth every penny, or sausage as the case may be!!