Saturday, May 15, 2010

an idea worth spreading.

[my efforts tonight are hereby in honor of a TED. I will cook good
food, I will cook from good ingredients, and I believe that meals
prepared by human hands and shared with others is an idea worth spreading.]

[from the 8 am Zipcar run to Trader Joe's...two
shopping carts full of groceries totaling $432.24.]

Today was the epic day of cooking enough food for 81 girls. To recap:

--8 bags of tortilla chips
--12 quarts worth of refried beans (with 8 more quarts cooking now for some more study break fun tomorrow)
--8 cans of olives
--27 red, yellow, and orange peppers
--homemade salsa (six large cans of tomatoes, frozen corn, cilantro, and onions)
--pan of sauteed onions
--8 batches of Mexican rice (=enough for about five 9x13 pans)
--6 packages of shredded cheese
--18 small-ish romaine bunches
--6 chopped onions
--12 bottles of sparkling fruit juice (apple, pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, and mandarin orange)

and for dessert:

--64 cups of puppy chow
--240 truffles
--8 pounds of peppermint bark

[at the start of the night - thanks for the bowls mom!]

Although, we didn't eat everything...hence the study break tomorrow. I mean, girls are always hungry, right? (it's kind of I was cleaning up, four different girls came by looking for snacks; one went for the puppy chow, one went for red peppers, one went for a truffle, and the final just chowed down on chips). And the final count was probably more around sixty; but the funniest part was that I should have made more rice and beans, and less chocolate. Go figure.

Tally at the end of the night:

--one cut finger (found out while squeezing limes, ouch)
--a very burned thumb (So I kind of poured rice coming from a boiling pot all over it. Oops? It was fine during the night, but the whole doing dishes in hot water thing...well, it isn't so happy now. Thank goodness for my aloe plants and helpers that will let you dry for a bit instead)
--hands that are cracking from all the dish-washing

But really, it's the stuff that happens during the night that's awesome and makes this job very much worth my time:

--"This is so good"
--"This table is so colorful!"
--"Thank you so much for spending so much time on's so much better than pizza!"
--"OH MY GOSH I love red peppers"
--"You're my hero." [nope. not making that up. I nearly melted]
--"It's all vegetarian? Really? I mean, are you vegetarian? No? Well...thanks for thinking about all of us and cooking such a veg-friendly spread. I love it!"
--"I don't know what to do with myself right good!"
--"We have looked forward to this all week!"
--"Can I stay on your study break email list after I graduate? I mean, I'm going to be a masters student here, so I can always drop by, right?"

Yes. Absolutely. Stop by any time.


Rachel M. Slough said...

I love this :) You care so much for other people, and these girls are so immensely lucky to have you!

Debbie said...

I am so jealous - and your girls are so fortunate to have you! It looks amazing. Any specific recipes we should know about? ;)

Take care dear!