This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We survived!

We cooked our Christmassy meal for 70 and have survived to tell the tale : )

We planned everything on Friday evening and then went shopping on Saturday morning.  We started off in Aldi because there are a lot of the things that were on our list that are good quality but cheaper there. However, they did not have enough of anything we needed... Never mind, we said, we'll just have to go to Sainsburys which is fairly close to Aldi.  But they did not have enough of anything either!  Good job we went shopping in the morning and didn't leave it until the afternoon because the shelves would have been even emptier.  So we bought what we could in Sainsburys and then went back to Aldi and filled in the gaps.  Then we went to church and found that somebody had put lots of stuff in the church freezer so there was not enough space for our stuff and I don't think you could fit more than a stray bread roll in our freezers at home.  Fun!  So we had to get creative.

On Sunday morning, we went down to church bright and very early and got cracking.  We have a large (6 ring) domestic cooker with two ovens so everything had to get shuffled round a bit.  We served:

  • a segment of melon with maraschino flavour cherry (while they ate this, it gave us a few minutes to finish getting everything ready for serving the main course)
  • chicken breast served in a mushroom sauce (using the sauce meant that the chicken didn't dry out when swapped around with other things in the oven)
  • cocktail sausage (no bacon around them because we were up to our budget : (   )
  • mashed potato (very forgiving to prepare and cook and doesn't mind being reheated)
  • roasties 
  • peas, corn, sprouts, broccoli, carrots (carrots were fresh but the rest were frozen)
  • little ball of sage and onion stuffing
  • gravy and cranberry sauce
  • icecream and chocolate sauce/mince pie/Christmas pud and custard
  • tea and coffee
  • with the meal they could have orange juice, apple juice, lemonade and sparkling water or a mixture. (I like OJ with a splash of sparkling water best)
  • the veggie alternative was a Quorn portion cooked in exactly the same way as the chicken
And that all came to just over £150 for 70 servings.  I would have preferred some form of roast or baked meat but with the number of servings and the lack of cooking facilities, we opted for the mushroom sauce because with having to swap things around in the ovens, I could see the chicken suffering.

Thankfully, we had a dishwasher to use for the plates and bowls and several people washed up the pots and pans and cutlery for us - for which I was truly thankful!  And we slept very well on Sunday night!  But we had to be up very early because my husband had to drive to Peterborough for 9am on Monday morning.  I don't really mind cooking for the multitudes but I'm glad we don't have to do it too often.

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