Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lunch, redux

I made too much food for yesterday's lunch. Last night, my husband suggested an impromptu show of appreciation.

Okay, honey, just as soon as I wash the million dishes I used yesterday!

With only $6 more at the grocery store, I had enough to bring a summery lunch for the 8 secretaries today:
  • leftover chicken breasts diced into a garlic herb chicken salad
  • leftover tomato slices chopped for Greek orzo salad
  • a huge bowl of unused potato salad
  • half a chocolate pound cake sliced for the dessert tray
Please note, any food which was used for today's lunch had been fully refrigerated and not on yesterday's buffet table. I freshened the lunch with:
  • a pan of Miss Daisy's lemon chess squares
  • roasted red pepper hummus on sale at the grocery
  • two multi-grain baguettes reduced to fifty cents apiece

I had a lot of fun surprising the administrative staff with a batik tablecloth printed with water lilies and the "salad bar" banked in ice and kale. As usual, I forgot photos. You can see the bread basket and dessert basket above. I loaded those in my car 30 minutes before leaving the house, so they arrived toasty warm, courtesy of the sun.

Thus ends my career as a low-budget caterer.


Anonymous said...

You are such a good wife! You blow me away with everything you do! Honestly I do NOT know how you do it all.

It's a Mom Thing said...

Ditto! And I know how much the secretaries appreiated your efforts. They often get overlooked and in many cases pretty much run the school.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to show off here.

I am a shy person by nature, and hospitality does not come easy for me. Just taking you along on the ride!

Truly, this gets easier every time I do it. I used to get snippy at my husband and stress all night long the night before. Now I am down to a mild rush of panic and an almost relaxed presentation.

Plus, bringing the food to my husband's workplace means I don't have to have the house clean at the same time!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think one of the neatest things to come out of all this, Meredith, is the example your son saw these past few days. I am sure that your two little "apples" won't fall far from the proverbial tree, and they'll grow up to be generous, thoughtful adults, too, just like their mom and dad!
Proverbs 11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed".
Hoping you have a peaceful and refreshing weekend!

Melissa said...

I so agree about the administrative getting over-looked. What a blessing you must have been to them!

Tracy said...

Does your husband have any job openings? ; )

Oh! And last night when I made dinner I was mulling over your post about making things beautiful (even with kids underfoot). So, instead of putting the food on the table in the pots, I put the food in pretty bowls with my good serving spoons. And it only took an extra 30 seconds : )

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in hearing how much the three different luncheons cost.

I've never taken anything you've ever said as showing off or bragging. You are sincere and informative. I'm glad to have the opportunity to check your blog daily.

Jana @sidetrackd said...

What a nice way to show appreciation for the administrative staff. Your salad luncheon sounds delightful and very tasty!

Julian said...

you are very, very creative and rescourceful. I also love to cook for people(mostly family and friends) This week you have done such a good job, and you should be proud of that. I know your husband must be proud of you.

Meredith said...

Thank you.

JB, we paid for the lunches ourselves, except for the chicken from Walmart, which my husband's workplace bought. They actually said bring in your receipts, but the lunch was a personal gift from our family.

Approximate cost:
Sandwich lunch for 10: $20

Chicken lunch for 30+: $56 for 100 pieces of chicken, $65 for side dishes, drinks, and paper products

Salad lunch for 8: $6 plus remaining food from the day before

The cheapest catering around is about $5 per person, so with my "free" labor, I came in about half that.

I also had MUCH leftover food from each day that was shared with other people such as my husband's colleagues, boss, building maintenance people and security.

Shannon said...

I love your comment about not having to have a clean house at the same time. What a great point for those of us really just starting out! That is always the thing that makes me so rushed - I can do one or the other, but I get nuts trying to do it all! And I hadn't ever put my finger on the problem. I'm definitely going to start figuring out ways to work being more hospitable into my life...just as soon as I get this baby here:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response, Meredith. You did an incredible job of serving a huge amount of food for a small amount of money.

I'm on the east coast (CT), our local Walmart doesn't offer quite the same value on it's chicken platters, but I still see the value in having all the chicken fried by someone else :)

Again, I think you did a great job and I appreciate you taking the time to blog about it.

You should sit back and sip on an iced coffee ;)


nancyr said...

You are a much better wife, than I!
If after catering a lunch for 30, my husband asked me to cater another for eight, I would have been very snippy!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Wow, you deserve a break.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for setting the example of hospitality! Like you, I get nervous about entertaining. You've inspired me to think of ways I can bless my fellow teachers and my husband's coworkers this fall. I know how much I appreciate it when a coworker brings in a cookie plate or homemade treats. It is time to give back! Miss Kris

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

You've inspired me yet again. I rarely bake sweets because it's just my husband and me, and we can't eat it all. But I used to enjoy occasionally sending sweets with him to work, and his coworkers always appreciated it.

I've learned after several years of being a SAHW that some of the basic home arts are truly lost among much of the world. Most of DH's coworkers rarely have home-baked treats or meals, so it truly is a blessing to them to receive them.

I just may find myself baking this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Great job on both...and I have never, ever seen anything on your blog that was "showing off," I know you are just sharing your ideas and outcomes. I count myself lucky to be inspired by you.

Anonymous said...

You are a shinning example of a proverbs 31 wife. I hope he realizes the gem he has in you.

ancient one said...

Love this blog. You are a special person. My next door neighbor is exactly like you. She can have her whole church over and never seem ruffled... me, I just panic big time just thinking about having family over...

Amy said...

Oh, I am sure no one thought you were bragging, Meredith! We are just in awe of all you do and are so proud of you. Think of us as your other mothers who are all puffed up to hear all that you have done for others. Great job!