Monday Night Dinners

Long day yet rewarding in its own right.  Went to a funeral this morning for my BIL’s mum…she was a wonderful person with several awful diseases and God saw fit to call her home this past Thursday.  It was a nice service and we wanted to hang out with the family after but we had prior obligations with the church…Monday Night Dinner.

See I’m on the Hospitality Team for our church and we’ve adopted a new and slightly unusual “thing” called the Monday Night Service with a free Monday Night Dinner served to the community just before worship.  It’s working out pretty well except the meal prep takes up most of a Monday and sometimes the Sunday prior with baking and advanced prep.  We have no budget other than what the staff can procure for us at the Food Bank and I have to say we have been extremely fortunate with their offerings!  It’s a pretty cool thing to serve up good grub for curious people and our Team really enjoys doing it.

But, it is a lot of work with today being no exception!  My dogs are howling right now and I have blisters on parts of my feet I didn’t even realize could get blisters!  We served up Egg Strata, steamed asparagus, bacon, seasoned hash browns, croissants and for dessert, fresh blueberries and strawberries, vanilla yogurt and cinnamon sugar tortas (Spanish flatbread cookie) – SO good!!  The whole meal was awesome but when you have a fussy oven with hot and cold spots that rotate every time the doors open it’s a bit of a logistical nightmare!  P is our fearless leader and a consummate list maker.  Without her planning and organizational skills we’d be floundering.  Her hubby is our dishwasher and greatly appreciated for those fine skills. 🙂  We had several mishaps with the bacon not cooking evenly in the ovens and timing issues with getting the strata made so it could soak and then having to share valuable oven space with the remaining bacon and hash browns.  My hubby and I furiously hulled and sliced three flats of strawberries while P was racing in the background shuffling pans and trays in and out of the ovens.  From 12:30pm to 5:15pm the kitchen was a flurry of activity and conversation and then…it was over, except for the cleanup.  The table was loaded with food and everyone was happy and satisfied.  So rewarding for us knowing the people we fed were heading into the sanctuary to hear a great message and participate in worship! 🙂

However, there is a darkside of Monday Night Dinners…the prep and food team also have to clean up.  We work for hours preparing, cooking and serving the food and then we have the inevitable clean up.  It would be REALLY nice if we could get in a cleaning team who would be responsible for the dishes, sanitizing, mopping and and putting away all the chairs and tables.   It would cut the work in half with fresh people coming in for the clean up sift.  I felt terrible tonight as I had to leave before the major cleaning was done – but my son had to get home to bed before he turned into Mr. Crankypants! Still, P’s hubby was still scrubbing pans and P was still cleaning counters and putting stuff away when I was leaving.  It just doesn’t seem right.  Sadly, while we have volunteers willing to help serve, rare (and precious!) are the ones willing to help clean up.  So I guess I just have to add this to our Kitchen Wish List, along with new ovens, wanted – Cleaning Crew!  You will be greatly prized!

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Say “hi” to Mister!

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