Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cooking for a Crowd; Sunshine Slush

Doubling a recipe? Easy. Tripling? A tiny bit more work, but still... easy. But what if you really want to cook for a crowd? How much of that recipe do you really need? When in doubt, ask the folks who are used to feeding hordes of people, like the fine ladies who contributed to the Milwaukee Ward Relief Society Cookbook.
Approximate Amounts To Serve 50 People

Navy beans for baking: 3 qts. or 6 lbs.
Canned string beans: 2 No. 10 cans
Canned beets: 2 No. 10 cans
Roast beef: 20 lbs.
Roast beef for Swiss steak 3/4 in. thick: 20 lbs.
Ground meat for loaf: 10 lbs.
Butter: 1-1/2 lbs.
Chicken (roasted) 30 lbs.
Chicken pie: 20 lbs.
Coffee: 1 lb.
Baked Ham: 2 hams 10 to 12 lbs. each
Ice cream - dessert: 2 gal.
Ice cream - for pie: 1 gal.
Lettuce: 1 oz. per salad
Head lettuce salad: 7 lbs.
Salted nuts: 1-1/2 lbs.
Olives: 2 qts.
Oysters (escalloped): 1 gal.
Peas: 2 No. 10 cans
Peas and carrots: 1 No. 10 can and 5 lbs carrots
Roast pork or fresh ham: 20 lbs.
Pork chops: 18 lbs.
Potatoes (mashed): 1-1/4 pecks
Sweet potatoes: 13-1/2 lbs.
Rice: 3 lbs.
Rolls: 100 rolls
Soup: 3 gal.
Turkey: 22-25 lbs.
Vegetables (fresh): Beans, beets, carrots or cabbage: 10 lbs.
Whipped cream: 2 pts.
Okay, then! Several of the other cookbooks I've covered so far have had sections on how to cook food enough for a wedding, but I like that this gives options. You could use this list as a guideline for whatever sort of meal you wanted to provide. I personally would provide more ice cream and more whipped cream, but I'm more than a little bit of a slut for dairy-based sweets.

I don't know that 1.5 pounds of butter is going to be enough, if we're all going to have two rolls, and a heaping helping of mashed potatoes and other veg, though.

Once you've sorted out how you're going to feed the hungry masses, you should sort out what to serve them to drink. The Milwaukee Ward Relief Society Cookbook has several punch recipes; being an LDS cookbook, none of them have alcohol. (I'll admit to being surprised at the pound of coffee allotted in the list above, as LDS members don't do caffeine, either.) But, really, not all punches need to be boozy concoctions, right? Right.
Sunshine Slush

3 c. water
1 c. sugar
2 ripe bananas (cut up)
2 (12 oz.) cans unsweetened pineapple juice
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice (thawed)
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade (thawed)
2 T. lemon juice
1 (28 oz.) bottle white soda (chilled)

In saucepan combine water and sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil gently, uncovered for 3 minutes; remove from heat and cool. In blinder combine bananas and half the pineapple juice. Blend until smooth. Stir in cooled syrup. Stir in the remaining pineapple juice, orange juice and lemonade concentrates and lemon juice. Turn into a 13x9x2 inch pan or plastic freezer container. Cover with moisture vapor-proof material. Freeze at least several hours or as long as 2 months. To serve, remove mixture from freezer. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. Spoon slush into each glass. Slowly pour in white soda, using equal amounts of slush and soda. Makes about 12 1/2 cups of punch.
Mmmm...tropical goodness. Is it wrong that I want to add rum? Coconut rum, to be precise. Mmmm....

If you're trying to use this punch for a crowd of 50, you'll need to at least quadruple the recipe.

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