October 24th, 2011

cook with fire

Scout banquet wrap up

Putting on a major banquet is a lot of work. The man-hours required for Consecration Sunday were as follows.

Friday (shopping, prepping ribs): 11.5
Saturday (setup, prep work): 34.5
Sunday (final cooking, serving, cleanup): 70.5
Total man-hours: 122.0

We missed out on a meat sale at Marsh, so we didn't make as much money as I'd hoped, but we still cleared a solid profit. Next year, if we do it again, I think I'll go to a wholesaler's well ahead of time to try to get entree costs down.

Overall, though, it went very well this year. Deanne had a bad experience two years ago and declined to help last year. She was willing to try again this year, and came out very high on the experience. She felt it went just about perfectly. So we're working out the organizational kinks. I took the lead on the shopping and much of the prep work. Then Deanne was the executive chef, with a fine kitchen staff of older boys. Alane worked the front of the house, directing the Scouts who were serving. Dirty dishes all went to a side room until serving was concluded; after that, Deanne went home, and several of us directed the final cleanup. Lunch was served at 11:30 a.m., and we were cleaned and gone by 2:30 p.m.

We had a couple of challenges to overcome, too. For one thing, the main kitchen drain backed up and we had water all over the floor Saturday. A plumber came in and it took him a couple of hours and 80 feet of snake to clean out the drain. Then, there was the case of the non-working refrigerator. One of the extra refrigerators in the side kitchen has been turned off for some time. I assumed (many people assumed) that this was because it wasn't working. No, I found out Sunday morning. A couple of our UMW ladies turned it off because it wasn't being used, and they didn't want it to ice up. Boy, I sure would have liked to have known that we could have just plugged the doggone thing in, because we've been working around the blankety-blank all weekend.

Anyway, everything was very tasty. Scouts were asking for recipes for two of the items. The oatmeal and raisin cookies were the most amazing cookies I can remember eating, and everyone wanted to be able to replicate them. I think using "old fashioned" oats rather than quick oats made a big difference. The other surprising request was for the leek soup recipe. I mean, everyone loved it, but to have boys asking for a soup recipe is a statement.

The rule of truth

The first rule of science is, The truth shall be told all the time. Once you start fudging your data, even for a "good" cause, you're not doing science any more.

The first rule of theology is, The truth shall be told all the time. Once you start trying to avoid saying what makes you uncomfortable, you've already started making up your own religion, which will not set anybody free.

The first rule of personal healing is, The truth shall be told all the time. It is not until you start calling things by their right names that you can free yourself from the chains and wounds of dysfunctional relationships and self-deception.

Truth is hard, but deception is infinitely harder. Truth is painful, but deception is infinitely more painful. If you don't know what the truth is, investing yourself in the answer that you like best doesn't make it true.