Last Friday night Earl and I made dinner for our church's children's department volunteers. It's an annual event and we have cooked for it for several years now. You can see last years dinner here. If you have been around that long, you may remember that last year not only did I have a broken foot, but the date chosen for the dinner was one of the coldest June days I have ever seen.
It wasn't that cold this year...it was colder.
We woke up to a sunny, chilly morning but with a forecast of 0% chance of rain and highs in the low 70's. I looked forward to perfect weather. Well, it never reached more than about 64 degrees and the wind was blowing approx. 13-18 mph.
This may be the last year we attempt to have dinner outside, which will almost guarantee perfect weather next time.
At any rate, we could not have pulled it off at all without the help of the most awesome group of youth volunteers on the planet. I was at my wits end when these wonderful kids drove in and took care of all the last minute details for us.
I had set up tables in the yard and planned on using brown paper as the table cover. When I tried to put it on earlier in the day the wind was so strong I gave up. My volunteers got the job done while Earl and I put the finishing touches on the meal. I had been fortunate enough to find enough brand new blue checked napkins at a garage sale to mix and match for our 25 guests. The brown paper for the tables came from the dollar store,the geraniums were from the farmers market, wrapped in paper and twine by my daughter Victoria, and I used blue jars with solar light lids to light up the tables. Kind of down home and farm themed to go with the meal. Easy and inexpensive. Decorating for guests doesn't have to cost a lot.
This dear girl volunteered to play her guitar and provide background music for dinner. It was beautiful :>)
Strawberry and pecan salad with strawberry vinaigrette
Roasted New York strip
Honey and Ginger carrots
Twice Baked Potatoes.
Warm Brownie Sundaes with vanilla bean ice cream, sweetened strawberries, warm chocolate ganache, m&m's and whipped cream.
Unfortunately, we were so busy cooking and feeding 30 people that I didn't get any more photos.
Again, the guests came prepared (mostly) for the weather and judging from the laughter and conversation they managed to have a good time in spite of the cold weather.
I'll be honest,every year the day before we do this we ask ourselves what we have gotten ourselves into. It's a lot of hard work for one little kitchen, but every year when we are finished, and fall into bed with a pile of dishes waiting for us in the morning, we know why we do it.
We do it because we love and appreciate the time these people invest in kids. Because we love to feed people and because sometimes just because something is hard doesn't mean it isn't worth every single minute of work to make someone happy :>)