Last night was the Home and School Soup Supper and Silent Auction fundraiser for our church's private school. Since I'm the Home and School leader (and entire committee) I was rather involved in the planning and execution. It was touch and go for awhile - only 14 people had signed up and 5 of those people lived in MY house! But I made an appeal from the pulpit on Sabbath morning and told them I'd forgive them for being remiss in signing up and would step out in faith and make dinner for 45.
At 2:30 my dad, sister, husband, middle son and I went up to the church and started the prep work. The K-2 teacher met us and helped with the table setting and then went in and helped my dad with the salad prep. They made mere vegetables look like little works of art with carrot and cucumber flowers. Jaek did a great job putting out all the plates and bowls in the plating and serving area - then he helped to expertly set the tables and was on the ready for HOURS to light the candles :0) We decorated with garlands of shamrocks and I made little folded over cards of Irish Blessings. I headed home around 3:00 prepared to cook all afternoon - with the faithful help of my babies daddy at my side. He peeled 15 pounds of potatoes in record time and another woman at church peel 7 pounds for me. By 5:00 I had 51 servings of beautiful, golden potato soup bubbling in 3 big pots on my stove. Below is a photo of Jaek surveying things after I hauled the soup up to the church at 5:30.
Dinner was a success. After the school constituency meeting was over about 36 or so folks stayed for supper. The theme was "Lucky? No, Blessed, with a Christian Education". They came into the room with the salads on the table (and the candles expertly lit) glasses ready to receive their choice of beverage. OK - only two choices... water or raspberry iced tea I'd brewed the night before. The more popular choice was water... I think they were afraid of the tea or something. I came home with about 8 quarts of it! They raved over my soup and many asked for the recipe. I have a quarter of my grandmother's blood (a fabulous cook and the greatest hostess that ever lived) and stealthily dodged the exact measurements and ingredients. I've worked 16 years perfecting my potato soup recipe and I'm having a hard time letting it go. But - it was suggested that I contact Marie Calendars and let them make me a million dollar offer... that I could consider...
Dessert was yummy. Triple chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream, hard shell chocolate, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Payment for all the hard work of the evening was an entire pan of brownies left over :0) Seems that folks filled up on soup too much. We only served half as much dessert as we did supper. No complaints here on that one.
I actually did pretty well at guessing how much food we'd need. We had some excess in some areas, but it was still cheaper to buy more at Costco than less somewhere else. There was only about 1/3 of a pot of soup left and the clean-up crew left it in the pot for us. Brian didn't know... and stacked it high on other pots in the back of the van for the ride home. We made it almost out of the church driveway before it spilled in the back of the van. Tomorrow the carpet will be shampooed....
I was a little disappointed in how much we took in - the auction should have done much better in my opinion - but for big bucks you need those in attendance that have big bucks. The cost of dinner was $185 and we netted $535 for all our efforts. That's better than nothing - but about half of what I'd hoped for. I've gained a lot of experience in the process and (if I decide to serve again) next year will be better.
I am finally forced to get my van carpet cleaned... so that's something.