I was catering the meal for a Pastor’s conference at my church. When it was 2 hours or so before the meal, a group of ladies flew into the kitchen, ready for service, asking me, “What do you need me to do?”
I find others ARE willing to help, but the one in charge needs to know how to delegate. I confess this is NOT my strong suit.
However, I took time beforehand to write out all the tasks needful to get everything on the table at the right time. I consulted the list, and with the precision of a drill sergeant, I gave each lady something to do.
Women of all personality types scattered, l intent on the job given them. We ended up serving about 30 more people than we had planned on. I always pray “loaves & fishes, Lord” when I cater. All were fed, including my beloved troop of ladies. In the way it always is, those who serve eat last. We enjoyed a delicious Harvest Apple Salad that day.
The ingredients have such varied flavors that you might think one would overpower the others, but the combination of textures and flavors-crunchy, sweet, tart, salty, and bitter were mellowed by a sweet dressing that made the whole thing come together.
I was reminded by the Lord that all those ladies who served were like that salad. The different personalities all coming together could be potential for conflict had they not been willing to allow one of us (me) to be in charge that day and simply do the task given them. The commonality that made it all work out was a sweet spirit & willingness to serve the Lord.
It was a great time together and we made our pastor proud! Go to CY.info for the recipe! The ingredients are available year round, so it makes a great winter salad option. I will also post an example of my timeline to help you understand how some thought & planning beforehand can prevent kitchen chaos.
Example of event time line
Roast beef w/au jus gravy
Mashed potatoes w butter
Rolls and butter
Unmold butter-place on serving plate-room temp
Heat water for chafers
2:00-Cook green beans in roaster oven
Roast beef-made ahead, frozen and in foil pans
Mashed potatoes-make ahead, in foil pans
Green beans-cook in roaster oven- place in foil pan in chafer
Wash salad greens-place in Ziploc bags in fridge
Prep carrots, celery, green onions-salad-put in Ziplocs
Wash cherry tomatoes-store room temp
Drain black olives
Make salad dressings-put in serving bowls-refrigerate
Ranch Thousand Island Italian
Bacon bits & croutons in bowls
2:00 Cook green beans in roaster oven @ 350 F
Mix salad greens and put in fridge-large bowl
Dressing in serving bowls in fridge
Set up serving table-cloth, table skirt, serving utensils, dishes, chafers (need lighter), centerpiece, candles plates, napkins, etc Put food labels on table for serving dishes
4:00 put frozen roast into oven to thaw on low
5:30 put in mashed potatoes to bake
6:30 rolls in basket (cover w plastic wrap) on table w/butter
Salads, dressing, croutons, bacon bits on table, hot water in chafers and light fuel for
6:45 food in chafers and cover
Harvest Apple Salad
romaine lettuce + your favorite leafy greens
2 c. dried cherries or cranberries
2 med. green apples
1 red apple
1-2 c. cashews (or your favorite nuts)
Combine all ingredients, except nuts. Top with dressing, then sprinkle with nuts.
Poppy Seed Dressing
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. cider vinegar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 T. lemon juice
4 T. onion, chopped
3 tsp poppy seed
Blend all ingredients except oil and poppy seed in blender. While the blender is running, slowly add the oil. This allows the dressing to emulsify. This will thicken it and prevent dressing from separating. Add the poppy seed; put on salad just before serving.