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Switch to Forum Live View Church cookin' -- or, beans for 60
4 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2010 - 7:00PM #1
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

Hi everyone! Hope y'all are well and enjoying fall.


So my mom, who is a terrific home cook, has somehow been drafted into helping cook at a weekly church supper that attracts about 60 people. She's a bit overwhelmed. Also, she is already seeing the same stuff over and over -- lots of starches, beans, potatoes, etc. Do any of y'all have some ideas where she can learn more about cooking tasty food for dozens of folks -- without spending a lot? They have relied on day-old bread and cakes, plus whatever's on sale at Wal-Mart or Kroger, but Mom would like to raise the quality. 


Also, and I ask our ministers -- they don't seem to have a budget for this weekly supper other than "spend as little as you can while still feeding the people." They take donations, usually about $3/head, but I know they're not spending that much. Should they be budgeting maybe half the previous week's take on the food, or is that too much or little?


Thanks for any insights or resources you can share!

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2010 - 12:43AM #2
Xapisma
Posts: 155

For 3 bucks a pop, you won't be able to come up with much more than inexpensive starches. Your mom might experiment with some simple vegan dishes which rely on combinations of beans for a protein source. Make friends at the local farmers market for those who might donate (or sell cheaply) slightly bruised or less attractive fruits and vegetables which are still fresh and nutritious. Look into whether or not the church would qualify for the local Food Bank for canned goods.


OR... Raise the price. Require pre-paid reservations.

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4 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2010 - 11:06PM #3
JuniaDoC
Posts: 12
You can make a nutritious soup with potatoes, cabbage, canned tomatoes, celery, carrots and corn (on the cob, sliced into rings--the cob adds additional flavor to the soup). If you could fund it, adding stew beef would add protein, plus add a bay leaf to boost the flavor. If you can't afford the stew beef, adding a small wedge of cheddar cheese on the side along with a roll makes for a good meal overall.

My family of 5 (plus relatives) ate that same soup for years when people were out of jobs and money was very tight. I still eat it to this day and can make a 6-to-8 serving batch for around $3-4 total, IIRC. Two large potatoes, 1/2 head cabbage, one can stewed tomatoes, three stalks celery, two carrots sliced and two ears of corn.

Check with your local grocery stores to see if you might be eligible to receive items they might otherwise be throwing away at the end of the day. You'd be amazed at what get thrown away -- good bread, vegetables, cheese, meat, etc. It's usually not bad, but probably approaching the sell-by date within a week.
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4 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2010 - 2:39PM #4
Xapisma
Posts: 155

Talk with the folks at your local Food Bank, too. As a church group doing regular meals for the poor/homeless, I would bet that you could qualify for assistance. The worst they can say is "no".

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