When asked to serve a large number of people you may feel overwhelmed. The quantity of food required can be staggering and almost unbelievable to the person who cooks for a small family. The secret to successfully preparing enough food for a large crowd is good planning, some plain old fashioned hard work and following the rule ... THOU SHALT NOT PANIC. That last one is a little harder to master than the other two.
I will attempt to share with you some of the things I have learned through trial and error. Hopefully the menus and recipes will be of some help. Many of the recipes were favorites from friends and family, but have been altered to adapt to being made in large quantities.
When preparing food for a crowd you must consider the area you have to work and serve in, the equipment at your disposal and the budget you are working with. Choosing a menu that fits into your plan is very important.
Proper food storage and cleanliness of the work area are vital when preparing food. How you handle food, the cleanliness of cutting boards, counters and your hands can not be stressed too strongly. Following the preparation of any raw meat for cooking, but especially chicken, the entire preparation area should be scrubbed with soap and water, then wiped down with a mixture of bleach and water before beginning a new task. There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables available to us. These may have chemical residue or dirt on them so rinse them carefully. Good common sense and a concern for the well being of those you serve is a real asset in the kitchen.
Carefully go through each recipe in the menu you have chosen. Make a shopping list of all ingredients you need to purchase. Before starting to cook, read the recipe and assemble all ingredients and equipment needed.
Use ingredients listed. Use caution when substituting one ingredient for another. Increasing or decreasing some recipes may affect the finished product.
All measurements given in the following recipes are level. For liquid and dry measurements use standard measuring cups and spoons. Equivalents given below. * Denotes approximate measure.
3 Teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
4 Tablespoons = 1/4 Cup
5-1/3 Tablespoons = Cup
16 Tablespoons = 1 Cup
2 Cups = 1 Pint
4 Cups = 1 Quart
2 Quart = 1/2 Gallon
1 lb. all-purpose flour = 3 cups*
1 lb. granulated sugar = 2 cups*
1 lb. shortening = 2 cups