6 pounds of butter, 16 cups of cheddar cheese, 10 pounds of potatoes, 56 ounces of cream cheese, 6 pounds of broccoli, 64 ounces of macaroni noodles, 2 boxes of Ritz crackers, 20 ears of corn, 2 gallons of milk, buttercream galore and ONE broken crock pot=Wednesday.
Whew. I'm spent.
Was it an early Thanksgiving? Nope.
It was our neighbor Bill's birthday!!
Ever since we moved into our subdivision and met our dear friend Debra, who also happens to be our realtor:), I have been cooking Wednesday night dinners for her family.
Before you think I have completely lost it, you need to know she pays me.
See, Debra has a big..BIG..family, and she loves sit-down family meals in her home. No restaurant.
I can't blame her. More great memories are made from across the dining room table(not in front of the TV), than at Cracker Barrel. I have a part of my heart reserved for CB though, no disrespect.
When I told Debra about how much I love to cook she asked if I could make a few things for her, thus began our food relationship. Oh trust me, I have made plenty of things that she didn't like, but luckily the wins outweigh the losses. Since she has quite a large family, I generally have to start the night before by making deserts and prepping food for the next day. One oven=a lot of planning. Even more when your crock pot just doesn't turn on and you have to resort to plan B. Oh well, things happen.
One the menu for pick-up at 7:10 (an extra ten because of plan B) last night was;
-Mac and cheese (not.from.a.box)
-Broccoli cheese casserole (with Ritz crackers on top, because THAT is where it's at)
-Mashed potatoes (Tip in a sec)
-Corn on the cob (I have an awesome method for this, I'll tell you in a sec)
-Yeast rolls (duh)
-3-layer chocolate cake (with "Happy Birthday Bill" written on it bya4yearold)
And banana bread and chicken salad for the week.
OK, so there are a couple of things I really feel like I need to tell you because they are helpful to know....
First, leave the shucks on!! When you are making corn on the cob the BEST way to do it (unless you're grilling it) is to leave it as-is, shucks and all, and throw it straight on the rack in a 350 degree oven. Rack in the middle of the oven, don't touch it, don't worry for 30 minutes. I actually left my 20 ears in for 40-ish because I had a broccoli and cheese situation happening up top. After 30 minutes, take it out, put it on a sheet, cover with aluminum foil, then shuck it when it's cool enough to touch. Voila!!! Perfectly cooked corn, and it's easier to shuck!
Second, make a roux for pete's sake! Velveeta isn't real. Sorry to say, it's not. It's cheese that can be left on a shelf, unrefrigerated, until the apocalypse and stillbegood. Real? Um,no. If you're going to make anything with a cream or cheese sauce it's cheaper(and healthier) to skip the Velveeta and grab some butter and flour and make a roux. Then add milk and cheese. Then pour it over any vegetable no one wants and magically the veggies disappear! You're a hero!
Third, you can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time. Say wha?! Yep, you sure can AND they will be good. You won't resort to potato pancakes, or adding a little milk in them to moisten them up. Promise, no crossies. After you boil the taters, mash them(with a hand masher to keep the gluten more intact) and add butter, milk/cream/whatev, and cream cheese. The cream cheese keeps them moist, so the next day all you have to do is set them out so they thaw a bit, then reheat them. Why sure you can add a little more butter too:). They may not be healthy, but if you wanted healthy you would be mashing cauliflower, savvy?
Those are 3 things I have learned that I wanted to pass along, in the event they may help someone in a potato crisis. You're welcome.
Disclaimer: My stepson won't eat most of what I make, something about kids and fast food and smiley potatoes/velveeta shells and cheese/frozen chicken tenders etc,etc,etc. I do have hopes that one day he will. He eats the yeast rolls which is a start. So I am not bashing anyone for what they prepare, just challenging. I feel accomplished when I make something from scratch, and that feels good. The end product may not be fluorescent orange, but I know everything that went into it. If I can do it, anyone can.
Now to restock my fridge with food for my husband, so he doesn't have to resort to rolls and marinara sauce....again.
Still hearin' about that.