Defrost it and they will come

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By Vicki Scott

What a blessing this past week has been!

It was our group’s turn to cook and serve the Wednesday Night Meal at church. I was already in a tense situation during which my children and grandchildren suffered through my meltdown. My grands had never seen me cry. Things were not that bad; I just felt like a black cloud was hovering over my head for about a week. When said cloud burst, I cried, after which I felt much

Before we started buying food for the meal, I received a message from one of the other ladies that cooks in the kitchen most of the time. Per her request, I looked through the church refrigerator, as she wanted me to cook as much as I could from its contents. She said there was plenty of food that needed to be cooked, which meant that there would not be much that I needed to buy.

Before our group’s exercise class, we decided to thaw out and warm up a four gallon-sized bags of camp stew, which among other things was a compilation of chicken, pork, tomato sauce, corn and lima beans. After some deliberation, we decided to put in some pulled pork that we had found. We thought about making sandwiches before mixing it with the camp stew. We also found some seasoned hamburger meat that could be used for taco salad. All the ingredients except for lettuce was in the refrigerator, so we decided to go with that plan, too.

The next thing we found in the fridge were about 50 hot dog wieners but no hot dog buns, just hamburger buns. We eventually decided to grill the hotdogs and buy some buns. There was also a huge pan of baked spaghetti, which we had all the fixings for. The spaghetti took the longest to thaw out. There was also frozen chili in the fridge, but we did not thaw it out. Cakes, peach cobbler and pies were spotted in several areas of the kitchen, so we did not need to buy any dessert.

When it came time to get things ready, I discovered that the ice maker had been unplugged, so we had no ice. I could not find pickles, either, so I headed to the local Dollar General. On my way, I called one of the ladies who was helping me get things together and told her about the ice and pickles. She asked me why I needed pickles, and I explained that they were for the barbeque sandwiches. The lady then reminded me that we put the pulled pork in the camp stew. I’m so glad I called her! She saved my bacon several times, and I returned the favor by giving her comedic material.

We used two huge warmers for the camp stew and the seasoned hamburger meat. We kept putting out food until we had to move the plates, forks and napkins to another table. After I moved the utensils, we still did not have enough room for all the food, so we used another counter to put more food on.

We usually feed approximately 120 people during a Wednesday night supper, so we did not think that all the food would be eaten, and we then would be stuck with many leftovers. Time seemed to be flying by, and I thought the food would not thaw out in time, much less be warm. I then realized that I was watching a clock whose battery had not yet been changed to Daylight savings Time, so I had an hour more than I thought.

When it was time to serve, we were ready. Everything was thawed and warmed. Our smorgasbord buffet of food had been realized and people were coming in. Our pastor prayed, we began serving and people started coming in. And coming in. And coming in

At the end of the church service that night, our pastor said that we fed between 160 and 170 people. I felt like we fed 5,000. There were very few leftovers. Some youngsters asked for more baked spaghetti, but they called it lasagna, which made my day!

I was tired but blessed. The black cloud was gone, and I regret that my grandchildren saw me like that during my meltdown. It has been a while since my last one, so hopefully they will not see another one any time soon.

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