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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

100 Casseroles!!!

A month ago we were sitting around as parents trying to think of a fundraiser that would help defray the cost for the contests we would attend this spring.  We would need to pay for one overnight stay in the Houston area for the WHEP contest at the rodeo, along with a four day trip to the State contest the next month.

So, I thought of a casserole sale.  We would ask our friends and family to order from a choice of four casseroles.  At the time I thought we would set a goal for 50 casseroles and hope for the best.  We would not give a price but ask for donations.  Last Friday, I had all orders in and found out that we had orders for over 100 casseroles!

After I got over my shock, I set about gathering what was needed to make that many casseroles, such as  ingredients, pans (2 sizes), equipment, and MY SANITY!!!!  LOL!  But even then it really did not seem too bad.  I had my list and went grocery shopping and gathered equipment.  All was good!

Today was set aside for everyone to come to my house for casserole assembly.  Yesterday, the boys and I worked to cook meat and create the main sauces.  Other ingredients were set up in neat little rows for easy access.  I had 3 stations set up: cooking, assembly, and finished product.  All was good!

This morning we began with little stress and we had the set up working well for us.  Although the counters were so full of supplies that the idea of having three stations was blown out the window!  We started with a traditional lasagna...we made it through half the number needed when we ran out of sauce.

No problem we set up another batch of sauce to simmer and started on the next casserole.  This one was an easy one, a family recipe called Shoestring Ole.  We had fun making these with a shout of "Ole!" after each completed casserole!  We were done with this portion of the fun by noon.

We got all the kids a lunch of hot dogs and chips thanks to Jim who worked the grill while we continued to assemble MORE casseroles.  This time we were working on Chicken Lasagna and Chicken Spaghetti (easy to work together because the same sauce base was used).  The chicken lasagna is a delicious recipe, unfortunately, it took us a long time to complete assembly.  We were not done by mid afternoon when some of our families had to leave.  Which was well past the time I thought we would be done!

So then there were 4!  Four families to put together the remaining pans of chicken lasagna and spaghetti!  Not to mention the remaining lasagnas.

Just about the time we were thinking we should take a much deserved break, in walks the ride for one of the members and of course he was ready to leave also after being in the kitchen all day.  However, we realized that we needed to make six more large lasagnas for them to take for delivery.  We quickly set to work to make these for him!

Once they were set and on their way, we were back in full swing and determined to finish the job.  We worked until almost 6pm when we ran out of some of our key ingredients.  We still had 20 casseroles to complete!  But, all was good (although it will be better tomorrow when we finish!). ;)

We were so tired!  We decided the best thing to do was regroup and gather final supplies and complete them tomorrow.  Not bad for our small group to finish more than 80 casseroles in one day.  And, you know, in spite of all the chaos we learned "to make the best better" by enjoying the time together.  We laughed and joked...the kids had time to play outside.  It was great fun and I would do it again in a heart beat...well, after my feet stop hurting from standing all day!  LOL!

Oh, and believe it or not in all of this casserole making we also were able to practice for our upcoming contest!  I set up a mock contest for the kids to practice in the afternoon.  They did a great job for a first attempt.  Hopefully we will have time to study again next week.

I cannot end this post without a BIG thank you to all of those who supported this fundraiser!  We are all so thankful for the families who ordered a casserole.  I hope you enjoy the meal we have prepared for you.  May it bring a blessing to you as you sit down to eat together!

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