Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Great Macaroni Disaster

You may know that on Wednesdays from 4 - 7 pm I help cook for a group of teens. Anywhere from 25 - 50 of them. There are three of us doing the actual cooking, and the teens help clean up, do dishes, put tables away, that sort of thing. We've been doing this job for a little over a year, and things have always run very smoothly.

Until yesterday.

Karen K., the lady-in-charge, was running a little late and still needed to go to the store for a few things. Cindy is diabetic and having a problem with her feet, so we try to let her do things that allow her to sit some. KK also works at the church school, so sometimes she has other things on her mind, as she did last night. Most times I get there first and, in anticipation of what I know the menu will be, I get some things started. But the menu had changed, so there wasn't much I could do. KK finally arrived and informed us of the new plan: sloppy joes, mac & cheese, green beans, salad, and the dessert lady was bringing cookies for dessert. We always eat promptly at 6 because church starts at 7 and it takes that long to devour food and clean up.

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about our very old gas stove. It is commercial grade, but not worth the cast iron legs it stands on. We'd be better off with an old wood-burning cookstove. Seriously, I've never witnessed a pot of water taking so long to boil - 45 minutes to an hour and I am not exaggerating. So Cindy started browning 15 pounds of ground beef while I got two pots of water on the stove for macaroni. Meanwhile, I put the two 2-lb. boxes of elbows on the shelf above the stove, and got busy doing other things while waiting for the water. Defrosting a large chunk of green beans in a sink full of hot water, getting out plates and plastic-ware, making lemonade. Forty-five minutes later the first pot was finally boiling and I grabbed a box of pasta. As I did so, the bottom fell out of it (something about the heat softening up the glue that holds it together) and two pounds of macaroni poured out like hail on the kitchen floor.

Let me stop right here and confess that I did not have the presence of mind to take a picture. I TOLD you I was a lousy blogger! The thought that I had missed a precious opportunity hit me later, but I'll get to that.

Cindy immediately grabbed her purse and left for the grocery store - if you've ever watched 40 kids inhale macaroni and cheese, you know that one 2-lb box is not nearly enough. Her son, Josh, was helping me clean up, and we had the following conversation:

Me: I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this for my blog!

Josh: (in his very helpful voice) We can dump it all out again!

I declined his offer of problem-solving and continued sweeping.

We got the food made, and the last pan of mac & cheese didn't go in the oven until 5:40, but somehow teens don't care. We could throw them hunks of raw meat and they'd be happy.

So once again I am confessing my underwhelming performance in blogdom. I'll start wearing my phone on my belt.

Be thankful ~



JenIG said...

you're right, that absolutely needs a picture. Shame on you for not thinking of us in the midst of chaos

Mostly Sunny said...

The Gremlin Wrangler has a picture posted of peas and carrots all over her kitchen floor! I drop stuff so often that the dogs sit at my feet while I prepare dinner just waiting for a treat. And they don't care what it is. If only my kids were as accepting of all food groups as the dogs are. On another note, are you all better? I've been praying for you!