Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cooking Failure

Ok, so it wasn't a complete disaster... just a minor catastrophe. But hey, it's hard cooking for 25 people! Here's what happened... we got a recipe online for French Toast Casserole. Kinda weird, but it sounded good! On the website it allows you to type in how many people you're cooking for and it adjusts all the measurements for you. Sounds great! Right? Well, sort of.... It adjusts ingredients, but doesn't change the cooking instructions. So things like the size of the pan, cooking temperature, and some of the amounts might be a little off.
We got into the kitchen around 12:15 to prep lunch which is usually served between 1 and 1:30. The prep for the casserole should only take 10 minutes  and then the cook time is 45 minutes. But our oven usually cooks fast so we figured it would be closer to 40 minutes. We put the bread pieces in the pans and get ready to dump the egg-milk-salt-sugar-vanilla mixture over the top, and realize we don't have nearly enough! The bread is barely wet in fact, some pieces are completely dry. No problem We'll be ok, just whip up some more of the wet mixture. Problem 1: We don't have any more eggs! Normally they keep some in the pantry but today, none! What to do? What to do? I guess we'll have to go to the store. One of the girls offers to run down there, so the rest of us start chopping up stuff for fruit salad. 20 minutes later we have the eggs, have mixed everything up and are putting the pans in the oven. It's now about 12:45 so lunch will probably be a little bit late. But that happens pretty frequently.
1:30 roles around... the casserole is nowhere near done. But there is nothing we can do. Lunch is pushed back to 2:00.
2:00- still not done
2:15- no change. Turn up the heat 10 degrees.
2:30- We're getting desperate! We have figured out the pans are too big for the amount we're cooking. It will take another 30 minutes at least to finish! So we take everything out, quickly divide the 2 large pans into 4 smaller ones and stick them all back in. Hopefully that will help speed things along.
2:45- Still not done! We are so hungry!
2:55- Game over. We're eating anyway! We pull them out and they look done. So we go with it.
3:00- Everyone lines up and grabs some food!
3:05 The DC is silent because everyone is eating! They were all so hungry! Thankfully the casserole tasted good so it was almost worth the wait.
So in the end, it all turned out ok. We just ate a really, really late lunch. Then we pushed dinner back to 7:30 to spread out the meals a bit more and everyone was fine.  Lessons learned- look at a recipe more carefully, especially when its made to cook for 4-6 people and we're making enough for 25-30,  use smaller pans. and don't be afraid to divide and conquer!

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