Hello Moose lodge. The mission of "Moose Tracks" is to inform, entertain, and engage you in our Lodge. Today's Topic: Kitchen doings at our dinner-dances.
At the beginning of the Moose year (May 1), the dinner-dances are blocked out on the calendar by the Women of the Moose. The food budget for each dinner is usually $600. Attendance at dinners has grown over the years, to between 100 to 125. And I get flustered 6 people at Thanksgiving!
Bev and Michelle Floyd (mother and daughter) have been making these dinners for the past ten years. Before that, Carol and Charlie Bell did it for 30 years. Other volunteers include Katie Pedone, Bud Carr, Ray Tynecki, Geoff Sherman, and Dave Cruz. I joined in recently to be an extra hand. Some think the cooks and servers are paid. Nope, it's all volunteers.
I show up at 5 p.m. Bev and Michelle have already shopped for the food and spent part of that day cooking it. The tables and walls are already decorated, and the raffle ticket table is set up. (More volunteers!) Utensils and napkins are already nearly set at each place.
The apron they hand you is very appropiate, and disposable gloves. It's a tight space so you don't want to bump into others. Watch Katie go dashing by, pulling things out of the pantry or warming areas. Our Bud expertly keeping up on any dishes to be washed.
How about a team of 4 quickly turning out 120 salads? You apply liberal amounts for dressing, fill the paper bowls from a huge bowl, and someone speedily tops each salad with cherry tomatos.Ray stands by stacking them on carts and keeping count before they're roled out.
For hot meal assembly it's all hands: the team apportioning out the hot food, passing the plates to the front counter, adding bread, placing meals on carts, wheeling to the tables. Be safe, but get the food out hot! My arms get a workout ladling vegetables.
One Halloween, a fun project for me was painting "RIP" on cookies. Others added a candy worm coming out of Oreo crumble "earth" all that over chocolate pudding. Clever, colorful, and tasty.
All in all, it's "poetry in motion" in the Moose kitchen.