December 31, 2010

Friday FarmGirls at Heart

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Wow...the days are just screaming by here! It is the last day of 2010...and I have a homeschool graduate! Tomorrow we are having a celebration Open House and dinner for Bryan, and our beloved church family have RSVP'd to brave whatever weather Chicagoland can throw at them to join us...and we have 130 people planning to come for dinner! GULP!

We're starting the open house at 2pm, and it goes through 8pm. The dinner (which is what the RSVP was for) is scheduled to start at 5 and go through 6:30pm. Fortunately, we have a GFS store in our area (Gordon Food Service) where they supply products for food service vendors...including the big boxes and bags of things, as well as huge cans of everything you could think of and frozen foods. They had a lot on sale this week (since it's time for the big New Year's parties) that I needed, which was a blessing!
The deep freezer chest, packed full after I added today's shopping bags to it!
 I had an idea, early on, of what I planned to serve for the dinner buffet. As the guest count climbed out of the 60's and into the 90's, finally topping off at 130, those plans changed pretty drastically! But I think we will have a nice dinner, and it's always a great time of fellowship with these dear friends! It'll just be a bit more "casual." I like that! FarmGirls at Heart know how to flex as the situation calls for.

So, I am being a brave FarmGirl, and I'm just going to trust the Lord that He will help me to accomplish what I need to accomplish, and not worry about what I can't. Today I am donning my apron, and baking pumpkin bread and several pans of corn bread. My favorite cornbread is the kind I baked at Kline Creek Farm when I was a volunteer there, and got to bake on the woodstove. It's a simple cornbread, but we sprinkled some sugar on the top of it...oh, it adds such a special taste! So I'm going to do that. The pumpkin bread loaves will be sliced, then each slice halved so they're easier to hold. Pumpkin bread is for the Open House time, along with chips of various sorts, candies. Oh, peanuts, too. And punch...made with white grape juice, 7-Up, and frozen fruit (chopped peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple...I think...whatever was in the bags of frozen fruit they had).  See...I'm flexing...much better to say, "whatever!" than to worry too much!  :-)

The corn bread will be served with the dinner buffet. Also meatballs in Swedish-style gravy, and those tiny cocktail franks in the sauce that's made with grape jelly. (GFS has it premade in big's yummy, and so much easier!)
Meatballs and Franks on really good SALE...gotta love it!
I chose cole slaw instead of tossed salad due to cost issues with lettuce for that many people. Hooray for cabbage! They had huge bags of slaw, already chopped up and ready for sauce/dressing:
5 Lb. bags...that's alot of cole slaw!
Also, I have 200 little mini-quiches in the freezer. Originally, I'd planned those for the Open House portion. Now I think they may join the dinner line-up. Or, they may just stay in my freezer and be there for another occasion where I need lots of little appetizers. I like that plan the best!

For the younger children who don't go for Swedish meatballs and coleslaw, I got a huge (food-service-size) bag of dinosaur-shape chicken nuggets, and giant bags of baby carrots. I've got 5 crockpots, one large kitchen oven (I have a double oven, but the top oven died irreparably about a month ago, so just the one is least it's the big one!), and then an electric roasting oven, too.
This was on sale from our local Aldi sweet mom got it for me as a Christmas gift! She knew I needed it for the party. It is still in the box this morning...I'm going on faith that it will work and not be somehow broken!
We can't seat everyone, so most will have to eat while standing, I'm afraid. That's another reason I went with the foods that I did...I need a "forks only and not likely to spill" array of food!

The coffee pot will be brewing constantly, I'm sure; the tea kettle will see lots of service; I have a very large (gallons) beverage dispenser for lemonade; and water will flow as long as my faucet keeps working! My men were cleaning for me yesterday while I was out shopping. It is a group effort, that's for sure! Wish I hadn't been sick all last week, the timing wasn't good there.

Well, I'm going to be spending the rest of today figuring out where to set up my food lines! I have done parties for up to 80 people before, but not dinner parties. So this will be a first! I'm sure my friends will do what they always do when we get together as a group (which we do often), and that is grab aprons, dish towels, and whatever else looks like it would be handy, and then lend a hand! Part of me is a little nervous about this one, but most of me is kind of just enjoying the outpouring of love and support for my son, who has worked so hard and has reached this wonderful milestone in his life. It is a wonderful thing, the fellowship of believers.

We are, indeed, blessed. Even out here in the non-farm world of Chicagoland! My "barns" (freezers) are full, and my Farmhouse will be a place of crowded friendship and love, and warmth (I think literally...) tomorrow. My son is so happy at this time of his life, and my heart is full of so many emotions, all good. All the glory goes to the Lord, for He is the one who has guided us through to today, and it is His path that we desire to follow as we go on from here. May Jesus Christ be praised!

To all my FarmGirl @ Heart friends, have a great Friday!
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hip-chick said...

Sounds like a wonderful party. You will be very busy today!!

morningstar said...

Wow I for one would love to be there to help! FUN! You did a great job on the shopping. I love my triple crockpot. I also have 2 large ones and a small one. And I have been known to borrow a few when needed! Just be sure to plug them in to different ciruits.
The cats are from Siberian and Siamese and Feral stock. The pure bred Siberian and Siamese were turned loose by their not so smart owners ( when they had to move over seas) We tried trapping them ( if for nothing else to remove the collars the owners left on them). Eventurally they populated the feral stock in the neighborhood. The hair vs fur thing is hard to research. Cats with hair only do not have the fluffy undercoat. Just fine hair. Like the Siberian. They shed less. Research the Siberian. They are suppose to be hypo allergenic. I know they are sweet and make fabulous pets. Great talkers! Love to snuggle with their humans. Our fur babies are all from feral stock but we know who mamma and papa are. Papa died a few years ago. Mama and offspring are all fixed, have shots and an ear clip. They were returned to the wild. They keep the rodent population down. ( We live near a river)Mama cat lives in our yard but is fed by our neighbor who loves her. We just could not feed anymore! Or attract anymore. Our babies live a life of luxury in our house.

PlainJane said...

WOW, 130...that is amazing. I wish you all the best and will be thinking of you on such a special day for all of you. That is a lot of people to pack in during the winter, I'm afraid our walls would burst. I hope your weather holds out. And you will have to share your cornbread recipe sometime, it sounds delicious.

We did little smokies and someone brought a bag of chicken nuggets for a sledding party this past Tuesday and it was all just right. I invited 13 families (70 people) but thankfully only a small fraction could come, but it was just right for a fun time for the children.

I look forward to seeing photos and hearing all about it. ((Hugs))

Christine said...


I got goosebumps reading your post! I love all that organization, planning logistics, etc.! We all are so excited for tomorrow, and for celebrating with Bryan. God truly gets all the glory!!


Canadagirl said...

Lori-girl ! You are amazing am I am sure your ds is feeling very loved ! I am praying on you during this BIG DAY. (((((((((((HAPPY DANCE AND HUGS))))))))))) May all go smoothly for you all and peace in it all.

Please take pics and share when the dust settles.

In Him<><

maria said...

You look like you are ready and everyone, I am sure will have a wonderful time :)

Have a wonderful time today and tomorrow!

In His Love,



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