Cooking for 50

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lots of you know (and there are lots of you, I'm sure, dear readers!) that I cook for this program at my church.  It's called Christianity Explored, and it's this cool way for skeptics and people who are curious about Christianity to come discuss it in an almost academic-type setting.  It's really cool, and since we're close to a huge university, lots of people from other countries have come and checked it out.  And, to sort of sweeten the deal, we serve dinner at the beginning -- and that's my domain!

When I was first asked to cook for this, I had distasteful visions of churning out watery plates of spaghetti or sad bisquick pancakes, and I wasn't real interested.  But then I was told that I would have a budget, but I could make whatever I wanted.  So I jumped in.  We've been doing this now for ... gosh, I can't even remember, 4 or 5 sessions  (each session is 10 weeks) and I just love it. I sit around and dream up new and exciting meals to make, and ways to make old favorites better.  I have an awesome crew of friends who come in and help me, and we whip up some mighty tasty meals, I have to say.  And we have a great time doing it!

So last night was the beginning of a new session, and as usual on the day of the first CE, I was so excited yesterday afternoon that I couldn't even take a nap!  We had a great lineup of dishes: Balsamic Chicken, what I call "Pesto Primavera" (it's pasta and fresh, sauted veggies like carrots and zuchinni and bell peppers topped with homemade pesto sauce.) and Bruschetta (toasted bread topped with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella - see picture below).  A luscious Brownie Cheesecake topped with Raspberry Sauce finished it off -- quite well, too, if I may say so.  Gosh that was a good meal!  And yes, all those recipes are in the cookbook.

Bruschetta topping
The thing I love about food, besides the way it tastes so good, is the way it brings people together.  I had my crew in the kitchen, laughing and talking and having a great time (Ted always comes with random, crazy questions that we all have to answer.  This week it was "what famous person would you like to beat up?"  That Ted, what a card!) And then outside the kitchen were people, literally, from all over the world, getting together and talking about God.  All over the catalyst of food.  Isn't that something?


Carson's Dad said...

It was yummy!!! I plan to buy your book just for this recipe!

Ted never asked me that question, he asked me which female celebrity I would want to punch in the face. A little less politically correct...