Almost all women who have a sense of civic responsibility-and who doesn’t these days ?-will eventually take a turn at serving on the committee for a church or club supper or luncheon. The group to be served will usually be large, whether the occasion is designed to promote sociability among members or to make money for the club treasury.
In any case, there must be careful and intelligent planning beforehand. An experienced general chairman will undoubtedly be selected, and she will choose sub-committee chairmen who will make up their own committees and give each member certain responsibilities. Some of the members should be from the younger group that will eventually be called upon, as they become experienced, to head the committees. Under the leadership of the general chairman, there should be a main committee to plan the menu according to the amount of money that will be available to cover the cost of the food. The number to be served and the size of the servings must be estimated carefully.
If a complete meal is to be prepared on the premises by the volunteers, typed recipes should be furnished. It is usually impractical to ask one person or group to prepare more than fifty servings. The responsibility for purchase of the food as well as for planning the menus should be the function of the main committee. The chairman should appoint other committees and assign the work accordingly. The following outline shows the breakdown: Main committee for planning and purchasing Food Preparation Committee Duties of Chairman:
Check supplies and assign duties to members.
Indicate time of arrival for each group.
Distribute typed recipes several days ahead so that cooks will be familiar with them.
Check tablecloths, napkins, dishes and silver. Check service
tables in kitchen and route to be followed in serving and
Set tables and decorate dining room. Clearing-up Committee
Check dish-washing equipment and supplies of soap or detergents, dish cloths and towels.
As soiled dishes return to kitchen, scrape, rinse, wash, dry and replace in cupboards.
One member (or more) of this committee should be responsible for keeping kitchen in order during food preparation. In earlier days, it was customary to have much of the food prepared in home kitchens and there was stimulating competition among members of the group who took pride in presenting their best products. This plan is still used where there are no facilities at the club, church or school for preparing large quantity recipes, but it is less common today than previously. When it is followed, women who are known to be experts in the preparation of certain dishes should be asked to contribute their specialties. Less experienced cooks should be called upon for donations of staples such as coffee, sugar and cream.
Sometimes a smorgasbord type of meal is chosen for which a great variety of cold dishes may be prepared at home in comparatively small quantities. This allows participation by a great number of people. Perhaps you have memories of church suppers of your childhood where it was common to see roast turkeys, chicken pies, and possibly fruit pies of the highest quality. Today, the cost of food is so high that it is not always practical to offer such favorites. During the height of the season there may be a turkey supper, but a profitable supper or luncheon usually depends on inexpensive food attractively and tastily prepared.
When chickens are plentiful and reasonable in price, a chicken fry might be planned, but it calls for much work at the last minute. Everyone will be satisfied if the chicken parts are cooked in the oven where there are facilities for this. In general, such main dishes as spaghetti with a meat sauce, meat patties, meat loaf or Swiss steak are featured. There are certain advantages in the choice of these, as they may be prepared ahead of time and kept warm. Baked ham is always popular but an expert carver should be commandeered so that the most may be made of this. As fresh vegetables take time to prepare and are difficult to cook successfully in large quantities, it is usually more practical to serve frozen or canned vegetables dressed in some interesting fashion. Jellied salads or old-fashioned cole slaw that can be prepared ahead of time are in most cases a better choice than a tossed green salad that wilts quickly after mixing. If a green salad is on the menu, one member of the committee should be assigned to prepare it at the last moment.
Desserts such as pies and ice cream are generally purchased, unless some of the members volunteer to make them at home. Most of the recipes in this chapter will supply fifty servings. A few especially appropriate for a women’s luncheon allow for twenty-five servings. If you plan to offer second helpings to those who desire them, the recipes should be increased by half. In other sections of the book will be found other recipes appropriate for a club meal. In order to make fifty servings, each ingredient should be multiplied accordingly. In some cases, the time of cooking must be increased slightly.