Notes on Serving Meals to Large Crowds

The Lutheran Woman's Missionary League of Norfolk, Nebr. undertook the big job of serving several meals last autumn, and one of their members (Mrs. H. A. Krehnke) was kind enough to write some of the details. It seemed to us that other groups might find these details helpful at a future date, so we are sharing with you these extracts from her letter.

"In October we served a dinner for the District Teachers' convention that was held in Norfolk. There are two large rooms in the basement of our big parochial school, and we had tables set for 271 in one room and tables for 110 in the other room.

"On Thursday we served 434 teachers. Our menu was Swiss steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered peas and carrots, individual molded salads of gelatine and fruit cocktail, hot rolls, relishes, assorted pies and coffee. That evening we served 206 at a banquet (another group of women served this meal) and the menu was steak, potatoes, gravy, Schnitzel beans, pear salad, rolls, relishes, cherry squares and coffee.

"On Friday our Circle again served dinner (cafeteria style) and we prepared baked ham, salmon loaf, fried chicken, potatoes au gratin, potato salad, and a variety of both vegetables and salads. An assortment of cakes was also offered. There were 270 guests.

"On November 2 we served a dinner to a group from the three Lutheran churches in Norfolk. Our menu was homemade individual chicken pies with peas and carrots in with the chicken. (We made these at the school and then took them to a bakery where they were baked.) With them we served orange glazed sweet potatoes, radishes and carrot sticks, cranberry salad, and ice cream and cookies. Plates were prepared for 88 people. Oh yes, I almost forgot to say that we served apple cider for an appetizer.

"Sunday evening we served dinner to 125 who had gathered for a Young Peoples' Rally. On this occasion we prepared a tomato juice appetizer, baked chicken squares, potatoes and gravy, buttered peas and carrots, pineapple salad, relishes, hot rolls, pumpkin pie and coffee.

"Now we have one more dinner coming up on November 23 when we are responsible for serving the public school faculty. Our menu for that has been planned so I know right now that we'll be serving roast turkey, potatoes, giblet gravy, dressing, vegetable (not determined at this date), cranberry salad, rolls, relishes and pumpkin chiffon pie.

"We have enjoyed all of these events even though they do represent a lot of work. Our nice group works together well for each one has his job and goes at it with a smile. It really was a lot of work getting ready for the dinner for the Teachers' convention. The day before we set up all the tables, and prepared each one with table cloths, silver and flowers. After the dinner on Thursday we used clean tablecloths and reset them again so they were ready for the next day. We were fortunate to have so many lovely Chrysanthemums around here this fall and could really use them to advantage to decorate all the dinners."

Personally, my proverbial hat is off to these women who tackled so many big meals. If your church has done anything comparable, I'd certainly like to hear about it for I'm sure that other women would feel encouraged by such reports -- and probably would glean helpful ideas from the various menus planned. --Lucille

Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, January 1955