Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DC Dreaming

The Solar Decathlon is nearly here. Yesterday, the house was wrapped and loaded on a truck, on its way to Washington, DC. The students are heading down to begin the massive amount of work it will take to get it operational and camera-ready. Ed Bagley, Jr. was here to speak, and joined us at the house. He said he was very impressed with the home, and worked hard to make Rowan laugh (though unfortunately he failed--she was in no mood and we ended up skipping his speech when she announced, "It's bedtime. I'm tired. I want a nap!") He was a very nice man, quiet and reserved, but friendly and kind as well. It was nice to hear that he thought the work the students were doing was so valuable, and that he had chosen to visit them from a host of other requests. They were so proud to share their work with him. (PS: the new season of Living with Ed begins soon!)

So now, we're trying to figure things out. As head Team Mom, I've got quite a job keeping 25 people healthy and fed, though I won't be able to be in DC the whole time due to obligations here in Academicsburg. Luckily for me, the team decided to fend for themselves the first week. The other parents who are visiting will help out when they arrive, so it won't be just me cooking for 25+ people (some of whom are vegetarians), and now I'm rocking Google Docs and Survey Monkey to figure out how to best "get 'er done". My dad and his wife are coming for a week, so we will plan to be there then, but otherwise I'll be driving back and forth in order to maintain attendance at my rehearsals (I'm in 3 music groups in town) and to take care of our furry family member, too. We are staying in a rented home in the DC area, which should make it easier as I'll have a gourmet kitchen at my disposal. We're heading down over the weekend to drop off Dr. B and to give me an idea of the lay of the land.

So, I've got a question for you. Do you have a favorite meal that's easy and serves a LOT of people? If so, please commment or link in the comments! I need all the help I can get.

And if you know a grocery store that delivers in the DC area, please let me know.


Wendy said...

Pasta always works well. Fork baked pastas, substitute ground turkey to cut cost. (I do this with my baked ziti & Marty prefers it to beef/pork/sausage. It's less greasy.) I've even heard of substituting polenta for the meat, but my family isn't willing to try that.

Lentil or other bean soup should keep everyone including the vegetarians happy, and again inexpensive especially if you prep the beans yourself instead of buying cans. Use that crock pot(s)!

Pizza can be made on the cheap if you're willing to try. Lots of dough recipes online, including whole wheat. Prep the dough the night before and let it rest in the fridge to get a better texture, then pull it out an hour or two before you plan to cook.

Mama Bear said...

Soups, stews, jambalaya, sloppy joes, bbq beans or bbq lentils, lasagna (use canned sauces, and a recipe that doesn't require cooking noodles ahead of time). Always have a bread, it's a good, inexpensive filler so you won't have to cook as much, make it whole wheat, or a multi grain, which will fill everyone up more quickly. Sandwich meat, cheese and bacon rolled up in Pillsbury French bread and baked is super easy, and loved by the younger set. I serve that with a salad, fruit and baked potato chips for lunches when the kids have a group staying here.

Anonymous said...

Summer at my grandparents house has always meant a minimum of 20 people sitting down to every meal and so my mother has mastered the art of cooking quickly and cheaply for big groups. The ideas already listed are great but here are some others that always go over well at our house: Baked chicken and cheesy rice; curry and rice (made with jars of sauce); all kinds of mexican things; roast chicken/turkey with potatoes roast right along side; scalloped potatoes and (pre-baked) ham; chili; minestrone soup and bread; for dessert, any one of hundred variations of pudding bars!

Anonymous said...

Oops, it's Ed Begley, not Bagley. All of those ideas are great and I'm sure it will be fantastic.

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