When you have lemons, you make lemonade

Today I was “in charge” of the kitchen for lunch and dinner. Essentially that means I’m cooking for about 35 cadets and 15 staff/volunteers. The menus had all been done up, and I was reasonably confident (I had great help) that we could make it through the day without incident. Since the boys that are still here will be here through Christmas, (:-/ )I was hoping to be able to dress up the meals with a little pizzazz. The other volunteer working with me was also looking forward to giving those kids a little “gramma lovin'”. The trick was doing it within the boundaries of the program!
So here was the menu we were given.
Lunch – Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Lettuce & Tomato, Chex mix, and fruit and a goodie.
Dinner – Spaghetti & Meatballs, salad, bread, cookies.
Since we eat right off of segmented trays, this is pretty basic cooking!

Right after I arrived we noticed that three egg cartons (those are 30 dozen cartons) had fallen over in the walk-in. A couple of the cadets I was working with jumped right in and we began sorting through the eggs, pulling out cracked ones, trashing the demolished ones, and cleaning up the incredible mess all over the floor. We virtually inspected every egg – if they were just cracked but not broken we put them aside for some “same day” use. It didn’t take us long to change those ham and cheese sandwiches to Cheezy Eggs with Ham, two sliced of whole wheat toast, and some great fresh fruit. We topped it off with a full size candy bar (it’s amazing what shows up after a parent’s weekend!) I was amazed at how excited the kids were (these boys are between 13 and 18) at the thought of those eggs. Don’t know if it was because they were so great, or if they were just different! But they were a hit! And we had a fun time cookin’ them all up.
Dinner went pretty smoothly – a couple too many tomatoes in the salad (I wasn’t watching until they had put them all in) and that pot of water seemed to take forever to boil. Since the bread that was being served with the meal was just whole wheat sandwich bread, we made that into garlic-cheese toast – another big hit! Doesn’t take too much to get a smile from these guys!
I’m in charge for one more day – Let’s see what I can do to Tacos (lunch) and Meatloaf (dinner). Hmmmmm.

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