Preparing for Christmas Dinner

Hey Everyone!

As I am writing this, it is the wee small hours of Christmas Morning. Yes I am still up, and yes Christmas presents can wait until it is daylight outside and I have been to bed.

Yesterday, being Christmas Eve, there was time spent working on doing some prep work for Christmas Dinner. Green Beans were cooked, Cheesy Potatoes were made, Cranberry Salad was prepped for tomorrow, Cherry Pies were made from scratch, and Rolls were mixed up from scratch. I won’t be having any of the Cheesy Potatoes or Rolls. The Cheesy Potatoes have a ton of dairy in them, and with the rolls I am really trying to be careful how much gluten I eat, and I would rather have a piece of pie than a roll or two anyway.

Today we just have to cook the ham, bake the rolls, and reheat the potatoes and green beans, as well as put the cranberry salad together. Finishing up getting dinner ready and served should not be super difficult.

Thanksgiving dinner seems to be the most labor intensive of the holiday dinners, but I love them all. I love cooking these more complex / full meals. I love cooking from scratch and putting a meal together to then serve to those I love and care about.


Making Hot Cocoa by the Gallon

Hey Everyone!

Each evening this weekend, I have helped make hot cocoa by the gallon for an event that drew over 5,000 people over the course of the weekend.

We were using the professional (1.75 lb) size bags of Nestle Hot Cocoa mix. We were making batches in large pots on the stove with 3 – 4 bags and the appropriate amount of water for each bag of mix in each batch. So each pot made 3.75 to 5 gallons of hot cocoa.

Over the course of the weekend, 170 gallons of hot cocoa was made. We only had a batch plus a bit left over.

When you are making hot cocoa for such a large crowd, seeing individual serving size packets is weird. Over the course of 3 nights we used 10 cases plus 2 bags from an 11th case of the 1.5 – 1.75 pound bags of cocoa.

There were a few times each evening where I left the kitchen to take a pot of hot cocoa out to the service line, but for the most part I stayed in the safety of the nice quiet kitchen where there weren’t so many people.

As far as timing goes, I definitely hit it right to see a few friends and family who had come, most of whom I haven’t seen in months or even years.