Monday, January 09, 2012

Restaurant Weekend

Here's another true story from parish life...

This weekend I was running a restaurant. I served about 250 people something to eat this weekend. Here's the background.

Every year I have a dinner with the staff of the two parishes. Most years I take them out to a restaurant, but that gets pricey; once before I fixed dinner myself; and this year, I decided to do that again.

Also, every year, I fix breakfast for everyone in the parishes--at least, everyone who comes. I do it one weekend at St. Boniface, and one weekend at St. Mary.

I do these things around Christmas. My gift to everyone.

So Dec. 18 was breakfast at St. Boniface. January 8 was breakfast at St. Mary.

Oh, and the date for the staff party was January 7.

So, Friday was shopping day; and I started the brine for the chickens I would roast. Because the rectory dining room was not big enough for the staff, I planned on using one of the rooms in the school. So that meant planning for food, dishes and other things to go over to the school so I could do what I needed to there; but to do some things in the rectory.

Saturday was pretty busy with prep and set up. I had to figure out what to do before I left for Mass at 4 pm; and what I'd do after I returned.

Actually, everything was finished early; I forgot I told everyone to show up at 6:30, and so around 6 I'm looking out and wondering, where is everyone? All the food got done in plenty of time; but thankfully we have these warmer things in the school cafeteria. So no problems.

The dinner turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and I sent leftovers home with the Sisters, because they take a vow of poverty and, well, being the pastor, you can do things like that. They should eat well for a week.

So while we're cleaning up--God bless the guests for helping! I set things up for the next morning. I had to start cooking the eggs around 6 am -- the eggs are liquid, in sealed bags, and all you do is boil them for about 2 hours and voila! Scrambled eggs!

So up--groggily--at 6 am--time to start the eggs!

Then off to 7 am Mass; then pick up the donuts and the juice--back to the other parish.

Oops--the eggs are cooking too fast! Almost done! OK, slow things down...meanwhile I put the sausage in the oven, start the coffee, get everything set up. Forgot, once again, to ask the janitor to leave the chairs down in the cafeteria so I took those down. All the food is ready by 9:30 am, I expect folks around 10 am.

Everyone showed up, and I think I served about 200, can't say for sure. We had just enough food, Deo Gratias! But we did run out of orange juice. Again, good folks helped me clean up, and I was able to get over to church in time for Noon Mass.

I don't mind telling you I was tired after Mass.

But I'm glad to do something for our parishioners. So many do so much and I don't really do a good job saying thank you. This is what I can do.

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