Saturday, May 7th was Trinity Reformed Church's 3rd Annual Easter Festival. When the final RSVP head count rolled in a few days before the feast, my friend Sarah and I had to do a little last minute scrambling to make sure we could feed everyone. We had assumed we would have something close to last year's count of 380, so when the numbers came in at 449, we knew we had underestimated all of the planning we'd been doing for months. Neither of us had ever organized dinner for that many people before, so we recruited some wonderful ladies from church to help us cook the main dish. As it was, I made seven batches of the biryani recipe I adapted to feed 10, and let me tell ya, it was a lot of food. Of course, when I calculated how much food we would need, I was thinking of how much my hungry brothers can eat in a sitting. I kept forgetting that we had lots of families... women and children who don't (usually) eat as much as a starving college guy. Needless to say, we overestimated a bit with the main dish, but I was glad we didn't run out of food altogether. The naan we made disappeared in a hurry, but I guess that means everyone liked it, right?
We had some great college kids recruited to help in the kitchen, and when we arrived to begin getting everything ready, people just started showing up to help. We were overwhelmed, and so glad that everything went as smoothly as it did. I even got to sit down and eat, hold my baby, enjoy a little bit of the entertainment, and take a few pictures.
Dinner. For 450 people. After the kids had eaten and rushed off to play games outside.
After dinner was out on the tables, but before the dishes started pouring in, I had a few minutes with my baby. Bryan was so great spending most of the day with her and keeping her happy while I rushed around like mad woman.
The Stervensons (being Abby, Josh and Caleb for this set) started us off with some fun entertainment and music.
Grace's Ezra watching the show.
Bryan's sister Christa hosted "Penalty Pictionary," which was hilarious. Here is Christa's sister Jessie drawing Norway. As a penalty for losing the last round, Tyler wears a dunce cap decked out with a fairy wand and tinsel.
My sweet husband, doing what he did all day.
There were all sorts of awesome things going on for the kids outside, including:
(Abra's Ophelia bobbin' for apples.)
Jacob and Bethany's adorably handsome Micah.
Then after dinner, kid's games, and entertainment, there was dancing. Live music and even a caller... everyone had a great time.
Sarah (in plaid) took a few minutes to enjoy the dancing.
And these were the leftovers. I was very happy that we didn't have to throw any of it away (waste not, want not, my mother always said), and we sent most of it home with families and college guys. Chloë has been eating it every day since then, too.
Dishes took a while, but we had more help than we knew what to do with. And what a joyful crew of dishwashers we had. There was lots of laughter and even more singing, from Disney classics to 500 Miles by The Proclaimers. It was so much fun, and made me think back to washing dishes at Camp Of The Risen Son, oh, 15 years ago. We got out of there an hour earlier than the clean up crew did last year, so we considered that to be a huge accomplishment. It was a wonderful evening, and we were so grateful for the many hands that helped.