[Sca-cooks] newbee cook attempting feast for the first time in december

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Fri Jun 5 20:37:14 PDT 2009

>I have a computer program called "Master Cooks".  You put in the ingredints and the number it serves, and tell it how many you want it to serve.  It computes the quantities needed and the revised recipe

When I planned my feast, I used an Excel spreadsheet to plan amounts and costs.  So I could decide to serve a little more of the pork that was on sale, and a little less beef which was not.  I calculated the cost of each dish per person, per table and and for the whole feast, so I could see where the costs were and the total amount of food for each person per course and for the whole feast.  Eventually I decided to drop the salmon dish, since salmon prices were much high than the year before.

I don't think anyone has said it this time, but the human stomach can hold at most about 24 ounces, so not counting bone and other inedible parts, the whole amount of food should add to that or perhaps a little more.

Think of it like a restaurant menu.  If people picked either pork or chicken, how much of each would you need?  If you add an entree of salmon, you would need less pork and chicken, but for 8 people you would still need about 8 entree amounts in all.  You want a feast to feel abundant, and to have many choices.  But for each choice you can reduce the amount of the other items.  

To continue the restaurant theme, consider a tasting menu, where you get a modest portion of each item, but (hopefully) they add up to a whole meal.  Or consider a buffet, how much food would you take in all?

Some items are more popular than others, so if you have carrots and brussel sprouts, you probably need less of the sprouts.  If you also have mushrooms (at least around here) you need more than either carrots or sprouts.

Some things don't divide well, for example whole chickens, or whole apples.  If you were serving only chicken you would probably want a quarter or half chicken per person, while for a feast with several entrees, you might need one chicken per table.  If you put a basket of 4 apples on the table, means only 4 people get an apple.  But a basket of 4 apples and 4 pears means every one gets an apple OR a pear.   But you could send out 3 sliced apples to a table and it might be plenty.

It was my first feast, and was not without problems, but very little food was thrown away, and there was a fairly modest amount of leftovers. 


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