[Sca-cooks] Coping with limited cooking facilities for feast

Sharon Palmer ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Wed Mar 30 10:03:55 PDT 2011

>If it is an option, I highly recommend grilling, and cooking over a
>firepit might be even better.

We cooked several small feasts over the fire, where we couldn't use a 
firepit or damage the grass, I got a big sheet of metal, and propped 
it on cement blocks including some in the middle, then piled firewood 
to hide the blocks.  It was easier to cook at that height too.  If 
the weather is at all co-operative, it can be much nicer to cook 
outside, than in a small hot kitchen.

Check the drains to make sure the sink doesn't back up.

Check the hot water supply. I've taken dirty dishes home to run 
through our dishwasher rather than washing up on site.  (But not for 
dishes or pots that belong there).  Or you may want one of those 
turkey fryers to heat hot water for cleanup.

Plan to wash pots/ dishes before you use them, if they aren't used 
regularly.  Our group keeps dishes in storage, and I took them all 
home and ran them through the dishwasher ahead of time.  Wash out the 
bins they are stored in.

Bring dish soap, bleach, counter cleaner, dish towels, etc.  I have 
an old pillow case of dish towels that I bring to event kitchens. 
Bring a sink stopper to keep the water in, and a wire cover for the 
drain so food doesn't plug it.

Bring lots of pot holders, spoons, strainers, prep bowls, carving 
knives, cutting boards, foil, plastic wrap, foil pans as appropriate.

Make sure you have enough pots/ pans/ serving dishes, especially if 
you rely on the ones there.  Make sure baking pans will fit in the 
oven.  Bring an oven thermometer for each oven, and check it often.

If you need ice, plan where you will get it and store it.

If you precook and bring frozen food, plan where you will thaw it and 
how long it takes.  Several smaller packages will thaw more quickly 
than one big one.  Flat packages thaw quicker than thick ones. 
Smaller packages freeze faster too.

For your precooking, or any time you need to cool food, divide it 
into smaller amounts so it cools faster.  It can take hours for a 
fridge to cool down a big pot of stew to a safe temperature.

If you plan to take home leftovers, package and cool them as soon as 
possible.  Bring containers for leftovers.

Think about cross contamination and food safety, make sure food 
doesn't stay at unsafe temperatures too long.

Pick one place to handle raw meat so you don't cross contaminate, but 
wipe it down afterwards anyway.

Clean up as you go, so your limited space isn't filled with mess.

Figure out where the servers will bring empty serving dishes to be 
washed, have a trash can to scrap them out.

You might need a staging/ plating area/ side board inside the feast 
hall.  And space for drinks too.

Don't forget to bring your spices, the only big feast I did, I 
carefully listed all the supplies but didn't count spices I was going 
to donate from home.. and since they weren't on the list I forgot 

Make sure you have drinking water.. the stuff from the faucets might 
be ok for washing or cooking, but not good enough to drink.


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