Sunday, August 17, 2014
Cooking Dinner For Multitudes. Or Dinner Every Night At The Sabos.
We get a ton of questions about what it's like at meal time around here. I'm not sure if people are considering inviting us over for dinner and weighing the costs -- literally -- or if they're just curious. As you can see from the above photo, basically it's a box full of veggies every night with several pounds of barbecued beef.* When you are cooking for 16, which I believe is the total number in the Sabo household as of today, it's pretty much all about volume. But technically with a few older kids away at school we're typically only cooking for 13. Piece of cake, eh?
When it comes to preparing meals, I start out by taking all the seats out of our 15-passenger van and then backing it up to the loading dock of the nearest nearby grocery store.** The non-perishables, to include the pastas, cereals, flours and baking products, canned goods and other edible products, are in large boxes on wood pallets that are stuffed into the van with a forklift. We buy the milk in multiple-gallon containers similar in size to small vats. A small vat of milk usually gets us through a few days.
Perhaps by now you are thinking, `Surely he can't be serious!' You would be right. There's no small vats of milk, no forklifts packing our Chevy full of non-perishables and certainly no backing up to loading docks (although that seems to me a pretty good idea now that I think about it). I will say I spend a lot of time at the grocery store. They know me well there. And when it comes to cooking, consider that we have a lot of little kids with little tummies. Except maybe Seth. The other night we got some pizzas (4 larges) and I cut several slices in half for the younger set. Seth, however, got a whole piece. He likes his pizza.
The other night for dinner was clam chowder and fish sticks. The biggest pot in the house was used for the chowder -- we had some leftovers -- and a box of 48 fish sticks was disposed of by the hordes of ravenous Sabos. Is that the way it is in your house?
So taking into account smaller tummies, in theory we're cooking for more like 9 or 10. See! That's not so bad. Now, things change when all the kids are home from school. Those aren't little tummies. Essentially there's foraging occurring in the Sabo kitchen for a solid 18-20 hours a day when everyone is home so it's vital to stock up come Christmas or Thanksgiving. You know how people totally stock up in Virginia when there's word of a hurricane that's heading our way? That's how we treat the times when the older kids return from college. It's hurricane grubbing season.
As for the cost of feeding everyone, well, that's privileged information. Let me put it this way: We have a smaller mortgage. As for how we feed everyone, I have a simple answer: The Lord provides. God has been so good to us over the years in so many ways. We have been blessed abundantly in children, in provision of all our physical needs, in friendships, in memories and so many other ways. It's been a true feast.
*Just kidding! This box full of veggies pictured above was brought to us by friends and we've got big plans for it over the course of several, even multiple, meals that have already begun. The barbecued beef, however, was very, very tasty!
**Just kidding! I don't actually take ALL of the seats out of the van before backing it up to the nearest nearby grocery store.