Copyright © 2008 Happy Clean Living

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brady's High School Cross Country Spaghetti Feed

Brady with his coach sitting next to him.
September 11, 2008 our family enjoyed having Brady's high school cross country team over for a spaghetti feed. Brady's team is very fun! They have weekly spaghetti feed parties before each meet in order to get full of carbs. This week was our turn to host the party. I rented qty 5, 10 foot tables and 40 folding chairs. Each table seats 10 people and 1 table for the food. I purchased navy plastic table clothes for each table. The yard was clean and beautiful and ready for the set up. It all went very smoothly. My mom was in town and she helped me get everything set up - it was a huge help.

Several weeks ago, I started making spaghetti sauce and freezing it. There was no way I was going to use purchased spaghetti sauce - which is never as good as home made. I ended up making 6 batches or 3 double batches. I hoped that it would be enough food for 40 high school kids. My recipe is yummy - here it is:

1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion - chopped (about 1 cup)
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

Cook and stir 1 pound of ground beef, the onion and garlic in 10-inch skillet until beef is brown and fully cooked. Stir in all remaining ingredients: break up tomatoes (sometimes I bend it a "little" in my blender - trying to keep chunks of tomato in tact and then add to the meat mixture). heat to boiling: reduce heat. cover and simmer. stirring occasionally. Add over spaghetti noodles.

The day before the party, I started calling friends to borrow more crock pots - and I ended up with 4. However, two of my friends had huge wonderful crock pots and I only actually needed those 2 and 1/2 of mine to take up all the pre-made sauce. In the morning I put all the sauce which had been thawed into the crock pots on low for the day. It was quick and easy and ready for the party with no stress the day of the party.
I was more worried about the spaghetti noodles and having it ready and not sticky for the party. I purchased 2 large tin foil roasters - the throw away kind from Walmart - it was $3.12 for both of the pans. I started cooking the noodles around 3:30 - the party started at 6PM. I read that if you put a little olive oil over the noodles after they were drained they wouldn't stick together. When the noodles were ready, I poured some of the liquid/water into the tin pans and then drained the noodles. I added a little olive oil and tossed. Then I put the noodles in the tin pans and covered with aluminum foil and put them in the oven which was set to "warm". I kept cooking the noodles - batch over batch - until both pans were full. I kept adding a little bit of the liquid to the pans to keep steam in the pans to keep the noodles from drying out. It worked! The oil kept the noodles from sticking together, the pans in the oven kept them steaming and ready for the party. Which meant that I didn't have any stress - it came together really nice!

At 5:45 PM I moved the crock pots and food to the tables outside in our back yard and plugged them into an extension cord with 5 outlets to plug into. Then I took out my griddle and put a pan of noodles on the griddle to keep it warm too. It all worked out very easily.
The kids from the team were suppose to bring the following items:

Freshman - drinks (no soda)
Sophomores - bread
Juniors - desserts
Seniors - just themselves

I also provided the salads. I checked the salad mixes in the store - but they were so very expensive with hardly any salad in them - I could not even consider buy them for 40 people. I purchased a head of iceberg lettuce, a head of roman lettuce and made my own salad. I already had carrots to grade at home and celery to add - plus tomatoes from my garden. The salad was beautiful and yummy for about $2 for the lettuce - a huge savings. Then I cut up a watermelon, cantaloupe and added grapes for another salad. I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an extra dessert. Here is my cookie recipe for Mrs. Fields Cookies:

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp soda
2 to 3 cups milk chocolate chips

Cream butter well; but do not melt. Combine sugars; add slowly to batter. cream together good. Add eggs and vanilla. combine dry ingredients to butter. Mix good. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper (I don't do this). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, do not over bake. (My oven takes 12 minutes to cook) They are gooey and yummy.

Well, the kids showed up and there was only 1 sophomore who brought 1 loaf of french bread (not cut up and no butter) I cut up and brought out the butter to the table. Brady, who is a freshman we had a pack of 24 bottles of water and "crystal light to go packages", and another freshman brought a can of orange juice which he made at my house. No junior brought any desserts - thank goodness I made cookies and I also had other cookies in my food storage that I brought out. All in all - it turned out great (although I kept contemplating whether to run to the store and get more french bread - I didn't).
They all had fun. I had enough food. The noodles stayed good, not sticky and hot through the party - oh, I did bring out the other pan half way through the party.
I love high school and having these fun parties. Most of all - it has helped Brady feel like he belongs and has been a huge help to the transition to high school. The coaches are really young - I'd say around 25 and they seem just like one of the kids. They keep it really lively and do lots of motivating things and cheers. It is a bunch of fun!!

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