Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother’s Day

For a long time, now, I’ve thought it would be a fun and unique challenge to do a big, fancy meal, for a lot of friends, completely in my dutch ovens. I finally chose a day and just started inviting friends. I chose the day before Mother’s Day, so that I could make it special for my wonderful wife.

So, for the last two months, I’ve been pouring over past recipes, and new recipe books, planning out the menu. After I figured out what I was going to make, I’ve spent some time occasionally trying out recipes, in preparation. I didn’t want to do any of them for the first time that day. Here’s what I’ve ended up with:

  • Appetizers: Sausage stuffed mushrooms with cheese and crackers.
  • First Course: Tomato Soup.
  • Second Course: Salad
  • Main Course: Bacon Draped Pot Roast with potatoes and other veggies, and Orange Glazed Bread
  • Dessert: Paradise Chocolate Cookie Pie

So, tonight, I laid out each course on a time table. I had to figure out when I would prep and cook each one. Otherwise, I would be an overwhelmed, nervous wreck by the end of the day. As it stands, it looks like I’ll be cooking starting at about 10:00 in the morning, and the pace will be pretty easy. I’ll never have more than three things cooking at any one time, and most of the time will have only one or two things cooking.

The Salad and the cheese/crackers will be prepared the night before. Just for less stress.

Then, at 10:00 I’ll start working on the Paradise Pie. At about 11:00, I’ll cook the sausage for the stuffed mushrooms, then I’ll prepare the filling.

At noon, I’ll start on the bread, mixing and kneading. I’ll set that aside to rise, while I prep the veggies and put the soup on at around 1:00.

At around 2:00 or so, I’ll get the roast on. Once that’s cooking, I’ll get the tables set up. I might do that earlier in the morning, or the night before, just to give me more time. Somewhere in there, the bread will probably have risen, so I’ll shape the loaf and put it in the dutch oven for proofing.

By 4:00, I’ll probably be ready to put the bread on the fire. That’s also probably about the time that I’ll add the veggies to the roast.

At around 5:00, it’ll be getting closer to Zero Hour, so things will start to pick up. I’ll put the mushrooms on to bake, and pull out the cheese and crackers.

Then, folks should start arriving by about 6:00. At that point, I’ll pretty much just be serving. I will probably put the Paradise Pie back under a few coals for about 20 minutes to a half hour, just to heat it up again, then I’ll just ladle on the ice cream and serve it up!

Now, of course, by writing this all out and telling all of you about it, I will have jinxed myself, of course, and it will all come crashing to a chaotic finish. But then, at least I’ll have something to blog about!


  1. Hey Mark, from past experience do ALL you can do the night before. Setting up tables, getting out serving dishes, plates, etc. even to prep work if veggies will hold in the refrigerator.

    Good luck!


  2. Plan the work....
    Work the Plan....

    This is going to be your finest hour Mark. These are some very fortunate MOM'S!!!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement!


  4. It sounds like it's going to be awesome! You have it all planned out perfectly so all should go perfectly.Best of luck!



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