Feeding the Masses {Menus for a Weekend of Meals}

3:16 AM Elephant & Chick 2 Comments

This past weekend we had Stake Conference.  Our Stake President was recently called to be a Mission President, so a new Stake Presidency was in short order around here.  This only comes around every 10 years, so excitement has been building for months.

Two weeks prior to the conference, I was asked to provide some meals on the weekend of with the intent to feed the visiting Authorities.  Having watched my Mom, aunts, and other inspiring women feed masses over the years, I agreed with no hesitation.  Bring it on, I thought.  

Until I tried to come up with the menu. 

Total mind blank.  Nothing.  Have I never cooked a meal before in my life, I thought?  Some unique factors were blinding my vision: must be transportable from my house to the church or church office buildings via stroller or walking, no crockpot available or oven to cook anything larger than an 8x8 pan, must be delicious to a wide range of palates, must be "simple," yet beautiful enough to serve to leaders of my faith!  Oh, and all while working within the confines of Japanese grocery stores and import goods. 

Maybe these set of circumstances are unique to me.  Maybe not, however.  In the event that any of your are ever asked to come up with beautiful meals on short notice, I'm providing my menus and notes here.  You're welcome!  I hope they save you the struggle I went through.  You'll notice I'm not including many recipes.  The recipes aren't complex by any means.  It was the compilation of three beautiful, simple, delicious, flexible, transportable meals that I found to be the challenge.  

Fruit Skewers
Potato Salad

Notes: The details on this lunch are what made it beautiful.  We plated the food, rather than having the guests serve themselves.  This gave us the opportunity to arrange the food aesthetically on the plates.  Serving sandwiches on croissants rather than bread, skewering the fruit rather than chopping, adding a sprig of parsley to the perfectly scooped potato salad: These small details allowed us to get away with serving an otherwise simple meal.  

Green Salad and Dressing
Garlic Bread
Chocolate Cake

Notes: For dinner our intent was to serve a filling, quick meal.  The Authorities needed to eat between sessions, so their time was limited.  Lasagne is easy to make at home, even easier to buy, and scales well, especially when paired with a generous loaf of garlicky bread and a green salad packed with veggies.  We plated the food for this meal also, minimizing the risk of spilling red sauce for our guests.  The cake was plated and ready at each setting, giving the guests warning to save room for the sweets!  (**If you don't already have a go-to lasagne recipe, feel free to email me and I'll share mine!)

Creamy Italian Mushroom Chicken
Fruit Jello Salad
Homemade Rolls and Honey Butter
Green Salad with Various Dressings
Sheet Cheesecake with Cherry Topping

Notes: This was our largest meal of the weekend - feeding both the new and old presidencies, their families, and the Authorities.  We were instructed to serve it immediately following the Sunday session of Conference, so they could eat before starting training meetings for the remainder of the day.  I opted to call in a crockpot for this one.  We cooked the chicken and rice both at the church during conference which eliminated the struggle of transporting warm food, keeping it warm, and the time crunch.  We used the salad from the night before, adding to it to account for the increase in numbers.  The cheesecake was simple to make, simple to serve, but delicious.  

Lastly, don't forget the table clothes and flowers!

Now, if you'll excuse me... I'm going to go store these somewhere safe for the next 10 years...


  1. Wow - those sandwiches look amazing! I'm definitely going to keep this post in my back pocket for the next time I need to feed a crowd...

  2. Thanks for posting such a great array of delicious, crowd-worthy fare! Definitely worth saving!