Friday, October 15, 2010

Meatballs anyone? How about a bit of coleslaw?

IT'S OVER!! We fed people until they couldn't swallow another meatball with gravy and mashed potatoes and had coleslaw coming out of their ears.

It's our annual church meatball supper I'm talking about. I'm an officer in our ladies organization and have been for the last five years. The other two officers have also been in place for a length of time and we're getting somewhat burned out. It gets more and more difficult each year to find ladies who want to contribute their time and energy to put on these fund raisers, and unfortunately they don't just happen by themselves. So it seems to fall on the same people all the time.

Two weeks ago six of us got together to make up 125 lbs. of hamburger into meatballs. One gal made 7 gallons of gravy (her gravy is superior.) Last Monday the pres. and I made 50 lbs. of cabbage into coleslaw. On Wednesday 5 of us got together and peeled, boiled and mashed 300 lbs. of potatoes.

Those things all went well as everyone who worked works well together and accomplished a lot. But as I said, it's always the same ones who do the work as anyone else who is asked always has a variety of excuses as to why they can't participate.

One of the officers who didn't participate in any of this preparation -we'll call her Bossy and you'll see why later - drives everyone crazy. She never does any work but makes a habit of telling everyone what to do and how to do it. So - as a result I need to tell you the Coleslaw Story.

Here goes:

Last year Bossy was in charge of serving the cole slaw and unfortunately we ran out. We had such a big crowd last year that none of the workers got to eat even one measly meatball, or even a bite of coleslaw. So this year we decided we had to prepare for about 25% more people. Then, of course we had to calculate what the increase in supplies would be before we went to buy the groceries. Well, Bossy was in charge of the cole slaw and through her recipe books determined that we needed to buy 100 lbs of cabbage plus carrots to chop. Me - being in charge of buying all the groceries - took her word for it (because you just don't argue with Bossy). Although I did, along with the other two officers, question her about such a large amount. So I ordered the cabbage and the carrots and the following Monday Lou and I got together at the church and started chopping cabbage. Bossy of course had a social schedule that wouldn't allow her to come and help. I think she had a luncheon date or some such thing. So Lou and I spent the better part of the day preparing cabbage and carrots. By the time we had gone through 50 lbs of cabbage we had four bus tubs full and decided that was enough. We cooked up the dressing and then let it sit out to cool and decided to come back that evening to mix it all up.

Meantime Bossy had come to the church, was horrified that that was all the cabbage we had and just knew it wasn't going to be enough. So she called me and informed me of her discovery and told me that she was going to take a couple more heads of cabbage home and would have to spend the day making MORE coleslaw so she would be sure we wouldn't run out. Have at it, Bossy. Knock yourself out.

That evening she called me to say that she had made one more gallon. Meantime Lou and her husband had gone back to the church to mix up all the vegies and the dressing and then transferred the slaw to three five gallon plastic pails with covers. These are the kind of pails that restaurant supply companies use for their food. That evening I got another email from Bossy stating that she had gone through her cook books again and decided that we only needed 64 lbs of cabbage instead of the 100 that she originally thought.

By this time I had just about enough of her and wrote a rather terse email back stating that Lou had called our local deli (which we should have done in the first place), explained the situation to them, told them how much slaw we had and they determined that we had enough to feed over 500 people. I told Bossy that I hoped she had saved space in her fridge because she was probably going to have to take a bucket or two or slaw home with her!! And besides - buying all these unnecessary supplies had cut into our profit margin.

Well, she didn't like that very well as the next morning I had an email - in very large bold RED letters stating that she had only told us what her recipe books had said.

So last night we were in the midst of serving when Bossy came to get Lou and insisted that she come back to where she was dishing coleslaw immediately. She was in a panic and stated that she refused to serve anymore slaw because it tasted like plastic and she wasn't going to be responsible for anybody getting sick. Remember - this is halfway through the dinner. Lou tasted the slaw and it tasted fine to her. I tasted it and it tasted fine to me. Bossy angrily announced that this was all our fault because we had stored it in these plastic buckets and now it was tainted. It was her opinion that we better find a better way to store it next year or she just wasn't going to be part of it. Lou and I looked at each other, smiled, and announced to her that neither of us intended to be part of the production next year so somebody else could worry about it. THAT didn't sit well at all and we had another explosion. She walked off the job and we had to find someone else to step in and finish the job.

Bossy, of course, didn't stay to help clean up when the dinner was over. As we were taking inventory of what we had left - an ice cream bucket full of meatballs and gravy, enough potatoes to feed about 25 people, one large can of corn, a couple pans of dessert and 10 GALLONS OF COLE SLAW!! We donated everything to the homeless shelter, but I had all I could do to keep Ole from bringing the cole slaw back to Bossy's house and leaving it on her back step!!

Maybe I should have let him. What do you think?

Anyway, it's over - it was a huge success - we got rave reviews on the food. But I'm tired and stiff this morning and not very ambitious. Unfortunately, by the time I sat down to eat I wasn't even interested in eating. So instead I had a piece of Betty M.'s pecan pie. She makes pecan pie that melts in your mouth.

Love Lena


Memaw's memories said...

Isn't it amazing the things we get ourselves into and how 'bossy' people can make our lives so miserable?

I know this was for a good cause. Wish I'd been there to eat a big plateful. I might even have helped serve the 'tainted' coleslaw too.

Marge said...

Every church or organization has a Miss Bossy, I think! And every group also has the same people who show up to do the work, every time! It must be a law or something!

You didn't serve lutefisk with the meatballs and gravy and mashed potatoes? We had a lutefisk dinner every October for about 20 years. They aren't doing it this year! Yay!

Rest and relax for a day or two. You deserve it! Bet the food was good!

Lena . . . said...

Nope - we pass on the lutefisk. I may be Scandihoovian, but I'm very much a minority in our area. Our community is so very German I'm surprised they didn't serve sauerkraut on the plate too!!

Jean said...

Thank goodness it was just cole slaw and not a high ticket ingrediant item.

Gah! People like her make me crazy. When I was young and brash, I was all about getting in their faces and telling them to shut up or put up. Then I matured and learned about discretion, team work, blah blah blah.

Since I turned 50, the young Jean has returned. And believe me, it's tough in a corporate environment, surrounded by the usual talking heads that won't accept LOGIC, to keep my poker face on. I'm sure it's going to be career limited - or ENDING - for me at some point.

I love church suppers - both going to and working at - except for the Bossy that's always there.

Screw the cole slaw. I want a meatball!