Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Organized Chaos

Okay, that's a stretch. There's nothing organized about the chaos around here when the whole gang is in  house. Truly, they all take up residence. This past weekend, there were 18 people at one time. A few friends came and went, but for the most part, the average was 16.

16 people eat and drink a LOT!! I can handle that. Butch is always surprised at the amount of food we go through. I decided to keep it simple. The truth is, there's really nothing simple about feeding that many people! Everyone pitches in---okay, well maybe not the "grands"---but that's okay. My kitchen's not really big enough for everybody. Butch, who always does his share around here, really kicks it up when the whole family is in residence. There's nothing he likes more than having everyone here. I agree---even though it's wild and very loud! And the recyclables are out of control. He actually makes a run to the recycle center at least once rather than think our one bin can handle it. A lot, I tell you!

That takes us to the practical things you don't ever think about. Plates? I gave up on that years ago. 8 plates quit being sufficient around 1996. It's been paper plates for years now---well, except for Christmas. I do have 16 Christmas plates.
 Glasses? There's no keeping up with them either. We gave up on that the year I discovered that the "kids" were using my pool glasses at Christmas time. There's just something not quite right about "fishy" glasses amidst santa stuff. Using a marker became a necessity right away. There was no keeping track of whose cup was whose! After a couple days, we start over with fresh cups.
Forks? Fuhgettaboutit! I had to send Butch out for plastic. Somewhere along the line, we ran out of the 300 plastics I got at Sam's a couple years ago.
5 pounds of potatoes EVERY TIME! It doesn't matter how I make them, potato salad, mashed or roasted, it takes a full 5 pounds. I quite peeling them a couple years ago---except at Christmas. But then, it winds up on the job list for two people to do all that peeling.
Here you can see what was left! I did 3 pounds of ground chuck for burgers and an 8 pack of Ball Park franks. We had only 2 hotdogs left. Jordan asked if she could make a plate for Andrew and his friend who were arriving after golf. I said, "sure, if there's anything left!" She ended up making them tuna melts. I had some of that leftover from lunch when there were only 8 of us. I used 4 large cans of albacore tuna for those. Since I forgot to serve the frozen cherry salad with the tuna melts, we had that on Saturday too. I also served cantaloupe, celery, pretzels and 24 oz. of dip. All gone! For dessert, I made a new recipe called "Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake." Sandy had made it and said it was delicious. I was looking for "easy" so decided to try it. Recipe below.
 It was a gorgeous weekend for the pool. Not too hot. In fact, it got chilly in the pool.
 Some family members don't really "do" the pool. Or, I should say, they don't "do" the sun. We have a few fair skins in the family.
Butch isn't a huge water person either. Funny since he's the one who wanted a house with a pool! He is probably regretting that decision---22 years ago. Pools are expensive headaches. Something always seems to be going wrong. But everyone seems to really enjoy it.
 There was quite a discussion about the eclipse and the special glasses you are supposed to wear to view it. Of course, everyone had to try them out.
Mindy asked the question, "I understand that you aren't supposed to look at the eclipse with the naked eye. But what I don't understand is how is that worse than looking at the sun without the glasses. Seems like that would be worse!" I babbled on about how the sun was so much more intense because all of the rays are forced out of the sides. I totally made that up. Science was in no way my forte! It sounded good and most believed me!
Then, of course, with big crowds come big messes. How chocolate got on the side of the stove, I'll never know! The decorative towels get used even though the key here is "decorative!"
Random photo the girls sent me. Andrew and Jordan's apartment. Ash sitting on the floor---a border collie puppy. Above the doorway is a needlepoint picture I made years ago. Jordan was so excited to get it. I'm happy to see that she actually hung it up!
And then, there's the laundry! Every towel in the house is used.We have at least 20 beach towels. Butch and I started on the laundry at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. I did 9 loads! It took me until 2 p.m. to get it all done and put away! We have more out-of-towners arriving Thursday (summers are like that), so had to get it all caught up for the next go round. Actually, when the family has been here, it's always a good motivator for me to get the laundry room back in order. That's an area of my house that I tend to neglect. The clean, folded laundry tends to pile up.
 Lastly, there's this. On Saturday morning, I was starting of the food for the day. I couldn't find my recipes. I asked Morgan. Turns out that during the games the night before, they sent Jordan to find scrap paper. Despite the fact that I have tons of scrap paper where everyone can clearly see it---has been in the same spot for years---she grabbed my recipes and tore them up!!
Morgan dug them out of the trash for me! Sheesh! Nothing is sacred when the gang's all here!

Still, the recipes are worth sharing---easy and great for a crowd.

Bundt Cake Breakfast
1 cup diced ham
2 cups tater tots, frozen
1 dozen whisked eggs
1 can Pillsbury Grands, diced
2 cups cheese
1/4 cup milk
Mix all together and put into a greased bundt pan (I used a 9x13 because it seemed like it might not fit). Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I think that was too long, so check it. I thought it was a little dry. Everyone else liked it just fine.

Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake
1 box yellow cake mix, prepared according to package instructions.
2 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
4 cups milk
1 container of chocolate frosting
Poke holes in cooled cake. Mix milk and pudding. Pour over. Refrigerate. About a half hour before serving, put the frosting in the microwave to pouring consistency. Pour over cake and put back in the refrigerator. I put saran wrap over it---which was not a good idea as it stuck and pulled the chocolate frosting off the cake. Next time, I'll use my cake pan with a lid---it was in use this time with the frozen cherry salad.

Both recipes are easy and good for a crowd. This next weekend I plan to make my first "low country boil." After our vacation, it seemed really simple and was oh, so delicious! I'll report on that later and let you know how it went!

1 comment:

  1. Organized chaos for sure!! Sounds like a FUN time . . . and a good bit of work, too. :) I quit peeling potatoes years ago & have never looked back.


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