Notes on Last Cook of 2013 at the Lodge

It was a couple weeks of lots of people and lots of food.  One of the groups was all women, so I got to make a bunch of food that I don’t make for the men (too bad for them).  Breakfasts for them included a large fruit tray, yogurt, granola, and one special recipe that I thought would be good.  One morning I made Panettone Bread Pudding, and it was a big hit.  For large groups, I prefer a bread pudding to French toast.  The other morning I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal (without the egg).  There wasn’t a crumb left of it.  There was one person who couldn’t eat eggs, so I made additional things, when necessary.  One of those items was a brie, asparagus, ham quesadilla.  Those may become a regular item for the lodge.  They disappeared!  My new favorite tortilla is whole wheat and corn combination.  I put on a layer of brie, some thinly sliced ham, a layer of Swiss cheese, then slices of peeled asparagus that I blanched for 3 minutes, then a final layer of Swiss.  I browned them in butter, and is your mouth watering yet (mine is, just thinking about it!).

The last group was about 20 people, and the last night I made a huge prime rib.  It turned out perfectly, and one of the guys wanted to carve, so I was extremely happy about that, since carving isn’t high on my list of things I like to do.  The first night that group was there, I made 19 lbs of pork butt.  I used the Pork Ribs and Beans recipe.  Since I couldn’t use a slow cooker, I used a huge roasting pan and covered it well.  Getting it done, the way I wanted it, was a real challenge.  I started cooking it at 9:45 am, at 325.  At 3:00 pm, I started getting nervous, because it wasn’t far enough along.  I switched the oven to convection at 375 for 1 1/2 hours.  At that point I cut the pork off the bone, put it back in the juice, and covered it.  It stayed at 350 until they ate around 8 pm.  I wasn’t there, but made a meal that would hold.  Luckily, the meat was falling apart by the time they ate.  And by the time they left this week, there was only about a cup of meat left.  It was scrumptious.  Here’s how it looked right before I put it in the oven.

Pork Butt Roast

The whole menu that night included pico de gallo, guacamole, cornbread, and cole slaw.

I can barely remember the first group that came, or what I cooked, but it’s always fun to be there.  There was a lot of team-building going on with the last group, which is apparently code for “blow-up stuff in the dump.”