We survived the great Chinese New Year's Lunch event! Last week we took 3 adults, 27 first, second, and third graders, 4 Chinese recipes, and turned out a great lunch that was enjoyed by all.
Dumplings (frozen) with dipping sauce - about 120
Peking Noodles (Zha Jiang Mein), both vegetarian and meat versions - roughly 9 lbs.
Braised Mixed Chinese Greens (Gai Lan an Baby Bok Choy) with and without oyster Sauce - about 3 lb.
Baked Nian Gao - 3 9x13 pans
We didn't "Americanize" the recipes at all. The kids measured, mixed, chopped, minced, and stir-fried. So our julienned cucumbers weren't all that julienned and the garlic wasn't perfectly minced, but it all still tasted great. We let a few of the more adept kids use our 8" chef's knife with close supervision. The other kids used paring knives. One boy, whom the teacher had warned me was shy and nervous, was Mr. Confidence with a knife in one hand and a pile of veggies in front of him. Another boy talked about openning his own high-end vegetarian restaurant. The only injury was my husband cutting himself with his own knife and I was the only person who dumped food on the floor,
Even though the food was familiar to no more than 2 or 3 children, they tried everything and - unbelievably - finished everything. Very little ended up in the garbage. I was the last adult to be served and I didn't even get any noodles. They were all gone.
The kids were totally amazing. They really can do anything if we just give them the chance.