Funemployed Day 11: Cooking for a crowd

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan" - Eleanor Roosevelt. She didn't say this to me directly, but I did find it on Pinterest, along with everything I made for dinner. 

Tl;dr: I woke up very late, I helped minimally around the barn, I drove a car (yeah, been a while), forgot my grocery list, grocery shopped, cooked, and fed a party of 11 for the first time in my life. I didn't even poison anyone (as far as I know). 

I slept like a rock. Every time I hear "like a rock" I think "tiger rock", because that's what I thought this old Chevrolet commercial said when I was a kid (a dumb ass kid apparently). 

I slept tiger rock. I went to bed before 11pm on Thursday, and was like "Oh yeah, the new Miz will get up around 8am (this isn't crazy for me) and help around the farm (this is crazy for me)." My family is preparing for a big horse show on Saturday. Nurp. I slept until 10:30am. I suppose I needed it though. I always get like that when I leave the city. 

I had some coffee. I just love AM coffee. It really hits the spot. Then I went out to the barn and asked a bunch of question and held a rope while my mom's horse ate. The rope was attached to the horse. I wasn't just holding a rope. Come on, guys. 

I watched our extended barn family friend pull hair out of the horses mane (this thins the mane and makes it easier to braid). I asked questions about horse hair braiding. This was interesting. It's a lucrative business, but I decided it's not the business for me, despite being the best french braider in middle school (ask all the girls in my choir class). 

Next I helped arrange some fake flowers that horses will jump over in the show. I thought I did a pretty good job. I have a good eye for colors and design. I need to do more that uses those skills. 

Next I wrote. This is now my ritual. Can't break my stride. 

If you are enjoying this, give me some comments/ideas on other things you'd like to hear about. I definitely enjoy writing it. 

Then I looked at food on Pinterest. Pinterest is my favorite. 

Why is it my favorite? Because it's about me. I love Pinterest because it's aspirational. It helps you dream, but also helps you acquire valuable skills and ideas (DIY, cooking, decorating). I love to learn and to dream, so this is a great platform for me. 

I told my mom I wanted to make dinner for the family/extended barn family on Friday night. She was like, "Hold on, wait, what did you say?" I was like, "I'm making dinner." She was like, "Do you really think this is safe?" I was like, "Well, I'm not so sure, but I've always been a risk taker." She was like, "Ok we have pizza and chicken wings as a back up." Actually she was supportive. They will take any help, especially on horse show prep days (they work for 12+ hours preparing). 

I chose a few recipes that I had saved to my "Miz Eats" board. 

  1. Avocado egg salad
  2. Green bean 'french fries'
  3. Lemon chicken skewers
  4. Kale salad with toasted pecans
I did not take these photos. I stole these photos. I did make these things though. They were good.

I did not take these photos. I stole these photos. I did make these things though. They were good.

I also wanted to make this ricotta almond cake, but ran out of time. I'm making it tomorrow instead. 

Expert advice: When you make a grocery list, it's good to bring it with you to the store, especially if it's a long one.

I forgot mine. Oops. I drove my parents new white Jeep to the store. It felt fancy. I haven't had to drive in a while, so this was a real upgrade from the cars I was used to driving. There's more touch screens, video cameras, and hands-free stuff that I am accustomed to. I didn't crash it. I did get to the store, go inside, and realize I forgot my phone, which had my long, detailed, grocery list on it. I went back and checked the Jeep. Not there. 

So I winged it. I did quite well! Also I chose pretty straightforward recipes, besides the almond cake that I didn't make. 

I get so disoriented in big grocery stores, and the florescent lighting makes me crazy. I'm used to small, overpriced stores. I am not sure how to handle myself in a store that is affordable and huge. It's wild. I also had Trace-face's credit card (call damage control!). Actually I'm really cheap and got anxiety purchasing two bags of $7 almond flour (even on my mom's dime). This is the price you pay to avoid carbs. I do think healthy eating is a worthwhile investment though. 

I got home and got going. 

First I boiled the eggs. Then I decided what to do with the kale. I was like yeah, the bag says "Washed and ready to serve.", but I don't believe that crock of shit. I Youtube-d how to "massage kale", then I did this, rubbing olive oil, salt, and lemon into my luscious greens. It was the best decision of my day. I toasted pecans (8 minutes in the oven) and chopped those and an apple to put in the salad. The salad turned out really delicious. I let it sit in the fridge while I made the rest.

Next I made the avocado egg salad. This was very easy and super tasty. It would be great on some toast for breakfast or lunch too.  After this I prepped the green beans. This was messy, requiring dipping and drenching in flour, egg, and bread crumbs. Then finally came the chicken. I marinated with lemon zest, olive oil, and garlic, then later put it on the skewers with lemon and green onion. Trace-face stepped in to assist, as I needed a sous chef for slicing lemons and doing dishes. 

Then the judges gathered to consume my meal.

I was taking a risk here, serving all this healthy food, to my family of pretty average eaters (no offense). I think I won a few people over to the kale side. They were hesitant. I basically had to force-feed the kale to my aunt (she had negative past kale experiences), but she gave it a thumbs up. Others even went back for seconds. 

All-in-all it was a real success. I fed 11 people, and they didn't even know it was low-carb (haha gotcha, suckers). I think a party of four was probably the most I had ever cooked for before this. I got a few "your hired" comments. I was like, "Woah. Wait a sec, I'm funemployed. I'm not in the market." I did say I'd gladly cook for them regularly if they would support me financially in all other aspects of my life (this could be a deal worth making). 

I feel very good about this meal, as cooking is a new found love of mine. This came about after I started learning more about nutrition. I'm becoming braver in the kitchen and look forward to learning more. Tomorrow I will take on dessert and cocktails (dinner is covered). 

It's horse show day on Saturday. I hope to take home the blue ribbon (I know where they keep them, so I can definitely take one home).

  1. Wake up later than everyone else
  2. Help out wherever needed for the horse show
  3. Hang with my other family that's driving in tomorrow, including my grandpa who I haven't seen in years!
  4. Make a cake
  5. Make cocktails
  6. Accidentally get wasted in front of my whole family and make a damn fool of myself