Last week, maybe a little before that, someone asked me to head up a breakfast for the church's religious education program. We're putting on a before-church meal for the kids, parents, teachers and other church members who want to show up and learn more about the program and what it offers.
We put up sign-up sheets last week and between people who signed and those whom we know will be there but did not sign up, we figured on about 50 people who would be expecting food tomorrow morning. In an effort to make something of an impression, I offered to arrive early and make fresh bagels for the breakfast. Oooooohhhhh! The assembled group gasped. That would be wooooonderful! Flattered and just a little bit stupid, I said sure, great then let's do it.
And then I started to count backward to figure out how much time I would need to have all the bagels out of the oven by, say 8:15 for the 8:30 breakfast. Hmmm... gonna need 50 bagels, so I'll make six batches of 10 each, baking takes this much time, boiling, rising, shaping, rising, mixing, that means I need to start mixing at 5 a.m.
Well fuck me running.
Never one to say "I was an idiot," I forged ahead with my plan. Crazy people around me supported it and said they'd show up early too. One guy even said he'd ride in with me at 4 a.m. Lunatics. We're all lunatics.
Now I know not everybody likes bagels, so I figured I could make a couple of something-nut breads the day before and we'd be good. Maybe a platter of fruit, too. Yeah.
Then someone mentioned gluten-free folks. And that they might want more than an apple for breakfast. Hmm. OK. gluten-free granola, then. And yogurt. Oh, and milk, too, and probably some soy milk as well.
Great. Assignments were made, lists drawn up and everyone confirmed. Early morning kitchen crew of three (including me) ready to go, others to show up later and help with tables and presentation and such, some to do clean-up. Good, good, and good.
Then I talked with someone who mentioned that everybody gets fresh bagels except the gluten-free people, who got a bowl of cold cereal and some fruit. Oh.
Quiches would fix that, if they were the kind with no crust, right? Sure. Great. Oh, and here is another artisan baker who we can get to make something decadent and divine - sticky buns. Goodgodyesletsdothat.
I went grocery shopping and today I cooked. For an army. I baked two cranberry nut breads. And then FOUR crust-less quiches: one with bacon and cheddar, one with mushrooms and three kinds of cheese, one with caramelized onions and cheddar, and one with sun dried tomatoes, Greek olives and feta cheese. Then I baked two more breads -- this time banana nut bread with chocolate chips.
I went over to pick up the cream cheese being provided by some members who were unsure whether they'd make it to church in the morning - two pounds of a lox mix and two pounds of a maple-walnut with golden raisins mix.
We still have volunteers bringing fruit and granola and yogurt and milk and juices, too.
Oh, and I packaged up the necessary ingredients to make 60-plus bagels in the morning.
This is nuts.
Fun, but nuts.
If anyone walks away from this breakfast hungry, they're either stupid, stubborn, or maybe both.
After I go to my municipal democratic party caucus tomorrow afternoon, I fully expect to collapse in a heap and sleep until the sun is well up on Monday. Yurks.
I may have something interesting and spiritual to say when I wind down tomorrow, but I make no promises. But for now, I am headed to bed.