Friday, October 24, 2014

A Baptism Party for 68

My younger son was baptized at the beginning of the summer, and we had quite the party to celebrate!  Sixty-eight friends and family joined us on this special day. About 2/3 of the guests were children (reflecting our parish's demographics), and I found that the menu below was both economical and popular, in addition to lending itself well to having components prepared in advance. I will definitely be repeating this menu for my children's future sacramental occasions!

The Menu
Pork/bean tacos (slow cooker recipe follows)
Chips and salsa
Lemon poppy seed cake with Meyer lemon curd glaze
Iced tea-lemonade
Eponymous vineyard wine

Notes on Quantities
  1. I made four batches of the taco filling and bought ten 20 count bags of tortillas and three 2 cup bags of grated cheddar cheese. I borrowed extra slow cookers from neighbors, and made the taco filling the previous day.  On the day of the baptism, I kept it warm in the oven in foil pans while we were at church. I had a batch and a half of taco filling (which froze well) and two and a half packages of tortillas remaining.  More cheese would probably have been eaten. The Sriracha bottle also took a hit.
  2. I bought a gigantic bag of chips and a gallon of salsa. The kids preferred using the taco filling as a dip, so another bag of chips (and more of the filling and salsa) probably would have been eaten.
  3. I made one batch of the cake (using two boxes of yellow cake mix) and a double batch of the lemon curd in advance; I froze the former.  The tiered cake was elegant, but no one else felt comfortable cutting into it. Maybe I would try a sheet cake next time. Everyone got a piece, but not a scrap of cake was left, so I would make an extra half batch of cake.
  4. I purchased two packages of Lipton iced tea-lemonade mix (each making 10 quarts) and borrowed a beverage dispenser from a friend. The blend was extremely popular and having one beverage kept things simple.  Keeping the dispenser filled was also an easy task to delegate with a mix (versus using a homemade concentrate).
  5. A few families brought cookies and a salad, which were very much appreciated.
  6. A magnum of wine and a couple bottles of champagne were sufficient.  
  7. I bought the paper goods on post Easter clearance, opting for solid pastels.
Pork and Bean Tacos
Each batch makes 10-12 burritos (or more smaller tacos)
3 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 lb pork loin, seared (do not sub pork shoulder, as it will be greasy)
4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T salt
2 T chipotle
1 T cumin
1 t oregano
lemon or lime juice to taste
1 lb bag of frozen corn
Optional garnish: chopped cilantro and/or scallions

Combine all ingredients but lemon juice and corn in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred meat and stir in remaining ingredients.

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