Monday, July 16, 2012

catering for a crowd

the past week or so, I have been caught up in the logistics of catering for a crowd of up to 250 people. That's a lot of tummies to fill!  The reason for this influx of hungry tummies was the Endeavour Rally passing through town, and needing food and a place to rest their wearies heads for the night. Having travelled from Croydon (FNQ) the lead started rolling into the Racecourse just before dark yesterday (and don't imagine that these are shiny state of the art four wheel drive rally cars, I think part of the rules state the cars must be at least 25 years old!)

The logistics around feeding 250 head for dinner and breakfast meant that I ended up being the one sourcing the 100 odd kgs of corned beef, 24 dozen eggs and 30 kgs of sausages, and 18 kgs of pie apple for apple crumble. Thank goodness for wholesalers that deliver.  The corned beef was farmed out amongst local committee members of the Jockey Club and P & C to cook, as was the pie apple. Sunday morning saw my husband manning the meat slicer and spending a good two hours slicing the corned beef, and me stacking it into trays, ready to be placed in the bay-marie for serving.

Over at the Jockey Club, the grounds were being primped and prepped, and extra showers made to accommodate the crowd.  A lot of work went into preparing the grounds and feeding the crowd of rally drivers.

IMG_4961And in making the place look a little bit swish and classy. The old hardy bougainvillea always comes in handy!

IMG_4962Although a last minute shower of rain had everyone scurrying to get the tables and chairs back under cover!

IMG_4964Old style cooking implements were brought into play, the racecourse not having a gourmet style kitchen. Jacket potatoes were boiled in the old copper.

IMG_4968And fancy outback style "fire pits" were erected to counteract the chilly breeze.  Please note the attention OH&S with the fence around the fire, in the old days it would have been a bonfire on the ground! (pleas note the Bar in the background as well)/

IMG_4972everything looks fancier with a bit of hessian draped over it, in this case some portable yard panels around the opening to the unisex showers (thoughtfully adorned with informative signage). Also note the alfresco sink, which belongs to the mens toilets backing onto the showers.

IMG_4981The ladies toilets being slightly grander (again with thougthful signage), again with more hessian. And a mirror, which I didn't photograph, but was obviously hung by a very short person. Must rectify this before the races! 

I managed to catch a few of the cars before dark...

IMG_4974IMG_4978IMG_4980IMG_4976Obviously it is essential and obligatory to get as many stickers as possible over ones vehicle, to have the biggest spot lights as one can source, carry many a spare tyre, and have a good sense of humour.

It got busy, and I didn't get a chance to photograph the food, but no one went home hungry. Although it was noted these rally types weren't as big eaters as expected (I guess sitting in a car all day doesn't work up an appetite) so we had plenty of leftovers, some of which got turned into bubble and squeak for breakfast (at which I wasn't present, sent the husband out at 530 instead!) and the rest sold back to the committee...I have three apple crumbles in my freezer now!

Thank goodness its over though! they departed around 8am this morning, bound for their final destination, Yeppoon.

Now that is crossed off the calendar, onto the next event, the inaugural Rugby Sevens Comp in town next weekend. Working in catering and watering the troops for that one too, with some baking to be done this week, and working in the canteen/bar areas on the day.

Who ever said there was nothing to do in the country?!


  1. That sounds like a mammoth effort Sharon ... I hope those centerpieces were appreciated!

  2. Gooo.. Sharon,
    I can tell you that is exactly the kind of turnout those Endevour blokes really appreciate. I know some of the original organizers of the event who live in Hervey Bay and they can't wait for Rally time to come around each year. I bet the corned meat extravaganzer at Hugenden will be the talk of the Bay for the next twelve months.

  3. Big job Sharon. Can't beat a bit of corned beef and decorative bougainvillea though. We had them through here a few years back, they had smoko with us and we had to provide packed lunches for them to take. Not as big a job as tea and breakfast, but it was a lot of work for not many hands. They were great people though, and put in a lot of time with the school kids. We've sports day on Wednesday (last Friday's rained out), so a little baking due to take place tomorrow. Love the old copper, we use one much the same to boil grain for the pigs.

  4. Wow Sharon, you have been busy! Decorations look fantastic and very rustic! I am sure they were thrilled with the local hospitality.

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