Yes, it's over.
I woke up this morning at 4 a.m., lay in bed for a while and finally gave up at 5 a.m. After getting ready, packing the car up (again), and trying to eat breakfast (I couldn't) I was on the road at 6:55 a.m. Only 5 minutes behind schedule. Not bad. A stop to pick up the 18 boxes of spinach brought further freak-out when she saw me and said, "I have your 8 boxes." I guess she saw the look on my face and the panic in my voice, but happily they managed to find the other 10, and I was on my way.
Lots of lugging in from the car. Dave was headed over to Costco to get the rolls. Here are all the million batches of cakes, wrapped in foil.
Here I am, a poster child for the ingredients for the chocolate ganache: butter, cream, chocolate. So I made up one batch and when I came back to it after some time, there were little bubbles in it, and it looked lumpy, greasy. So I made a new batch, and that one was silky smooth--and I barely let it heat up before I turned off the burner. It's hard to figure out someone else's stovetop.
Sue started on washing the mini-pearl grape tomatoes and draining the cornichons (little French pickles), so the crew could start putting together the garnishes.
Take one tomato, one cornichon, and spear it onto the pick.
The presidency of our women's organization stopped by. We all look pretty dolled up for 8:00 in the morning!
Dave and Carrie work on slicing open the rolls, and stuffing them with either turkey or ham.
Lora is spreading the "jam" onto the cake tops.
I wanted a shot of her putting the kumquat decoration on, but she told me no more photos!
The cake, ready to go out onto the tables. You try putting 10 almonds around the cake, evenly spaced. I had to re-do a few.
Here it is, bird's-eye view. The quinoa salad is lower, the confetti pasta salad, upper, and Le Petit Sandwich (with garnish). The chocolate eggs are decoration. I snagged one at one point, but lost it again.
Robyn, Jana and Sue in their assembly line. I had an amazing crew of women who really made the process feel easy and relaxed. They were so efficient, we were all done with all the plating, the setting out by 11:00 a.m. So the kitchen crew sat down to eat. It felt really good to sit down!
Here it all is, waiting for the ladies to get out of their workshops. Photo courtesy of Dave, because I was running around like the proverbial headless chicken. Or something.
I like this photo of Dave's because the woman in the orange shirt is reading off my table card to the woman in the white. Apparently a lot of the table cards had been taken when the helpers went to break down the table settings. We had a lot of nice comments about the food. One woman said she looked at her plate, "and there wasn't a marshmallow in sight!" referring to the CoolWhipMarshmallowPudding side dish that is often served. She was thrilled. Another noted that we "didn't have that old Chinese Chicken Salad" entree. Which I do like. Just not every time we have a luncheon. I had one woman happy as can be that we had a gluten-free dish (the quinoa). Many of the salad-bringers commented on all the vegetables and the chopping and that they now had new dish in their repertoire.
Because of all the great help we had, the kitchen was cleared out, dishes done and Dave and I were headed home by 1:15. It's over. The Great Luncheon Caper is complete. Guess what we're having for dinner? Yep. Pasta and quinoa salad with Le Petit Sandwiches (complete with garnish).