Shortly after I agreed to this, I began freaking out. The idea of the menu came to me quickly (heavenly inspiration--I'm sure of it) and with some slight modifications is the same basic idea. I made sample batches of each salad and took pictures on every steps, made new posts for the recipes, put them up on ElizabethCooks.com, recruited volunteers to make the salads and I was off!
Nearly every day since that time, I've been baking, working on cost spreadsheets, comparison shopping, real shopping. Here's some photos from the baking spree of 11 batches of triple-layer cake. I made six batches and my friend Wendy made five, of which I'll be eternally grateful.
I washed twenty-five pounds of oranges, then peeled them (the rind went into the cake; Dave helped with this). Naked oranges are on the right, near the sink.
The juice is boiled down to make a jam. I burned the first five batches because I tried to cook all the juice at once; it took so long, it made it bitter and burnt tasting. (Toss that.) So after that, each batch got its own pan. Here's one round of three batches.
The last of 11 batches of cake, cooling on the racks.
A touch of sunshine to finish up this part of the task.
Now to make one more batch of each salad, print off the table menu cards, pick up 30 boxes of spinach leaves, 30 dozen Costco rolls, 40 containers of lunch meats stashed at a friend's house, half my kitchen's pots, pans and knives, 32 gold foil cardboard cake platters, 12 bottles of cornichons, six cartons of grape tomatoes (note to self: call Trade Joe's to verify order), 6 twenty-pound bags of ice and all the other stuff in the dining room and get it all the Stake Center next Saturday.
Note to all: don't call me next Saturday afternoon. I'll be comatose.