Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Logistics, Logistics

Warning: This post is basically me sounding out some plans for myself. You might find it interesting, you might find it exceedingly boring; you might find it mouth-watering, you might want to get repaid for the 10 minutes you just wasted. I take no responsibility for any issues you have if you somehow finish this post. For those in the neighborhood, don't be shy - you can come say hi! ;) [AHEM]

Okay, so here's the truth. It's doable. And I'm not even all that worried. The only problem that I can forsee is setting it up in time, but if we do most of it at night, we should be okay...

See, here's the issue. After a nice 3-1/2 weeks at my in-laws in Monsey, we returned early Friday morning to our apartment. We're not quite done, but we've organized where to put baby Elianna's clothes and stuff, and have cleaned up some of the mess, and I can now start working on this week's task: Turning a one-bedroom apartment into a nice place to host a kiddush, because that's what we're doing this week. Not only are we having a kiddush, we're also having meals at our apartment for our family members who will be coming in, including 2 sets of parents and 2 siblings with their spouses and 5 kids. In other words...
Friday night: Meal for 10 adults, while trying to keep 6 kids under the age of 5 calm. Set up for kiddush.

Shabbos day: Kiddush for up to about 80 people, followed by another meal for the people from Friday night.
Good thing we're not real NYers trying to impress everyone, because it allows us to keep everything simple. My parents are coming in Thursday afternoon, so I've already asked my mom to make a couple potato kugels for the meals and her famous chocolate custard cake for a dessert. If we're lucky, she'll bring her famous - and secret recipe, even from us - Mounds for the kiddush. My mother-in-law already has gefilte fish for both meals, and said she'll be making a dessert, too. My sister-in-law who won't be coming is still baking a number of things for the kiddush; hopefully Serach will bake a few challos tomorrow for the meals. The day meal will be after the kiddush, so it will be lighter and easier - probably a chicken/salami salad (chunks of grilled chicken, salami, bag of lettuce, a cut-up tomato, a cut-up cucumber, and a small can of mandarin oranges - stolen from OD) after the fish along with potato kugel and cold cuts and leftover chulent from the kiddush. The total prep time for that meal is about 5 minutes, assuming you chop veggies really slowly.

Friday night will be a bit trickier, but still not too bad. After the fish, we'll probably go with "SIL's salad", which is basically lettuce, scallions, onion-garlic croutons, and craisins with a really good sweet dressing. [We also use the same dressing for the chicken salad.] Not sure what the other items would be. Probably spicy potatoes (recipe from Verv), maybe pasta and onions (Serach), lemon-curry cutlets (Imma), and the potato kugel (Mom).

The kiddush is the biggest part. For now, it looks like we'll be making a bunch of fruit platters, have a little candy, a number of cakes, and a few crockpots of cholent. One friend already offered her crockpot, and I'm assuming I can get one from SIL/OD (right?! :) ), and we have one, so I just need one or two more (ours is small and the cover doesn't fit right). Fruit platters are a cinch to my brother and myself, as is making chulent for a huge amount of people; the tricky part is the cakes... and space.

Originally, I was worried about refrigerator space - with as many as 40-50 people in the apartment at a time (thank God for small favors - Chofetz Chaim finishes davening about 35 minutes before Lander), the drinks must be cold. But my mother had a brilliant idea - take our washer, fill it with bags of ice, and put all the sodas in there. After Shabbos, we hook it up, turn it on, and spin out the water. As it is, we're moving the washer out of the main room into the kitchen to use as a counter and moving the small table in the kitchen out to use as a ...well, table.

Hmmm. Looks like this really could work. Now where will we get cakes from?!

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