A tour of the Café 11 kitchen hours before guests starting lining up in anticipation of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner helped put things into perspective. In the past, preparing turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the fixings for less than 10 people seemed like a herculean task. That is, until Debra Wade revealed what she does to help Team Tobyhanna celebrate the holiday.
Wade, a cook for the post restaurant, is no stranger to serving food to large crowds of people. This week, she rose to the challenge of serving more than 1,000 dinners over three days during multiple shifts. Her recipe for success includes a weekend of prep time, more than 30 years of experience and the help of a first-rate kitchen staff.
The shopping list of items needed for the seasonal event led to the purchase of an astounding amount of food. Food service specialists assigned to the Installation Services Directorate's Army Community Services Branch, along with a few volunteers, helped serve the 450 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of mashed potatoes, 250 pounds of stuffing, 50 gallons of turkey gravy, 250 pounds of carrots, 135 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 2,200 chocolate chip cookies prepared for the event. Guests who purchased a $4 ticket also received a roll and bottle of water with their meal.
The Civilian Welfare Fund hosted the holiday lunch event.