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					                                                                              Marie Molde

                                                      Quantity Foods Narrative Evaluation

                                                                             6 March 2008



       Planning a “quantity” meal was a new experience for me in every aspect. I had

never put together a complete menu before, nor arranged a meal for upwards of fifty

people. In the days preceding “Adios Fiesta” I experienced a fair amount of stress, but

overall I am very pleased with the way the meal turned out. I feel that it was a success,

and I most definitely learned a lot of things along the way!

       The process of planning the Adios Fiesta began with selecting a theme and a

menu. I have always been a fan of Mexican cuisine, and therefore I thought it would be

fun and enjoyable to carry out a Mexican-themed meal. My partner Jessica and I decided

chicken enchiladas would make a great entrée, and true to Mexican tradition we chose

Spanish rice and refried beans as the sides. Fried ice cream made a scrumptious dessert,

and chips and salsa were placed on the tables to appease the customers before the entrée

arrived.

       Customizing the menu for our anticipated crowd required a lot of time and effort.

All of the recipes required conversions so that they could cater to eighty people, and

much time was needed to collect all of the groceries that our fiesta required. Moreover,

beside all of the food-related concerns regarding the meal, decorations and atmosphere

had to be taken into consideration as well. The night before the fiesta we spent a few

hours collecting decorations, moving tables, and embellishing the room in a fiesta-like

fashion.
       Despite all of the planning and labor that went into our meal before it took place, I

feel that the most work (and stress) presented itself on the day of Adios Fiesta. I arrived

on the scene over four hours before our first guests arrived to start the beans in the

roaster. We also had evaluations that needed to be printed, and tomatoes that needed to

be crushed, as well as multiple other tasks. Luckily two classmates arrived early and

were able to help with the meal preparation near the beginning. I felt quite a bit of

responsibility as I was handing out tasks for classmates to complete, but I knew as a

manager that this was my duty. Acting as a meal manager was an eye-opening

experience, and I think it was a great preview to what a food-service manager in a large

facility experiences on a daily basis.

       As the morning went by, my stress level escalated. Jessica and I were unsure that

we had purchased enough chicken, and the rice and beans were not cooking as we had

anticipated. What is more, when the cooks began assembling the enchiladas, the tortillas

began breaking, thus giving the enchiladas a less than aesthetically-pleasant appearance.

Thankfully, when 11:30 rolled around and it was time to begin serving our guests, all of

the food had miraculously cooked to the necessary level. It was an enormous relief to be

able to begin plating the food on-schedule, and I felt that our plates were very colorful

and appetizing. For additional embellishment the plates were garnished with shredded

Romaine lettuce, slices of red tomato and black olives. The enchiladas were topped with

a fresh green spring of cilantro.

       We ran into a few brief conflicts as the guests were being served, such as running

out of fruit punch, as well as whipped cream for the ice-cream dessert. However, all of

the guests were served in a timely fashion, and I was happy with the manner in which the
meal was carried out. I felt that all of our hard work had paid off, and the icing on the

cake came when a previous professor of mine came back into the kitchen to congratulate

me on the success of the meal, and said that the meal was delicious and a great

accomplishment.

       The only disappointment I experienced regarding the Adios Fiesta came when

some of the evaluation cards came back with negative remarks. The enchilada recipe we

used had cinnamon as an ingredient in the sauce, which we felt might give the enchiladas

a little something “extra,” yet some people disagreed with the flavor that resulted. Other

guests felt that the rice was too bland, which may be a result of Jessica and I not being

able to locate one of the spice ingredients for the rice recipe. All things considered, it

was impossible for us to know how the recipes were going to taste before we cooked

them, and I am happy that everything cooked to the necessary requirement even though

the taste left something to be desired for a few of our guests.

       I feel that our Adios Fiesta was a success, and that all of our hard work paid off. I

am amazed at all of the work that goes into planning a quantity meal. It was great to

receive compliments from people who ate our meal, because both Jessica and I put in a

lot of time and effort into making it a success. I am glad to have had this experience

because I feel that having done so, I now will be much better prepared when I am

required to plan a meal for others, or spend time working in food service.

				
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