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October Potluck Held on October 7th

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Our third office pot luck took on an Italian theme with antipasto, pasta, and cake.  Judging by the number of attendees and seconds that were served, it seemed clear the menus were working for everyone.

October has arrived already, and lately in North Texas, summer and winter have been fighting bitterly for control--fall seems to be sitting this one out.  With colder, wetter, darker weather lurking around, some hearty food was very welcome.  This month, the menu was comprised of the following:

The grilled vegetables included red and green bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.  These are delicious served warm or cold, and the latter served us well at the pot luck.  At breakfast time, the antipasto was prepared and grilled, then brought into the office that morning.

The pasta sauces, on the other hand, required preparation the night before, along with a LOT of penne.  The Bolognese, in particular, requires several hours of simmering, so it was prepared the previous evening upon getting home from work.

Four packs of penne noodles were cooked that evening, taking care to keep them slightly undercooked.  This allowed us to keep the penne in a large crockpot with a little water and butter over the course of the long mealtime, all without turning soggy.  Periodically, we would refill the crockpot to heat more noodles as everyone ate more.  In hindsight, it would have been a better approach to have two large crockpots (e.g. 6 quarts or so each) to store the pasta.

Attendees were able to serve themselves the noodles, then add the sauce (or sauces) as they preferred.

Originally, we had planned for a home-cooked Tiramisu, but as is sometimes the case, our best plans were interrupted.  Our dessert cook quickly improvised and ordered an Italian Creme Cake from the aptly named cake store: Delicious Cakes.

While this was certainly our heaviest menu to date, it was absolutely what the doctor ordered!


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