Our Second Thanksgiving Dinner of 2014

This is the 27th year that Central Community Church has been serving Thanksgiving dinner to the needy of Riverside. The event has grown to over 3,000 meals, most of which will be delivered to the recipient's home. The body of this church is small but extremely dedicated, and with an army of volunteers they get the job done every year. 

Last night Randy and I joined Teresa, Riley, Mike, Brittany and Kari for the final preparations. With a few other hard-working souls, they prepared a ton of mashed potatoes. Literally - they had around 2,000 pounds of potatoes. Earlier in the day a group of 40-50 people had a potato-peeling party. The peeled and cut taters were put in several tubs of water, then the cooking started. 
They cooked the potatoes outside the kitchen, then brought them in to be mashed by hand. If I win the lottery, I will buy a big commercial mixer for this church. While this was going on we also packed up 3,000 little to-go cups of cranberry sauce and opened a zillion big cans of vegetables. Because they use so much product, they need to save space in the dumpster, so after the veggies were dumped into pots, we had to remove the bottom of each of those cans and stomp them flat. After the potatoes were cooked, mashed and packed in coolers and the kitchen was cleaned, the next step was heating the cooked turkey and gravy. Since there were around 170 cooked turkeys, that was expected to take several hours.  That seemed to be the end of our usefulness so at 4:40 am Randy and I headed for home. 

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