Soups On! - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 206227

Put the Kettle on....

Soups On! 
Nov. 18, 2010 12:53 pm 
Updated: Nov. 26, 2010 3:19 am
I gotta hand it to our Sunshine Committee at work.  I believe this group is the best it's ever been in the 21 years since I've worked at the school.  In the past the Sunshine Committee collected $10 from everyone at the beginning of the school year and saved that money to buy cards for people when they were sick, or someone died.  If someone had a baby or got married a small gift would be purchased.  Nice, but not much fun in that!

This year the ladies in charge collected the $10 from everyone and, while yes, they still buy the cards or gifts... they are also organizing some great luncheons.  A few weeks ago it was a salad luncheon.  Everyone who wanted to participate brought in a yummy salad or bread, dessert, whatever.  Lunch was pretty awesome that day.

Today was Soup Day.  It was great, and a perfect day for soup as it was cold and dreary outside.  We had a large amount of people participating which meant we had some pretty darn good soups to sample.  There were 12 different kinds of soup and even the men participated - they brought in breads, cookies, crackers - things like that.  I made Tortellini Soup - not this exact recipe, but close enough to say it was.  One of our teachers (the Foods Teacher, imagine that!) made her own personal tomato soup recipe.  It was fabulous!  She said she is planning on entering it in a contest.  Can't wait to hear how she does with it.  It was so fresh and "tomatoey" tasting. 

Our next event will be our Christmas breakfast.  Years ago people would sign up to bring in their best breakfast casserole or muffins, but the last 10 years or so has been purchased juices and bagels only.  There has been talk that this year we are going back to the "old" way. I can't wait!

Do you ever have fun luncheons like these where you work?  If so - what are some other good ideas to bring everyone together?  Since it is a school, everyone doesn't get to eat at the same time - there are 4 different lunch periods, but there was still plenty of soup left over for the last lunch period.
Nov. 18, 2010 2:00 pm
We still have these days at the school, fruit platters, crock pots of chili and warm soup, cinnamon buns and trays of cookies and muffins fill the staff room tables. We have staff apprectiation day and parents bring in a meal for the teachers. They all have different lunch breaks, so we try to stagger the food over a few hours so it always come in piping hot. The "old" way is often "good"
Nov. 18, 2010 2:07 pm
We had a teacher on staff the past few years, but he left :-( who always organized a chili cook-off. That was always great fun - I tied for first one year! Hee!hee! You talking of cinnamon buns & trays of cookies got me thinking, maybe a dessert bar would be good.
Nov. 18, 2010 4:43 pm
Never luncheons where I worked. There were some after work tail gaters that were always interesting.
Nov. 18, 2010 5:42 pm
Sounds like great fun Ann. I miss that kind of thing with not working. If I get the new perfect job, maybe I will get in with a good group :) Have you thought about taking over the organization of the chili cook-off?
Nov. 18, 2010 6:21 pm
i have to make the botulism babe's things she takes to her school. it's a staggered lunch too. they have different i adjust. my shrimp-crab gazphapo is a killer there in warm weather. my chicken enchilidalas rock as well. ok..i'll quit blowing my horn. i still wonder if my blushing bride takes credit or not. who cares, the dishes always come back empty. teachers, nurses and and people on this planet.
Nov. 19, 2010 7:28 am
Our boss has a grill out in the parking lot everyonce in a while, he brings in the hot dogs and hamburgers and staff brings in side dishes and condiments. Our moral has been so low around here (because the boss is mean at times and we are so undervalued) that we haven't had one for a while. Some of us would get together for drinks after work but we don't do that because we don't want to invite everyone so we don't do it. I work in a very small office of 10 so everyone knows what is going on.
Nov. 19, 2010 7:45 am
Funny this should come up today. My group here at work are planning a Christmas celebration breakfast next month. I was just checking out recipes and trying to decide what I wanted to bring. I have decided on a breakfast pizza. We are going to have an ornament exchange also. Sounds like a lot of fun. This will be our first time to do this.Since there are only 8 employees in this building.
Nov. 19, 2010 8:34 am
Hmmm.... a tail gator could be fun - we'd have to go to another parking lot somewhere else though. I think the school officials would frown on our beverage choices.
Nov. 19, 2010 8:35 am
Carrie - really haven't thought of taking on that chore. I've spent so many years handling things like that - I feel it's time for the "new kids on the block" to take over. I'll just contribute stuff and participate from now on. :-) And, this year's crowd is doing well.
Nov. 19, 2010 8:36 am
gderr - I love that "botulism babe"! As long as the dishes come back empty that's good, if they also come back clean - even better!
Nov. 19, 2010 8:37 am
Skuba - a grill out sounds like fun. That's an idea for spring time.
Nov. 19, 2010 8:38 am
Char, I hope all works out for you guys with your Christmas celebration event! Have fun!
Nov. 19, 2010 7:31 pm
Our secretary organizes our "office feeds." We have one every other month. Sometimes it's themed and sometimes it's a free-for-all. And, sometimes, we all meet at a local restaurant. But, always great food and commaraderie. There's nothing like food to bring people together.
Nov. 20, 2010 3:18 am
Candice - you are so right! Food never fails to bring people together! I grew up in a house where my mom, and my Grandma's before her, and so on and so on had the mottor "Better too much than not enough". Any family get together we have you can rest-assured the table will be overflowing. If you leave hungry - it's your fault! My in-laws weren't/aren't like that at all. Bare minimum is what they believe in, and nothing fancy or special. Dessert is almost unheard of! My family? There have been times that dessert is eaten first to be sure you have room for it! :-)
Nov. 20, 2010 3:47 pm
I love the motto,...... "Better too much than not enough." My husband feels the same way. One time we attended a Holiday Open House. You know, the kind where you go anytime between a certain start time and end time; say 4pm - 8pm. We arrived at about 5:15pm. AND, ALL THE FOOD WAS GONE! My husband was apalled. He, to this day, stills talks about the "cheap creaps" that put this Holiday Flop, as he calls it. When we have any kind of shindig, there's enough food to feed a small (or medium) sized country. Running out of food is way poor taste.
Nov. 21, 2010 4:26 am
Candice - we think alike that's for sure! I even doubted the catering company that made some of the food for my daughter's graduation party. I was ordering chicken from them and told them how many people we expected. They told me how much chicken we would need and I said "Oh, we'll have to add an additional 50 pieces; I want to have enough" They argued with me, but couldn't persuade me to not order the additional. I sent home an entire pan full of chicken with one of my daughter's friends that had 3 brothers and a sister and an out-of-work dad. At least it didn't go to waste!
Nov. 21, 2010 9:05 am
Good Morning Mother Ann, I love your story. And, here's the Moral...... when all was said and done, you were a generous, kind person who gave away the excess food to those who could really appreciate it, and NOT a "cheap creep!" Too much is ALWAYS better than not ENOUGH!
Nov. 21, 2010 11:17 am
I love that term "cheap creep". I'm going to remember that. It can apply in so many different situations, too! Like the one couple we're friends with who, when we go out to eat, leave a $2 tip, no matter what the bill was. They think $1 for each of them is plenty! For this reason, we don't go out with them very often to restaurants. I find that embarrassing.
Nov. 21, 2010 7:57 pm
Well, Good Lord! It makes me nuts that some people are so cheap. They should just stay at home to eat. I mean really, come on people!
Nov. 23, 2010 6:08 am
My school's social committee has a luncheon every six weeks...we've had sandwich "bars" with griddles set up to do grilled cheese sandwiches with various add-ons, we've done it where we have different grade levels or groups bring in appetizers, entrees and desserts so we have a whole meal. We're having a soup/chili buffet the week after Thanksgiving break and we're doing a Christmas goodies exchange buffet instead of gifts to each bring your dish and copies of the recipe, so everyone goes home with lots of recipes. One year we had a breakfast burrito ordered the burritos the day ahead and the social committee delivered them in the morning to your classroom. The money raised went to our Relay for Life team. Social Committee luncheons are a big deal at my school!
Nov. 23, 2010 11:37 am
I like the idea of a sandwich "bar". Sounds yummy!
Nov. 23, 2010 12:02 pm
We have had a Mexican Pile On with lots of success. Taco meat, cheese, lettuce, chips, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, onions, salsa, beans, etc. Everyone puts on what they want and no one is hungry! We have also done baked potatoes with different kinds of toppings - ham, cheese, broccoli, etc.
Nov. 23, 2010 5:58 pm
Baked potatoes would go over very well! I'm going to mention that one.
Nov. 23, 2010 6:47 pm
Our teaching staff (I work in a state prison) has regular luncheons that are themed. We have had: BLT Day, Potato Bar, Taco/Taco Salad Day, Personal Pizza Day, Eat Dessert First Day, and the usual holiday/retirement/promotion/transfer/baby shower/etc luncheons. The facility has had a chili cook-off and apple pie contest. I took 3rd with my vegetarian chili! I want to have a soup day...maybe someday.
Nov. 23, 2010 7:03 pm
I teach, and we do have occasional luncheons. It's always fun to see what people bring. Some people amaze me with what they whip up.
Nov. 24, 2010 5:29 am
My work doesn't really do this, we're smack in the middle of downtown so we go to restaurants more often... except they ALWAYS want to go to the same one and it's not that great and I'm tired of it. I chose a different place for my birthday lunch (that they insisted we go out for) and they were like, 'scared' almost to be in a new place. I would kind of prefer doing like soup lunches and stuff more often where people bring stuff in. We tried to do a pot luck for our spring picnic but at least 75% of the 50 or so people tried to sign up for chips and salsa. It's just really impractical to have potluck type things, because of where we're located, the vast majority of people take public transit to work and it's difficult to bring something 'good' in, as well as poor planning, like that spring picnic was held outdoors in super hot, humid weather at a park far away from our buildings, so it was even harder to get food there, and then we had no access at all to refrigeration or a way to keep things warm/hot, so no main dishes. Sigh. I wish we had more foodie type events and not just stupid 'mingling' parties all the time. I have to go to four work Christmas parties this year. Four! I really think that's excessive. And because I work for the civil service, the 'company' doesn't pay for squat. So that's four Christmas parties, on my dime for food and such.
Nov. 24, 2010 5:51 am
Alex, that sounds awful! I understand completely about the "company"not paying for your parties - I work for a public school so same thing, but four parties! Wow, that is excessive.
Nov. 24, 2010 7:59 am
Yep. Ordinarily I would just not go to one or two of them, but I was 'voluntold' to be on the committees for all four, so I kind of have to. Plus they're all during working hours, so I feel kind of obligated. I guess it'd be kind of rude to not go simply because I'd rather sit here by myself lol
Nov. 24, 2010 5:12 pm
We have luncheons at work for most holidays. Thanksgiving we did turkey and all the fixings. For Christmas we are buying cooked chickens & roasting potatoes from our by-weekly 50/50 profits and we are all bringing cookies. Talking about a soup bar for valentines day. we usually do a picnic in June
Nov. 25, 2010 7:29 am
We do 'stone soup' at work. We also do brunch potlucks, soup and sandwich potlucks, beach parties, cinco de mayo... 'Stone soup' is fun. Make a sign up list of anything and everything that you can think of. Whole chicken, kielbasa, onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper and anything else that someone wants to add to the soup. It comes out different every time we make it depending on what someone brings in to throw into the pot.
Nov. 25, 2010 8:28 pm
We've done staff potlucks at my school off and on. The faves are the soup and salad lunch AND the Spuds n' Crud. We bring in baked potatoes (spuds) and the fixings to go with them (the crud). The fixings include the usual sour cream, butter, bacon, cheese, plus chili, broccoli & cheese, sauteed get the idea..Yum!
Nov. 26, 2010 3:19 am
I love Spuds n' Crud - sounds so cool! Stone soup sounds neat also.
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Mother Ann

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Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
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Ravenna, Ohio, USA

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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