Sunday, May 20, 2012

Food Revolution!

I seriously couldn't be more grateful for how amazing my friends are. Yesterday was Loves Food, Loves to Eat's 3rd birthday (three years!!), and I celebrated in a big way—by hosting a Food Revolution dinner party! With the help of friends and family, I raised $146 (in only 3 days) to help educate kids and families across America about cooking and eating and real food. 

I came up with the idea, invited guests, planned, and pulled off a 20 person dinner party in three and a half days. I love Jamie Oliver, and am a big fan of his cause, but I didn't know about Food Revolution Day until Wednesday. And, when I realized it was the same day as my blogiversary, I knew I had to get involved.

On Wednesday I created the donation page for my event, and invited guests. The response was more than I ever expected: 19 people (20 counting me) rsvp'd and bought tickets, only 3 days before the event. Not only that, several people made extra donations (including Mel—thanks mom!!). On Thursday, I started looking for a location that would fit 20 people. Amanda found a park we could use, with first-come picnic tables to seat 18. With her patio set, we had enough room for 20…a brilliant idea, and a bit of a risk. Luckily, we grabbed all the tables right before a group of picnickers showed up. 

On Friday, I planned the menu, and went shopping after work. At 8:00PM the night before the event, I discovered that beef tenderloin (the main ingredient for my main dish) doesn't exist…at least not at any of the 3 stores I went to. So, after a brief panic, (read: calling my mom, sister, and Evan about 10 times, running back and forth around the store, trying not to cry) I went with flank steak. Crisis averted. Friday night I prepped and cooked until 1AM. On Saturday, I made 12 mini-strawberry almond cakes, which ended up not coming out of the pans…two hours before the event. New plan: trifle! Crisis #2 averted. I finished cooking, assembling, and prepping, just in time to head to the park and get set up. 

Everything went off without a hitch. I had an amazing time planning and pulling off this dinner party, everyone raved about the food, and it was a super fun evening! An absolutely perfect way to celebrate 3 years of blogging! 

So, with 3 days to plan, 6 lbs of flank steak, 4 baguettes, 20 steak sandwiches, 2 gallons of gazpacho, 40 grilled shrimp, 20 berry trifles, 8 bags of homemade pita chips, 2 cups of grated parmesan cheese, 20 jars for drinking, 19 awesome friends (plus 2 adorable babies), and $146.61 donated to Food Revolution…I'd call that one successful dinner party! 

Thanks so much to Amanda and Evan for all the help prepping and planning, to LZ and Dave for convincing me that people would, in fact, buy tickets to my dinner party, to Treasa and Kyle for the generous donation, to Mel for donating even though she didn't get to attend, to Carleigh, Jeff, and Preston for your enthusiastic eating, to Brit and Cindy for bringing the two cutest dinner party guests ever, to Connie and Rachel for showing up without knowing what they were getting themselves into, to Mark and Anthony for always supporting my blog and eating everything I make, to Becky and Deric for sharing my blog with everyone they know, and to Amanda and Colin for biking all the way across the city to be there. You're all amazing. 

And, thank you so much to all of you, who continue to read my blog and support me after 3 years!! 

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