Was a success! Everything went without a hitch and the ladies say they had a great time.
Around 55 people attended this year’s CCWL. I was the kitchen facilitator, so all things food fell to my leadership. I am not a micro-manager, as their usual leader is. Many of the women liked having more freedom, but a few of them didn’t. Even so, we all worked together well.
I let the table crew, Gloria, Mary and April, set up and decorate tables. They picked the color-scheme and decorations and had a blast. They also did a lovely job using live tulips and pansies and bright spring colored table clothes.
For lunch we served various salads and asked the women of our church to drop off assorted nice serving bowls (we had 7 tables and served lunch family style at each one). I appointed the table committee to sort the bowls and decide which ones went together for each table. My job was to make the salads and fill the bowls. I had a couple of kitchen helpers. April and Mary also did dishes and kept the coffee and tea pots filled. Peter — the only man in attendance — was my assistant cook and he made the most incredibly gorgeous fruit trays. Pam was in charge of baking the dinner rolls and Kathy put the dessert buffet together. Irene and Candy helped where needed with set up and clean up. All of us did some of the cooking at home and brought things in for salad assembly Tuesday afternoon.
The main meal consisted of Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad (my recipe), Parmesan Pea Salad (Candy’s recipe), and Molded Cranberry Salad (Irene’s recipe). All were great hits. Pastor slipped in the back door and made himself a plate. He had no wish to make an appearance at the lady’s luncheon, but he’d heard there was chicken salad in the kitchen and wanted “a taste”. He took a tiny bit and went to his office — then came back and filled his plate. He now has a standing order for chicken salad whenever I make it.
After the luncheon was over half the women at the banquet flooded into the kitchen to help. That’s how church women are. At one point I said, “Excuse me” to Irene and there was no where for her to move. She said, “What do you want?” And I said, “Since you asked, I think about three more women in the kitchen would be nice.” Irene looked quite startled. Across the room April said, “You know, I think you are right. There are still a few women in the Fellowship Hall. Why don’t we call them in here?” Then Irene said, “Well, if you think the kitchen is too crowded, you could go home and get out of the way of the clean up crew. Your job is over.” I finished packing the fruit to freeze and did just that.
I was in the kitchen from 9:20 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. My feet aren’t used to that any more and they wanted me to sit down! Instead I came home, grabbed some orders and delivered Avon.
Quilly’s Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad
- 10 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 5 celery ribs, diced
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups chopped, toasted pecans
- ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
Stir together chopped cooked chicken; celery ribs, diced; green onions, thinly sliced; toasted pecans; sweetened dried cranberries; mayonnaise; and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill up to 3 days.
Candy’s Parmesan Pea Salad
- 2 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen petite peas
- ½ C celery, chopped
- 2 T green onions, sliced
- ½ C sunflower seeds
- ½ C grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ C cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped
- ½ C mayonnaise
- ½ C sour cream
Mix all ingredients. The frozen peas will cool the other ingredients, but it will need a bit of time for them to defrost before it can be served.
Irene’s Molded Cranberry Salad
- 6 oz. pkg raspberry Jello
- 2 c. boiling water
- 16 oz can cranberry sauce (whole or jellied, but whole adds texture)
- 8 oz can crushed pineapple
- ½ C grape juice (or red wine)
- ¼ C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Dissolve jello in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple & grape juice. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour into mold or 9×13″ dish until set.