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Cook Talk

cooking for a distance
Marie
06/27/12
I am hosting a family reunion in VA in late August. I live in NJ. On Friday night the plan was to cook spaghetti at someones house locally in VA and serve over sternos at the hotel meet and greet. This plan has fallen thru and I no longer have anywhere locally to cook the food. My thought is to now just buy rolls in bulk at local bakery, and make frozen meatballs in a tomato sauce, pulled chicken and serve with a salad.

We canít do catering as the budget is so tight I may be paying for this Friday night meal out of pocket and I am a struggling single mom. I need to keep prices low. I thought to do frozen wings but that adds up quickly and from reading previous post it takes a long time to cook. For the BBQ pulled chicken (thighs)I plan to cook at home a week or so before, shredding and then freezing. I am driving to VA in an air conditioned vehicle, putting the meat in a cooler on ice for travel and when I arrive Friday afternoon put in the other crockpot for heating up will this be safe?
Dessert will be a decorate your own cookie station if I can find sugar cookies prepacked or at local bakery for reasonable price. I plan to line the crockpots with crockpot liners to make cleanup easy. Approximately 50 people.

1. Can I cook/heat frozen meatballs in a crockpot in a hotel room?

2. Can I precook and freeze pulled chicken, travel in cooler, heat in crockpot and serve?

3. Any other ideas for crock pot meals for reunion meet and greet?

ellen
06/27/12
Marie, essential questions; how many people and will you have a refrigerator to use in VA? Write back.
Marie
06/27/12
apprximately 50 people and yes I will have a frig
ellen
06/29/12
Yes, you can cook the chicken and meatballs ahead, freeze it solid in the sauce, and transport in pre-chilled ice chests. I would reheat in pans in the oven or electric roaster, then transfer to the crock pots- faster and thus safer. These are great. low cost choices.

The big sugar cookies decorated is a good idea- you might find those locally and take them with you.

You can make a make-ahead pasta or other starchy slad and take that also- people will eat less meat- see the salads that will hold section on the Big Pots index page.

angela vasquez
08/03/13
I will make the beans Friday and the party is Saturday do I heat the food here at home or at the party in the oven and the party is going to be out side so I will be using foil trays to keep the food hot
ellen
08/03/13
Chill rapidly after cooking (for example, ice bath around a bowl). Heating at the party is safest- can be done in the oven- bring to at least 165 degrees throughout the whole pan. You have to have the pans over steam and sterno to keep really hot- large crock pots are a second option.
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