Have you ever wondered what to feed a crowd of hungry people? Elizabeth (Susie) Sweeney has the answers.
Susie hails from my home town in Yarmouth, NS, and she’s spent years cooking up tasty vittles for crowds at church suppers and farmer’s gatherings. She’s also cooked for friends and community events “From Susie’s Pantry,” a small catering business she used to run.
PS. Susie is camera shy. But I was able to catch her paddling in her kayak. She’s on the left in the picture below.
I’ve always loved Susie’s recipe for coleslaw dressing. It makes a huge batch and keeps forever in the fridge. And it’s as simple as ABC.
Mix together: 4 C salad dressing (like Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip), 1 C vinegar, 1 C oil, 1 C sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 ½ tbsp. dry mustard. You can gussy this up with chopped garlic or fresh dill and use it for potato salad or pasta salad.
If Susie’s making sandwiches for a crowd, she buys big rounds of bread, slices them cross-wise through the middle then piles on varieties of meat, cheeses, veggies, greens and complimentary condiments. Then she simply cuts them into pie wedges when it’s time to eat. She adds, “Stack them with anything. They will remember you!”
Susie’s Hamburger Soup
Years ago Susie gave me a recipe for Hamburger Soup and heaven knows how many gallons I’ve made. Bonus: kids are crazy about it. Her recipe (below) freezes like a charm and is easy to double if you have a big pot. I’ve posted it below along with another one of my favourites.
Before I sign off, do you have anything you’ve made in big batches that you’d like to pass long? I’m always looking for new recipes to feed a dozen or more people!
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 28oz. can tomatoes
2 C water
3 cans consommé
1 can tomato soup
4 carrots chopped fine
1 bay leaf
3 sticks celery
pepper to taste
8 tablespoons barley
Brown meat and onion. Drain well. Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Serves 10
Sandra’s Funky Salad (Another crowd-pleaser!)
1 Bok Choy, sliced in thin strips
1 Chinese lettuce, sliced in thin strips
4 bunches green onions, chopped
2 packages crispy Chinese noodles
1 C almonds or cashews
1 C sesame seeds
3 tbsp. butter
½ C red vinegar
¾ C vegetable oil
2 tbsp. soya sauce
½ C white sugar
Brown nuts and sesame seeds in the butter. Place all the ingredients in large bowls. Add salad dressing just before serving and toss.
All Photos By Sandra Phinney