* Survival Tip #8 Allow extra time when cooking for 100

pancakesThat goes without saying, right?  Why would I cook breakfast for a hundred kids, anyway?  It was the for Breakfast Club, of course.  I adored the kids who ate breakfast there every morning, so I wanted to do something extra special for them.  Just before our winter break, I asked the kids what they would like me to cook.  Pancakes, bacon, and hot chocolate were unanimous favorites (and I brought cereal and milk, plus juice).  I sent an email to my colleagues asking for loaner electric skillets.  My plan was to hook up 4 electric skillets (having cooked the bacon at home) and heat gallons of delicious hot chocolate on a hot plate.  While I cooked, the two ladies who worked with me would get kids in a line, helping the younger kids carry their plates.  I don’t know who was more excited, me or the older kiddos, when I told them they could have as much as they could eat.

I donned my apron, whipped up huge bowls of batter, and started cooking.  The kids arrived eager and hungry.  They had also advertised the event for me (uh-oh), so we had a line that stretched past the doors of the cafeteria.  My long-suffering helpers remarked that I would have to cook faster so kids wouldn’t be late for class.  I flipped and whipped and splattered as fast as I could.  It was a little tricky to reach all 4 skillets because those things have cords about 3 feet long.  I found myself hopping over cords and slipping on the floor, which was quickly coated with batter.  We hadn’t even gotten through the first round when the bell rang.  How on earth did the cafeteria ladies feed everyone on time?  The kids looked anxious. “Don’t worry,” I told them.  “I’ll give your teacher a note.” (Fortunately we had “late bus slips” that I could jot on.)  It was a relief when we were on to seconds.  By that time, the tardy bell had long since rung, so I jotted notes to teachers, my hands covered with batter, while I flipped at a frenetic pace.  My helpers started rushing thirds to the tables, which was about the time that I fried the electrical circuits.  I had noticed that the pancakes were looking rather anemic, but they were not soggy.  Kids looked at these albino pancakes with suspicion and helped themselves to more bacon.  By now, my helpers were frantic, I discovered that we had no power, and the remaining kids departed.  It took us almost an hour to clean up.  For the next breakfast (which the kids begged for continually), I had an extensive network of extension cords that used a bunch of different circuits, along with “tardy” notes for each kid and an email to all teachers.  I prepared cinnamon rolls at home- and discovered that scrambled eggs don’t get away from you as easily as pancake batter.

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