|A Festival of appreciation, gratitude and thanks was organised by the inspirational Vara-nayaka at the North Sydney Hare Krishna Temple last Sunday. I was requested to cater for the function, and I did. I spent all of Saturday and half of Sunday with a large crew of assistants.
I’ve had a lot of experience cooking for big events, and I know that it takes a huge amount of pre-planning. Here’s a fragment of my ‘writing on the wall’. I’ve been described by many adjectives before, but ‘listless’ is not one of them.
We cooked deep-pan lasagna, a ‘main course’ on a one plate selection.
These are just a few of the key players in Team Lasagna. On the bottom of the photo is Krishna, a head chef from the Ashok Hotel chain. Without his help, I would not have been able to assemble the 30 large lasagnas (600 pieces).
More lasagna assembly. 40 kilos of cheese, 20 kilos of lasagna sheets, 70 litres of herbed tomato sauce, 60 litres of bechamel, 20 kilos red peppers, 20 kilos eggplants, 5 litres olive oil, 30 kilos spinach… It was the biggest lasagna I have ever attempted.
We also prepared an intricate salad of many opulent ingredients like rocket leaves, broccoli florets, feta, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, Lebanese cucumbers, avocado, asparagus, feta, kalamata olives, all drenched in a tahini-and lime-infused dressing.
Another star contender in the menu were the delectable panir cheese pakoras.
One of our main men, panir in hand. 25 kilos of panir was used. The time-honoured cauliflower pakoras were also there, a date and tamarind chutney, and an extremely opulent Bengali Royal Rice (Pushpana).
This is the stalwart Jitendriya, who, despite his t-shirt, did not want to be sedated.
And who can forget the ever-smiling, never-complaining Tatiana?
A multi-layer parfait of cardamom rice pudding, strawberries, vanilla custard, miniature anise doughnuts, mango, whipped cream and pecans.
And to refresh: 150 litres of icy cold saffron lemonade.
And finally it was done. The cheeky Jambavati shows us just how to enjoy a feast. And that’s well-known bhajan singer extraordinaire Carmella Baynie carrying what Jambavati was not humanly able to transport.
They reckoned they were carrying plates for four girls. I’m not so sure…
An aerial view of a small portion of the eating area.
Some, like these troupe-members from Le Carnaval Spirituel, chose to enjoy the feast in a more leasurely fashion. After 500 happy punters were replete with the festive fare, they enjoyed the rest of the afternoon’s entertainment. My mission was complete. Thanks to all. I ‘appreciate’ it.
Posted by Kurma on 23/12/09; 11:24:08 AM