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Taste of Salem10+ hours, 3 recipes and only 1 wound. Not bad.

The director of our farmers market asked if I’d help promote the market at our Chamber of Commerce’s “taste” night. Area restaurants and caterers come together for an evening to promote their menus. This event sells out, so it was slightly daunting to hear “tastings for 300-400 people.”

I planned a few recipes that would highlight a variety of products from our market vendors. The hard part was to translate these recipes into increased quantities based on tastings. This is where I failed. If having too much food is failing.

Maple Yogurt Shooters, Swiss Chard Lasagna and Camembert and Strawberry-Rhubarb Tartlets calculated to feed 400 people.

At first, the list of market products included 18 qts yogurt, 4 wheels Camembert, 12 qts milk, 11 qts buttermilk, 2 qts raw cream, 2 dz eggs, 10 lb sausage, 10 c shredded rosemary jack cheese, 6 pints maple syrup, 300 pecans, 3-4 jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam and 2 jars honey. 18 quarts of yogurt is beyond ridiculous.

This made me realize how insane I was or how bad my math skills are or just how inexperienced I am in recalculating recipes for tasting-sized portions for large crowds. We decided to half the bulk recipes. We still had too much.

Next year we’ll know better, but I still want to have too much. Just not TOOOOOOO much. (The fire fighters were very happy with the food we dropped off after the event…)

It was a really fun event. It was nerve-racking at first, wondering if anyone would stop by our table. Why would they stop at ours when there were award-winning restaurants represented? And if they did, would they like what we had?  Would they head to the nearest trash barrel and swiftly dump the dish? We were busy all night and pleasantly surprised at the “yums” and the “this is delicious” comments. Even from the professionals. (One left his business card with me.) Not only did people come back for seconds, there were lots of thirds and fourths. And repeat tasters brought new tasters. Very fun!

The menu:

#1: Gluten-Free Swiss Chard Lasagna

#2: Camembert and Strawberry-Rhubarb Tartlets

#3: Maple Yogurt Shooters (simply whip up some maple syrup and raw yogurt)