Culinary Corner

Examples of culinary math

Welcome to my little corner of culinary delights.  In past articles, I have covered culinary math.  I proved its value in both the home and primarily for restaurants and charitable functions.  Regrettably, churches are limited to contributions.  This necessitates the need to use their resources wisely.  To follow industrial practices would be a wise direction.  Industry works according to costs and profit.  They cutout the dead wood and assign the most capable for running projects.  Team members are selected according to individual competence.  Each department must be self-supporting and able to produce viable results.  I am proud to give an example where this was put in practice in our church.

An unexpected church event occurred outside of the budget.  The committee organizing it was filled with progressive thinkers.  They knew how to plan and organize well. They decided upon the type of sandwiches, salad, side dishes, drinks and much more.  They were also able to match people to jobs according to their best talents.  That is the true mark of good planning.

Suggestions were made to purchase pre-cooked, sliced and packaged shaved ham and shaved turkey meat.  For the number of sandwiches needed, it would cost in the neighborhood of 180 dollars and that is just for the sandwich meat.  OUCH!  Another member used culinary math and figured out how many ham shanks and turkeys would be needed if we were to do our own roasting and slicing.  That would come to a little over 40 dollars.  That was much better.  Another suggestion came up to not use turkey slices but make it into turkey salad spread.  Less turkey meat would be needed.  That put the cost a little under 40 dollars.  Wanting the ham to be similar to the herbal packaged lunch meat, another offered to sauté it in butter with herbs.  By applying culinary math and sautéing techniques, this committee did a great job as well as everyone who pitched in to help.

I would like to brag a little by saying my articles on culinary math (published last April) and the one on sautéing were applied.  In the kitchen, we had a mass of people each doing their own assignment with side dishes, salads, beverages, etc.  Everyone was hard at it.  It was a pleasure to witness such a smoothly run cooperative effort.  The budget did not suffer.

The sandwiches turned out delicious with many returning for seconds and thirds besides taking leftovers home.   It is important to always be cost conscious.  More importantly, learn how to be cost effective.  Always utilize your resources to be cost effective.

This event shows both the need for culinary math and open minded team work.  Knowing professional procedures and following suggestions assures full range success.  “Full range” means not only saving money but that quality does not suffer in the process.  This necessitates good team work and a good knowledge of culinary practices.  This applies to the home as well.

Until next time, peace to all.


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