Saturday, April 23, 2005

2005 Camp Menu

Although I've written a basic menu that changes little from year to year, I still like to change some items. The same children and adult return to camp each year. It's good to add a few new items each year so they don't grow tired of the menu.

I follow the following criteria when changing menu items from one year to the next:
  • Keep a base of popular, proven menu items -- Don't change these items from year to year. On my menu, this accounts for more than 50 percent of the items. Examples include: Homemade sheetpan pizza, BBQ'd chicken hindquarters, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, lasagna and breaded chicken breast strips.
  • Change out unpopular or less-than-popular items -- Last year I attempted to serve a fish sandwich, which was poorly accepted. A few adults (including me) liked them. From watching the garbage, I'd say over 75 percent of the children took one bite and tossed the sandwiches.
  • Tweak about 25 percent of the menu -- This mainly refers to side dishes and salads. I feel that this in important because a large number of children and adults return to that camp each year. It helps to offer variety. The cooks also get a change to learn new dishes and expand their personal culinary repertoire.
  • Switch the order of some meals to accommodate the camp program -- From 2002 to 2004, camp met during Independence Day week. Since we did a 4th of July picnic, I had to move the holiday meal each year. In 2002 and 2003, we cooked the homemade sheetpan pizza meal on opening night. I swapped Sunday and Monday dinners last year so that opening night would flow a little smoother. We now serve the breaded chicken breast strip-meal -- our most popular -- on Sunday dinner.

I'm going to try to post the menu for the 2005 Northern California Florida College Camp. I finished making adjustments two weeks ago. I'm now ready to work on production worksheets and purchasing lists.

Sheetpan pizza made from scratch. Pizza night is one of our more popular meals. Last year, I made 8-1/2 fullsized sheetpan pizzas. Cut at 20 servings per sheet, we prepared 170 servings with 21 servings leftover. (We also served leftover chicken strips that night.)

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