You aren’t sorry for inviting them to stay, because they are all your kids’ best friends, but what can you make for dinner to satisfy a group that size?
If you are a planner you’ll have many containers of spaghetti sauce, chili and stew in the freezer, but what if planning isn’t your strong suit?
How about the following three ideas: the first can be a stand-alone dish, the other two are side dishes.
What they have in common is that they can all be made as large as you need by doubling or halving the ingredients.
Beans and Pineapple
Open the appropriate number of cans of beans (they come in a variety of flavours and sizes) and put them in a large pot. Open and drain enough cans of chunked pineapple so that you have a slightly smaller amount than the beans (equal amounts will also work). Add at least 1 tablespoon (more to suit taste) of mustard per can of beans. Chop and fry a suitable amount of bacon and onions, drain and add to beans and pineapple mixture.
Simmer long enough to thicken on low to medium heat, to avoid burning and sticking to the pot.
Serve on or with toast or heated buns.
Skookum Hash Browns
Open a large bag of frozen hash browns and pour into a roast pan. Add one large can of cream of mushroom soup. Add a grated block of cheddar cheese and a small container of sour cream. Pre-heat oven to 350°F and bake until top surface is browned and mixture is heated through. This will vary with quantity but count on at least 30-45 minutes.
Boil enough potatoes to make 12 cups when mashed. Add 1 cup of finely diced celery, 1 ½ cups mayonnaise, 1 medium onion finely minced, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/3 to 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, seasoned salt and ground pepper.
Break up the potatoes with a large fork or hand masher and add the remaining ingredients as you complete the mashing with and electric mixer. Mash until smooth.
Any leftovers from the first two recipes can be frozen and taken on a hunting trip and reheated after thawing out. The potato recipes can be kept in the fridge overnight and mixed with raw egg to make potato patties.
But if you’ve gauged the group’s appetite well, there won’t be any leftovers to deal with.