- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 503: Coral Cafe (07-Mar-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 504: Coral Cafe (14/15-Mar-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 505: Coral Cafe (21-Mar-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 506: Coral Cafe (28-Mar-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 507: Coral Cafe (04-Apr-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 508: Coral Cafe (18-Apr-2013)
- LASFS/Aftermeetings part 509: Coral Cafe (25-Apr-2013)
- Picnics, Outings, Family and Friends
- Alex's Cosplay Picnic at Yorba Park (03-Mar-2013) Part 1 et seq.
- Dinner at "Angelo's & Vinci's Ristorante" with the Crobys (24-Mar-2013)
- Dinner with the Badens at Mandarin Restaurant, Fountain Valley (30-Mar-2013)
- Baden Jelly Bean Hunt (31-Mar-2013) Part 1 et seq.
- Dinner at Catal with Lynn and Maria (02-Apr-2013)
- Trip to Ojai part 1: Saturday (06-Apr-2013) et seq.
- Trip to Ojai part 3: Sunday (07-Apr-2013) et seq.
- Trip to Ojai part 5: El Paca Pastures (07-Apr-2013) et seq.
- Buzz Amble Surprise Reunion at College Park Elementary (27-Apr-2013) Part 1 et seq.
- SCIFI Meeting at Kim's (02-Mar-2013) Part 1 et seq.
- Anime Los Angeles 9 part 34: Dinner with SPJA (07-Mar-2013)
- Anime Los Angeles 10 part 1: Executive Meetings (16/17-Mar-2013)
- Anime Los Angeles 10 part 2: Special Program Division (23-Mar-2013)
- Anime Conji 4 part 1: Late Thurday Night (12-Apr-2013)
- Anime Conji 4 part 2: Friday Morning (12-Apr-2013) et seq.
- Anime Conji 4 part 6: Saturday (13-Apr-2013) et seq.
- Anime Conji 4 part 9: Sunday (14-Apr-2013) et seq.
Detailed notes and recipe links.
- Small round 1.5 qt (Black), Soyrizo, 3 packages, divided. Need to use a larger size next time.
- Small round 1.5 qt (Black), Cuban Black Beans, 2 cans. Need to use a larger size and fill it.
- Small round 2 qt (White), Velveeta (2 lb.) and jar of salsa. If we ever do it again we need to stir it several times during the prep time. Better would be larger crock with nacho cheese sauce.
- Medium oval 4.5 qt (Geoff's), Velveeta (2 lb.) and a can of chili. See above.
- XL Oval 6 qt (silver), Carnitas, 9 lbs. of meat. Need more next time!
- XL Oval 5.5 qt (black), Tex Mex Shredded Beef, 8 lbs.
- XL Oblong 5 qt (white), Chicken, 8 lbs. This was too much meat, and the large amount of garlic powder and cumin actually caused it to cement together. Need to re-tool this recipe for large crockpots.
- Large round 4.5 qt (blue), Ground Beef, 6 lb., using 3 packets of the Trader Joe's taco seasonings and 3 cans of diced tomatos.
- Large round 4.5 qt (old blue), Chicken Mole, 7 lbs. of meat, 3 boxes of Rogelio Bueno brand Mole Poblano sauce. Probably should have used 2 boxes, and no more than 6 lbs. of cut-up chicken breasts. (Got a good price at "Sprouts" on the chicken.)
- Large round 4.5 qt (green), Spicy Pork with Peanut Sauce, 3 lbs. of meat. Should have made a bigger batch, or just have lots of Carnitas on hand.
- Medium round 3.5 qt (brown), BBQ Pork, 3 lbs. Used a bottle of barbecue sauce. It got too hot and melted through the slow cooker liner. I don't plan to repeat this next year.
- Medium round 3.5 qt (orange), Teriyaki Chicken, 6 lbs. This was pushing the capacity of the pot, should have kept it to 5 lbs. Used the Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade. Might use a different sauce if I repeat this one.
- Shredded lettuce/salad -- got two bags at Sprouts of mostly-lettuce.
- Also got a bag of shredded carrots.
- Sour cream, 2 pints. Could have used another.
- Green onions (Scallions), chopped.
- Onion, chopped.
- Tortilla shells, corn, 12.
- Tortillas, 6-inch flour "fajita size," 192. I was using a rough guide of 4 tacos per lb. of meat. Next time I want to try a ratio of 6 to 1.
- Tortilla chips, big bag from Costco. When we ran out of tortillas, these were handy. We had three serving dishes, so generally only one ended up empty at a time.
- Cheese, shredded, 3 lbs. Used one serving dish, should have had two.
- Rice, one batch from a 2-lb. bag. Should have bought more rice, should have had two rice cookers going.
- Salsa, jar from Trader Joe's. Perhaps have more than one bottle.
- Tapatio hot sauce. Actually went through half a bottle!
- Guacamole. About 4 or 5 packages of prepared guacamole. We served it in a dish, but perhaps we should have just served it directly from the package it came in. And we needed more.
- Freeze-Dried Jalapeños. I saw a jar of these at Sprouts, and was surprised how popular they were.
- Moon Pies, box of assorted mini. Could easily have gone through two boxes.
- Limes, 4, cut in wedges. Probably could have gone through twice as many.
- Oranges, cut in wedges. Not popular.
Things we forgot to serve: chopped tomato, cilantro.
Should have had signs outside the room explaining what they would find inside the room. You can come back in line for seconds. Due to limited space, we ask you to move outside with your tacos and coffee. Yes it's all free, sponsored by Animé Los Angeles and Costume Camp; tips are gratefully accepted. If we've run out of something let us know, we have more taco fillings to bring out later. We'll be closed from time to time for cleaning and re-stocking, please bear with us...
Preliminary notes: We gave away 264 stickers to people coming through the door. Typically the line outside the door was about 22 people deep, it didn't extend all the way to the end of the hall.
9 o'clock meats were: Carnitas* (shredded pork), "Shredded" chicken (a recipe that needs to go in for re-tooling), and Tex Mex Shredded beef*. (*= recipe available.) We ran out of those a little before 10 o'clock, and because we didn't have any rice you couldn't even enjoy some sauce-soaked rice.
10 o'clock we put out: BBQ Pulled Pork (which was just a jar of sauce and a crockpot of meat), Chicken Mole (which was a Mole Poblano sauce and the cut-up chicken breast meat), and Ground Beef (using the Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning mix).
11 o'clock, we brought out the Spicy Pork with Peanut Sauce*, and the Teriyaki Chicken (which was meat with the Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce & Merinade). We ended at midnight with half a spoonful of chicken left.
We had tortillas and taco shells for 208 tacos but I know we had some losses due to breakage, we ran out of them between 10 and 11 I think; rice ran out by about 10 o'clock because we only had one batch. We had can-opener failure so we didn't re-stock the beans which ran out quickly, should have had a larger crockpot. We also should have had a larger crockpot for the Soyrizo so we could have started with all 36 oz. (In general, re-filling a crockpot is problematical.)
Cheese/nacho dips didn't work out well, next time we should just get a #10 can of nacho cheese sauce and try that.
The freeze-dried jalapeños were a surprise hit. We should have cut up 8 limes, not 4, and the oranges should have been just cut into quarters to make them obviously a side snack and not a garnish. I forgot to unpack the tomato and the cilantro, perhaps I should provide a checklist for the prep crew? We had other garnishes and toppings; the guacamole was quite a hit.
Simplified menu for next time: Instead of three kinds of pork, we'll just have plenty of Carnitas. The ground beef and the shredded beef are both tasty, so I might keep both of those; the Chicken Mole is a really big hit and dead easy. So for prep, I can pre-mix the two batches of spices, bring the commercial spice mix and the cans and boxes of pre-made sauces, tomatos and so forth. Forget the two kinds of cheese sauce, one thing of nacho cheese is fine (and it makes a huge amount).
The two packages of cut-up lettuce/salad mix were enough, likewise one bag of shredded carrots. 4 cans of Trader Joe's Cuban Black Beans may not be enough, suggest bumping up the crockpot size to at least Medium Round 3.5 qt and filling it with 6 cans. 3 Soyrizo may be enough, we should bring something to clean up spilled soy chorizo from the floor (and maybe a hand vac too).
Rice cooker+crockpot is more work than deploying two rice cookers, so we should just borrow a second rice cooker.
We had four or five guacamole packages and probably could have used more; either use a bigger serving bowl, or just put out the plastic containers and let people serve themselves directly from them.â€¨
There are probably never going to be enough Moon Pies, but we could have had two or three boxes. If we do something like this 9-12 thing, perhaps announce that we'll be closed for five minutes at 9:55 and 10:55 to do a little refreshing? And buy triple of certain items.
Label the donation jar "TIPS."
Anime Los Angeles 8 part 20: Tuesday and Wednesday (03-05-Jan-2012) et seq.
Anime Los Angeles 8 part 37: Publications Wrap-up (21-Jan-2012)
Anime Los Angeles 8 part 38: Wrap-up Meeting (28-Jan-2012) et seq.
Miscellaneous: Dead battery (15-Jan-2012) e
Miscellaneous: Z-Wing, Four and Twenty (21-Jan-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 460: Coral Cafe (19/20-Jan-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 461: Coral Cafe (02-Feb-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 462: Auction, Coral Cafe (09-Feb-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 463: Coral Cafe (23-Feb-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 464: Auction, Coral Cafe (22-Mar-2012)
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 465: Coral Cafe (29-Mar-2012) et seq.
SoCal AMCC Cosplay Picnic at Mile Square Park (22-Jan-2012) Part 1 et seq.
Corona Cosplay Picnic at Promenade Park (09-Feb-2012) Part 1 et seq.
Temecula and Pechanga Casino (12-Feb-2012)
Gallifrey 2012 part 1: Thursday Night (16-Feb-2012) et seq.
ConDor 19 part 1: Friday (02-Mar-2012) et seq.
Beth visits California (05-Mar-2012)
Japan. Endless Discovery. at The Grove (10-Mar-2012)
SoCal AMCC Picnic 12 at Mile Square Park (11-Mar-2012)
Sarah, Alannah and the Canadians (15-Mar-2012)
Anime Conji 3 part 1: Friday (16-Mar-2012) et seq.
Cosplay Picnic in Lancaster (24-Mar-2012)
Food trucks at YLHS (29-Mar-2012)
Party at Lindsay and Myion's place (31-Mar-2012)
Chaz's Steampunk Beard (01-Apr-2012)
Costume Camp part 1: Friday Evening (13-Apr-2012) et seq.
Money-wise, though, we came within $11 of breaking even. For a net out-of-pocket expense of $11 for party food expenses, that's an absolutely amazing result.
And that's based on spending $176 on the food. We could have saved some money if we'd shopped around butchers a little more -- with 20+ lbs of meat, saving $1/lb. on one or two of the meat buys would have made the difference.
- Seasoned ground beef, just shy of 6 lbs. worth. Made with the Trader Joe's taco seasoning and tomato sauces.
- Chili Colorado (beef), bought about 6 lbs of meat.
- Carnitas (shredded pork), bought 5.8 lbs of meat.
- Chicken Mole, used 3 whole chickens from Costco's rotisserie. missmea was kind enough to pull most of the meat off of the bones for us. That went into a crockpot with three boxes of Rogelio Bueno's Mole Poblano.
- Soy Chorizo, 24 oz., from Trader Joe's.
- Taco shells, Taco Bell brand (because they were on sale, $1.99/12.)
- Soft taco size flour tortillas.
- Street taco size corn tortillas, in a crockpot to warm them up (and as it turns out, overcook most of them).
- Regular steamed white rice
- Cuban-style black beans (from Trader Joe's, 4 or 5 cans I think)
- Chopped lettuce
- Chopped red onion
- 2 lbs. shredded cheese - the "Mexican blend" from Stater Bros. I couldn't find any cheddar cheaper, so it made no sense to grate it myself.
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 4 limes, cut into 10 wedges each. (Thank you again, Maria!)
- 10 bottles of Coca-Cola from Mexico, made with real sugar
- Pint and half-pint bottled water, donated from my last picnic's leftovers
Mistakes were made. Specifically, I should have marked the Carnitas zip bag, so I could tell it from the zip bags of ground beef. Or, you know, mark all of the bags. I also should have remembered to put plastic liners in each crockpot -- I ended up having to wash out two at the end of the night because of forgetting this at the beginning.
A number of people took a big ol' flour tortilla and put a scoop of each filling...
I realized that some people were taking bigger ladlefulls than they may have intended. I have no problem if people want to take two small scoops, but what I saw was people taking one large scoop because that's what came up when they dipped it in the pot. I've bought some more wooden spoons, because I think they'll be better for scooping. And I could use more of them anyway.
Thanks are also due to Rebecca Rowan for loaning me a small crockpot. Having someone local loan me crockpots is handy. And Christian B. McGuire transported some of my party fixings, including the rice cooker and another crockpot, which eased my own transportation burden as well.
Photos online. And most of them have captions. Help me fill in the gaps!
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 354: Coral Cafe (18-Jun-2009) et seq.
LASFS/Aftermeetings part 356: Coral Cafe (25-Jun-2009) et seq.
Irvine Cosplay Picnic at Mason Park (20-Jun-2009)
Anaheim Gardenwalk and the Anaheim Marriott (21-Jun-2009)
Napmobile and a fenderbender (21-Jun-2009)
Anime Los Angeles 6 meetings part 2: Exec Dinner/Meeting (26-Jun-2009) et seq.
Anime Los Angeles 6 meetings part 6: General Meeting (27-Jun-2009) et seq.
Moving Melissa (28-Jun-2009)
Victoria's Picture Gallery: Anime Expo 2009: Saturday (04-Jul-2009)
Melissa and the Fan Gallery cases (11-Jul-2009)
Anaheim Marriott Tour (16-Jul-2009)
La Verne Cosplay Picnic at Las Flores Park (18-Jul-2009)
The picture of neo_serenity is from the exec dinner.
Oh, there's more going on than just my emotional state, of course. I've taken more photos since Anime Expo, but the photos in the queue have been on hold because of other non-photo, non-blog reasons. Family health issues and household management issues, and if I can be discarding and shredding old papers any of that comes before puttering around on my website.
I've just spent a few nights (in my copious free time) captioning some of the backlog. I think I've got to stop taking so many group photos -- they slow me down so much in the captioning phase!
I've been putting a few inconsequential updates on my facebook. Nothing major, but I wanted to repeat here the bigger items that I've mentioned there.
Between now and PMX: I'll be at Tiki Oasis this weekend (just for fun), Anime Vegas (in a convention center), and a small anime convention at CSU Northridge. So PMX is the next opportunity to do any kind of hospitality beyond giving away granola bars and candy at our table.
For loscon, I'm hosting a Confirmation: Westercon 63 party. "Poofy dresses (especially white ones), shirt and tie, or school uniform" will be the dress code. We're toying with the idea of using a "Confirmitzvah" theme, stay tuned for that.
I mentioned last month that I've purchased a new camera. I haven't found the "sports" setting yet, but I've started playing with the High ISO option for available light shots. You can see I've started posting the first crop of photos from the new camera.