By Keith N Fisher

A friend of mine asked me to cook for his group of two hundred on Saturday. As always, in these cases, I scramble to plan a pleasing menu. I want to offer something easy and delicious. Preferable dishes, are those that require the fewest Dutch ovens. Not that I don’t have the cast iron, but I hate to pack it all.

We finally decided on beef stew, cornbread, and cobbler. My friend will provide green salad. Those of you who follow this blog will recognize that menu from my posts about cooking for the fourth grade. The beauty of the menu is the precooking that can be done.

As I said before, I own a lot of cast iron but I only have three 14-inch shallow ovens, and I’m making 7 pots of cornbread. Also, I want to use those three pots for cobbler.

I could use seven different pots of various sizes, but I hate serving food to groups in a hodgepodge of sizes and shapes. It makes me look unprofessional and if I ever really go into the business, I’ll have to purchase a bunch of the same size pots. That can be a two edged sword, however, because different dishes should be cooked in different sized pots.

Still, a few 16-inch shallow pots can fit as much food as many 12-inch, but a big roast needs a big, deep pot.

Anyway, I’ve turned my carport into a cornbread bakery and I’m going to slice, dice, and precook much of the rest of the meal.

On a different note, the cookbook is finished but I’m waiting for critiques. I need to get that turned into the publisher, so wish me luck.