To all the moms and dads, and grandmas and grandpas that came to our Valentine Lunch yesterday. Wow...we never expected the response we got and we are so happy that you came. You got to see "the lunch ladies" and go through the line, you got see how your child gets lunch and all the options in front of them. To you we are no longer a mystery, we have names and faces. We know your child by name, we know what they like for lunch. You have encouraged us greatly by coming.
Now for the nuts and bolts of yesterday. Making home made lasagna for 400 hundred can be a bit daunting. But we had our recipe in hand (for 100 servings) and made four batches and set up our assembly line. We sauced, laid pasta sheets, more sauce and cheese and repeated. Then foiled each full pan (16 full size 2 inch steam table pans) and cooked them in groups of 8. They took a bit longer to bake, and there was a bit of a moment there where we wondered if we were gong to get them out on time, but we did! And they tasted great.
So as sore as we are today, and boy are we, it was a great success!!! We got to see parents we have never seen and the students loved having their parents eat lunch with them. So a big thank you to the parents and my big thank you to my ladies who worked incredibly hard to put this lunch together.
Tomato Basil Soup
1/4 c olive oil
1 onion finely diced
2 cans (28 oz) or 4 cans of the 15 oz of whole tomatoes with basil and garlic. If you can find San Marzano tomato even better.
1 small package of fresh basil, with the leaves torn up into small pieces
1 garlic clove smashed and minced
2-3 c of half & half
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1-2 t sugar-this helps with acidity of the tomatoes, don't leave it out
In a large soup pot add your olive oil and allow it to come to a shimmer....add your onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and let this simmer for 30-45 minutes on low heat. This allows the tomatoes to fall apart a bit and some of the water to cook off.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and using a stick blender whiz it into a smooth south. Let it heat up again and taste. Adjust seasoning.
Serve in deep bowls with curls of fresh Parmesan on top and grilled cheese sandwiches.