Benefit Dinner Menu
So you had all the relatives in for Thanksgiving dinner, and you cooked the whole meal all by yourself. The turkey, the dressing, the green bean casserole, the sweet potatoes, the cranberry salad, the hot rolls, and three pies. You shopped, you sliced and you diced. You roasted, you baked, and you sautéed. Yep, that’s a lot.
Your efforts, while extraordinary, pale in comparison to the staff of Sodexho charged with preparing thousands of meals for Freed-Hardeman University’s annual benefit dinner. Before guests go to Loyd Auditorium Friday evening, Dec. 2, to hear Bob Newhart, they will have dined at one of three campus locations: Brown-Kopel Lobby, the main arena, or Bader Gym.
The menu for the university’s more than 1,000 guests eating in the main arena will include a salad of mixed winter greens, sautéed fresh garden vegetables, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato and Yukon Gold gratin, smoked beef brisket, carved maple roasted pork loin, chocolate cake with berries or toffee crunch pie, assorted rolls with creamy butter, and tea, water, or coffee.
Their shopping list is gargantuan. Forty pounds of salmon, 540 pounds of brisket, and 720 pounds of pork loin are needed for the entrees. Vegetables? How about 400 pounds of petite green beans, 100 pounds of yellow onions, 250 pounds of yellow squash, 250 pounds of zucchini, 250 pounds of sweet potatoes, 250 pounds of Yukon potatoes, 25 pounds of green peppers, 25 pounds of red peppers and 825 pounds of butternut squash.
Cheeses? They’ll need a few: 40 pounds of feta, three pounds of goat cheese, 50 pounds of parmesan, 35 pounds of cheddar, and 35 pounds of mozzarella.
The dinner will be capped off with 250 pounds of Heath pie and 175 pounds of chocolate cake, served with 130 gallons of tea and 110 gallons of coffee.
After the feast, guests will be entertained by Dailey & Vincent, among bluegrass music’s brightest stars. They will take the Loyd Auditorium stage a little after 7 p.m., prior to the appearance of Newhart.
The highlight of the evening will be the performance of one of America’s premier stand-up comics. Newhart’s illustrious half-century career has included two successful television shows, 14 feature films, eight top albums, and many movies. He still performs to sell-out crowds all over the country.
This year’s event promises to continue the success of previous dinners and is projected to raise in excess of $1 million for student scholarships at FHU. General admission tickets are $150 and may be ordered online. They include the dinner and the performances of Dailey & Vincent and Newhart. The good news for the weary cook? You just sit and enjoy.