Beef: It's What Was for Dinner

A Recap of Pasadena Community Supper Club's August Dinner

The 1990’s blessed us with commercials full of jingles, slogans, and taglines that are simultaneously unforgettable and regrettable. Most of the best of them have to do with food. Or, rather, food-like substances.

For example...remember Bagel Bites?

Try as you might to forget all about them, as well as the many boxes you heated up in your microwave, that song is stuck in your head. Or at least it is now, isn’t it?

Ok, how about this one?  “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner.”

Well, at the Pasadena Community Supper Club’s August dinner, we reached into the Way Back machine, either to the 1990s, or, better yet, to Sunday family dinners in Mayberry.

As my last post previewed, we prepared and served 60 (not a typo) pounds of roast beef to our neighbors at Centennial Place. The butcher at the local grocery store sold it to us at cost after hearing our story and what we were planning to do. (Needless to say I’ll be working with him again for future dinners.)

The meat came in four large heavy-duty plastic packages, so we  - or, more specifically, Brooks - played butcher first thing Sunday morning, in order to get them into 3-4 pound portions. He even spent an hour beforehand watching YouTube videos on trussing meat, which paid off handsomely, as you can clearly see.

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Jamie Oliver is the source of our roast beef preparation method. Check out his video recipe.

For the mashed potatoes, we used a “make ahead” recipe that calls for cream cheese, which keeps the potatoes moist during reheating. And it really works! Try it.

Those paying attention will notice that while I promised peas as the other side dish, what we ended up serving was mixed vegetables. Well, that’s what Costco had in stock, and that’s what we served.

Corey and his wife, Paige, made the brownies, of which I ate somewhere between 6 and 10 whilst ferrying them from table to table for those who wanted seconds.

This month’s community church service featured a short sermon from my wife, Teesha, and included several life stories and updates from our neighbors at Centennial. It’s a privilege to be invited into their lives in this special way.

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We had over 40 residents at the service, up from about 30 at July’s inaugural event. We served around 80 people in total this time, up from around 60 at the July dinner. At some point it gets hard to keep a completely accurate count on how many plates of food we serve and to-go boxes we hand out. All I know is that we didn’t take a single serving of food home with us yet again, a fact of which I’m very proud.

We also saw lots of new faces at this month’s dinner, and heard many compliments on the service and the food. (So, yes, my ego went home fed as well.)

Our total cost for this month’s dinner was, again, a little over $600. As I look the the receipts, I realize that the disposable plates, cups, and cutlery is running more than we thought these past two months. It’s been our plan from the beginning to invest in reusable dinnerware, and - I’m excited to report - thanks to a gift from dear friends, we will be able to make that and another very necessary serving-related upgrade in time for September. More on both of these things soon.


Before I let you go, there are several extra special “thanks” in order this month.

  • As usual, it was a team effort to bring the dinner together on time, but Brooks really was the star of the culinary show. He handled the beef from the moment it was taken out of the fridge until he carved it and placed it on plates.
  • Drake and Paisha came to the kitchen at a critical point in the afternoon when we were afraid we were getting behind schedule and lent their time and efforts to getting us back on track.
  • Jack was our lead singer for the church service, which he graciously agreed to do when I asked him only a few days before. His wife Kat selflessly served food the entire evening.
  • Corey and Paige, both feeling a bit run down from school work and schedules, still powered through to make our friends at Centennial Place.
  • And, thanks to she who is nearest and dearest to me. My wife, Teesha, led the service and gave the sermon during a week which had many, many other important things competing for her time and attention. More than that, she stayed up late with me Saturday night peeling 60 pounds of potatoes.
  • Finally, a special note of gratitude to Jerry and Annette, who helped make this dinner possible financially.

If you would like to get your church or other group involved with the Supper Club, please use the Volunteer form to contact us.  

Please consider supporting the work of Pasadena Community Supper Club. Your donation goes right onto the plates of our neighbors in need of a good time and a great meal.