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FoodBuzz 24x24: Back-to-School Teacher Luncheon

Posted Aug 27 2011 12:00am
It's that inevitable time of year; the time of year that brings about sighs of relief from parents, and groans of pain from children and adolescents.  And teachers, well we tend to run the gamut of emotions: dread, anticipation, excitement, apprehension, joy, nervousness - all in the course of a week or two.  It's a very hectic time of year for everyone, but teachers in particular have a tough road ahead of them.  They have to not only prepare their classrooms, but since they are often parents themselves, they also get to go through the motions of school supply shopping, wardrobe enhancing, and first-day-jitters quelling.

It doesn't help that in addition to the normal back-to-school stuff, all of us in this area of the country are also preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Irene.  Add that to the checklist, East Coast teachers!

I wanted to do something nice for my fellow teacher friends, something to acknowledge that we all work really hard and that yes, this can be a busy and trying time of year, and we deserve to take a few moments to just be.  With the help of the FoodBuzz 24x24 program (and my wonderful Sous Chef), I was able to host a Back-to-School-themed luncheon for my friends.

I decided to go full throttle with the school theme, and kicked it off by sending my guests their Summer "report cards" in the mail

They were informed that while they had received high marks in "classes" such as Relaxing and Recharging, they had yet to complete the final course, the Back-to-School Luncheon.  Directions on how to prepare for the final "session" (to be held on Saturday, August 27, 2011) were enclosed.

I tried to keep the decorations along the lines of the school theme as well
A red apple centerpiece

Gold stars

And of course a chalkboard with the day's "agenda" (a.k.a. menu) written in perfect cursive

Each guest also had a "name tag" (which happened to work in my Bare Midriff green apple logo quite nicely, I think)

While I rushed about the kitchen (and rather mercilessly barked orders at the Sous Chef), my guests sat back and enjoyed the vegetable tray... well as an assortment of beverages (with silly straws, of course - we teachers like to have a little fun ourselves, you know)

Thanks to a tip from one of my guests, I was able to locate some of those old-school (pardon the pun) trays with the compartments for each food item, just like I remembered from my childhood

I loaded up everyone's tray with traditional school lunch fare, but with a gourmet spin: grilled flatbread pizza with roasted red pepper sauce, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach and caramelized onion; bacon-wrapped tater tots with barbecue sauce; fresh green beans with sauteed shallots, corn, and roast almonds, and a strawberry-basil shortcake trifle.  The final touch was a delicious "chocolate milk" cocktail (that, in my opinion, was the hit of the party - we teachers know a good cocktail when we see one)

Before they left, each guest received a Back-to-School Survival Kit, packaged in a lunch box

All said and done, it was a great party for a great group of dedicated, wonderful teachers.  Here's wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe 2011 - 2012 school year!

An apron, a cocktail, a little blurred around the edges - story of my life.

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