Well, here are results from Monday's potluck experiment with corn chowder and two crockpots. (Sorry to be several days getting back to this -- it was a hectic time!)
I never experimented with water and temp in the crocks -- just ran out of time.
Made the chowder pretty thick. We pulse in a cup of raw mixed veg at the end for color. People really like that. (I think scallions would be good, too, and good for garnish.)
My crock took 2.5 Blendtec's (full almost to the brim). Then, there I was sitting with half a blender full, so I borrowed a neighbor's second large crock and filled it, too. Each took about 2.5 Blendtec full to the brim loads of chowder.
I made the raw chowder on Sunday night and stored it overnight in the crocks in the fridge. 30 minute trip to the potluck next morning... maybe 45 minutes until they were plugged in. Less than two hours 'til lunch from that point.
I was busy doing other jobs, so when we got there, someone plugged both in on high. But that's alright because starting very cold like that, with the crock cold from the fridge as well, I figured the crocks needed to warm up. Then I was even busier and by the time I checked them to stir an hour later, the soups were still too cool to serve almost all the way through. Just a tad too warm along the outside 1/4" of the soups, not bubbly yet. (Hey, I'm feeding SAD people, so I did not get upset. Just stirred... even worried they wouldn't get warm enough for serving -- I did not want to serve cold soup to this crowd.) I left them on high and stirred, and at serving, they were just right temp in my experience, like they'd come out of the blender. Still raw and fresh tasting.
Feedback was very good on taste. The only thing is, unless you're having a winter time soup and salad type meal, I think people really did not want to waste their tummy space filling up on soup. Most just tasted a little, most really liked it, most did not eat even a whole bowl. So there was a lot left over.
The amount in two crocks was too big for this crowd of 50 with all the other food. I could have only made one crock full, and even that did not get eaten, but wanted to put some on the non-Vegan table as well, which was a large distance away. I wanted to give all a chance to try it.
I don't regret having too much. Two friends (Vegan and non-Vegan) took a lot of one crock home. I just lent my crock to one 3/4 full of soup; the other cleaned her crock of paella and filled it up partially -- supper was done. :)
That left me with almost a full crock myself. And here is the kicker, and why I got sidetracked telling you all this -- I had stayed to clean up, then visits and errands to run on the way home, and by the time I got there, my soup (5 hrs from serving) had started fermenting!
I thought, "did someone add another vinegary dish to it as they were cleaning up?!!" rofl Nope -- it was FRESH food. We all talked about it the next day at a picnic and thankfully the other friends had good raw soup for supper -- but mine went into the compost pile. <G> Live and learn. And one of the lessons learned was that this food was healthy enough to grow bacteria! :)
Well, that's as much as I can add. Thanks all for the help! (Weathered my first event.)
p.s. The salad, an old tried and true recipe I took (Sliced Tomatoes Vinaigrette on Shredded Lettuce from one of the original Cuisinart cookbooks) was as usual a huge hit, both for looks and taste -- I'll post the recipe in another thread.
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