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Feeding America(PI)

Every year, Ruddock frosh hold a party during third term. Since the workforce is purely frosh, it’s much less ambitious/involved than Ruddock interhouse. This year’s theme was America. Each category of the party was headed by one or two frosh — some of my friends put together 4 hours of music, some toiled away at constructing a mini White House, and others painted wallboards with flags and eagles. Chloe and I signed up to be in charge of food, so we had brainstorming sessions on quick and easy red, white, and blue recipes over the months before frosh party. When we learned of our limited budget, we cut down our plans (fresh berries are not cost-effective) and headed to Costco.

One of our fellow frosh, Nick, recently acquired an automobile, so he graciously drove us to Costco:

Another fellow frosh, Katherine, is a proud possessor of a Costco membership, so she generously offered to tag along:

We analyzed the frozen food aisles for America-esque delicacies, and settled on corndogs and bagel bites. We were hoping to get quite a few pies, since the party name was AmericaPI, but pies were not at all cost-effective. We also got chips (white?) and salsa (red!). For dessert, we got frozen banana slices covered in dark chocolate, which was probably the least America-themed of our foods, but still delicious.

The party started at 10, so we started thawing at 8 and baking at 10. Behold this cute pan of bagel bites ready to get toasty:

Part of our spread:

We had a schedule set up: starting at 10, one plate of bagel bites on the hour and half hour, two plates of corn dogs on the quarter and three quarter hour, and chips, salsa, and banana bites refilled as needed. The food tables looked a bit bare:

We spaced out the food so it would last, but the bagel bites and corn dogs consistently vanished one to two minutes after we put them out. We made the mistake of putting out bagel bites before the party — they were gone by the time the party started. We had some amazing helpers along the way who kept us company in the kitchen and helped with food refilling:

We also had some people drop by and sample our lovely array, including Gene, who was on Safety Squad from 12-2:

There were some pretty great America-themed outfits, but Elliot’s easily took the cake:

Gene joined him:

And so did Tara and Alex:

In the actual party, people could play Rock Band, blackjack, roulette, or poker, have floats provided by Soc Team, or head to the dance floor. So many different Ruddock frosh contributed to this party, all organized by Sandra, our new librarian. This was my first experience being behind the food at a Caltech party, and it has made me decide to eat reasonable serving sizes at other parties, for the sake of the hardworking people in the kitchen.