Money-wise, though, we came within $11 of breaking even. For a net out-of-pocket expense of $11 for party food expenses, that's an absolutely amazing result.
And that's based on spending $176 on the food. We could have saved some money if we'd shopped around butchers a little more -- with 20+ lbs of meat, saving $1/lb. on one or two of the meat buys would have made the difference.
- Seasoned ground beef, just shy of 6 lbs. worth. Made with the Trader Joe's taco seasoning and tomato sauces.
- Chili Colorado (beef), bought about 6 lbs of meat.
- Carnitas (shredded pork), bought 5.8 lbs of meat.
- Chicken Mole, used 3 whole chickens from Costco's rotisserie. missmea was kind enough to pull most of the meat off of the bones for us. That went into a crockpot with three boxes of Rogelio Bueno's Mole Poblano.
- Soy Chorizo, 24 oz., from Trader Joe's.
- Taco shells, Taco Bell brand (because they were on sale, $1.99/12.)
- Soft taco size flour tortillas.
- Street taco size corn tortillas, in a crockpot to warm them up (and as it turns out, overcook most of them).
- Regular steamed white rice
- Cuban-style black beans (from Trader Joe's, 4 or 5 cans I think)
- Chopped lettuce
- Chopped red onion
- 2 lbs. shredded cheese - the "Mexican blend" from Stater Bros. I couldn't find any cheddar cheaper, so it made no sense to grate it myself.
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 4 limes, cut into 10 wedges each. (Thank you again, Maria!)
- 10 bottles of Coca-Cola from Mexico, made with real sugar
- Pint and half-pint bottled water, donated from my last picnic's leftovers
Mistakes were made. Specifically, I should have marked the Carnitas zip bag, so I could tell it from the zip bags of ground beef. Or, you know, mark all of the bags. I also should have remembered to put plastic liners in each crockpot -- I ended up having to wash out two at the end of the night because of forgetting this at the beginning.
A number of people took a big ol' flour tortilla and put a scoop of each filling...
I realized that some people were taking bigger ladlefulls than they may have intended. I have no problem if people want to take two small scoops, but what I saw was people taking one large scoop because that's what came up when they dipped it in the pot. I've bought some more wooden spoons, because I think they'll be better for scooping. And I could use more of them anyway.
Thanks are also due to Rebecca Rowan for loaning me a small crockpot. Having someone local loan me crockpots is handy. And Christian B. McGuire transported some of my party fixings, including the rice cooker and another crockpot, which eased my own transportation burden as well.