A Meal for 1,600

These days, the made-to-order, all-you-can-eat setup at Kimball Dining Hall satisfies the palates of every Holy Cross studentfrom stir-fry to pizza to gluten-free options. But in years past, the approach to feeding the thousands of students who ate at the dining hall each day was more of a one-size-fits-all approach. The Holy Cross Dining cooks prepared dishes in bulk according to the menu of the day, in portions of 1,600. The recipes called for mountains of ingredients, from 425 pounds of ground beef for sloppy joes to 30 pounds of swiss cheese for chef's salad.

During a visit to the Holy Cross Archives and Special Collections, we found 17 pages of Kimball recipes from the 1979-1980 school year. Take a look at all the recipes (PDF) or sample a few below:

Sloppy Joes - 1,600 portions

425 lbs. ground beef
2 cups celery, chopped
75 lbs. onions, sliced 1/4 in.
2 cups fresh green peppers, sliced 1 in. wide
2 cups whole tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup mushrooms

1. Simmer ground beef until brown
2. Drain grease
3. Add celery
4. Add onions
5. Add green peppers
6. Add chopped tomatoes
7. Add tomato paste
8. Add tomato puree
9. Simmer for 1 hour
10. Add mushrooms
11. Simmer until mealtime

Chef to add seasonings.

Chef Salad - 1,600 portions

1. Wash 4 1/2 cases of lettuce; pull or cut in to bite-sized pieces.
2. Wash 1 case each of escarole, romaine and chicory; pull or cut in to bite-sized pieces.
3. Add 30 lbs. of Swiss cheese Julienne, 30 lbs. of ham julienne and/or any leftover turkey Julienne
4. Add 2 baskets of watercress if available.
5. Mix thorougly; keep refrigerated until service.

Note: Serve with croutons and blue cheese on the side, along with tomato wedges.

Chicken Cacciatore - 1,600 portions

1,600 half chicken breasts
50 lbs. of onions, cut in to 3-inch lengths and sauteed
2 cups of mushrooms, sauteed
1 1/2 bushels of fresh peppers, cut in to 1 1/2 inches and sauteed
6 cups crushed tomatoes with juice
2 cups tomato puree
1/2 lb. of minced garlic
2 gallons of wine, marsala

1. Brown off chicken breasts in sheet pans.
2. Place breasts in roast pans.
3. Cook tomatoes, onions, etc., for 3 hours in a 100-gallon pot.
4. Cover chicken breasts with tomato stock and cover with sheet pan. Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Chef to add all seasonings.

Bon appétit!