I’m the co-President of my son Ian’s elementary school. The event that I derive the most pleasure and satisfaction from is the Teacher (& Staff) Appreciation Day Luncheon. If it wasn’t for the caring teachers and brilliant administration, school wouldn’t be the place that my son enjoys going to so much. He has learned a tremendous amount and continues to grow and amaze our family. I would do practically anything to show the teachers and staff how much they are valued and how important they are.
Last year, several parent volunteers commented that we should provide the staff with a hot meal as they brown bag sandwiches and cold lunches daily. I began brainstorming for this year’s lunch as I departed the school cafeteria last May.
The theme was originally going to be real super heroes don’t wear capes, they work at SLCD. Last month, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Meisterdish while attending FabGab’s mom blogger luncheon at The Christopher Peacock/Jen-Air showroom. When Founder Hannah mentioned Meisterdish’s catering ability, I immediately inquired if she could handle catering a Taco Bar for 160 adults at an elementary school in Long Island. Fortunately, Meisterdish was up for the challenge.
Two chefs cooked fish, chicken and beef on induction hot plates in the school’s parking lot behind the cafeteria. Talk about the ultimate tail gating! Everyone raved about how fresh and delicious their food was.
Many of the school’s staff planned to order these healthy meals to cook at home for their family after school and were extremely disappointed to learn that Meisterdish is currently only available on the Upper Eastside in Manhattan. (Meisterdish, you should seriously consider Long Island in her expansion plans).
While most people prefer surfing Pinterest, Etsy is my go-to for inspiration for designs and to source my own ideas. I ordered the Taco Party e-vitiation from Jency Jae Designs which perfectly set the theme for the upcoming Taco Tuesday/Mexican Fiesta. I even requested the principal distribute to the staff on Cinco de Mayo!
I need to gush over the edible tacos on Grandma’s Secrets festive cupcakes!
I am keeping Regina of Grandma’s Secrets extra busy this week as she’s also making Greenlee’s 4th birthday Poppa Pig cake. She’s been my go to baker since I ordered a custom cake almost 8 years ago for Ian’s bris. I can personally attest as these cupcakes taste as great as they look as I consumed three as my late breakfast/lunch at school.
Pinatas, my hashtag light box, magnetic letters on the white board, cutlery bags and an adorable make-your own taco banner from Paper Source, tablecloths in the colors of the Mexican flag and tissue paper flower bouquets in painted tin cans transformed the institutional school cafeteria into a much more fun and festive environment. The “Let’s Taco Bout It” gold cocktail napkins were a big hit!
If the PTA budget wasn’t tight, we would have served virgin margaritas, daiquiris and pina coladas. I also wanted to play Mexican music, but we didn’t have any speakers or any PTA members able to figure out how to play the music.
Since last year’s favor were Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a “thanks for making us smart cookies” label), I was insistent that this year’s take-away gift be non-edible so teachers would have something that lasts. I also wanted it to incorporate the Mexican theme. I was able to find cactus for as low as $1.92 per potted succulent (including shipping from California). I had “Thanks for Helping Us Grow & Keeping Us Sharp” signs made by Shower That Baby. I wonder who has a green thumb and will still have their cactus displayed on their desk come fall.
Meisterdish also threw in complimentary raw cookie dough giving everyone an extra sweet treat. (Did you know that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day?)
The principal emailed me following the event, “I can’t say anything other than – Unbelievable!!!!! Thank you so, so, so so, much.”It doesn’t get much better than that! I sincerely hope all the teachers and staff enjoyed the fiesta as much as she did.
I already have some fun ideas for next year, although it will definitely be hard to top this year’s Mexican Fiesta and I promised the PTA Board that I would let some other PTA members run this important event.