Autism Awareness Pop up in O-town

October 16th 2015

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WOW! What a week it has been! After several months of planning...then replanning, finding a space, getting plane tickets, shopping, and finally preparing, our dinner was a success! I'm not going to tell you it was easy, because it wasn't, but I can't tell you how good it felt to go above and beyond our goal and even after reimbursing food costs for what wasn't donated we were able to give $800 to my nieces school's special needs program. After fighting a bit with Mom about how much food we needed, we ended up running out a bit too early on a few things, but we did have enough rice to feed a few hundred more folks by the end...LOL! In all it went great, there are always annoyances, like those folks you expect to show up and support you that blow you off, I have a hard time not feeling snubbed. Honestly, that is life, and it helps you know who is really gonna be there when you need them. Doing events is a great way to filter out who really cares, you can like stuff on Facebook all day long, but nothing makes an impression like "in person" communication. But enough with that...the first 72 hours of my trip to Ogden were spent shopping, prepping, and cooking like a mad woman. None of this would've been done without my sisters and mom. Really it was a family affair, and Mom is already resigned to the fact that she won't be doing this again...at least on this level.

Georgia stabbing some of the 40lbs of chicken souvlaki. Georgia stabbing some of the 40lbs of chicken souvlaki.

Jpeg Mom's famous Greek Dressing. I made the label.

Tex and I during our dolmathes marathon, we listened to a lot of tunes and laughed a lot. Tex and I during our dolmathes marathon, we listened to a lot of tunes and laughed a lot.

Spanikopita, a last minute addition and the first item we ran out of. Spanikopita, a last minute addition and the first item we ran out of.

We had the event at Georgia's Mother in law's community in Farr West. It was a beautiful location and was offered free of charge. So a huge thank you to Doris and the folks out at the Westwood village for letting us take over their lovely club house.
My awesome cousin Tracy came from Logan just to support us. What an awesome guy! My awesome cousin Tracy came from Logan just to support us. What an awesome guy!

Mom grillin it up. Mom grillin it up.

Mom and I probably arguing about something haha! Mom and I probably arguing about something haha!

Georgia served as hostess with the mostest along with help from Ava and cute cousins Lily, Mollie, sam, and Luke Georgia served as hostess with the mostest along with help from Ava and cute cousins Lily, Mollie, sam, and Luke

We served the meal homestyle and let our guest choose what they wanted or try everything!
IMG_2589 Traying up some tyropita

Greek salad Greek salad

Fasolakia Fasolakia

Greek potato salad (I wanted to make 20lbs, Mom said 10 would be enough, we made 15 as a compromise and still ran out! LOL. Greek potato salad (I wanted to make 20lbs, Mom said 10 would be enough, we made 15 as a compromise and still ran out! LOL.

Dolmathes Dolmathes

Chicken Souvlaki Chicken Souvlaki

Walnut Baklava Walnut Baklava

I was so busy cooking and refilling that my only regret was not getting to spend more time with all the wonderful folks who came. Good thing my amazing cousin Joanna helped out and played photographer, although if any of the guests got missed, please send me pics that you have I would love to include everyone I can in this post.
Jpeg Kim showing her support.

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After cooking the last of the souvlaki I was able to have a bit of fun before cleaning up, and I must mention what a pleasure it was to have Ogden celebrity Hal Holiday with us!
The family being entertained by Hal. The family being entertained by Hal.

having a few laughs with the girls, after I finally finished cooking souvlaki. having a few laughs with the girls, after I finally finished cooking souvlaki.

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Mom and Tex (Kristina) taking a rest after our last guests left. Mom and Tex (Kristina) taking a rest after our last guests left.

My gorgeous cousin Joanna and her kids, who stepped in and took pics, and saved me on clean up! Amazing. My gorgeous cousin Joanna and her kids, who stepped in and took pics, and saved me on clean up! Amazing.

Mom, Georgia, Tex and I Mom, Georgia, Tex and I

I can truly say this was a night I will never forget. Such a great feeling to do something to help out my darling niece and to cook for folks. I will quote the mural on the wall at the New Seasons Market on N. Interstate  "Friendships are a history of shared meals", cooking for me is a way to show my love for others and I really felt that is what was communicated that evening. A huge thanks to my family, friends, those who donated, and to the new friends we fed and laughed with. Yassou!