News: Preparation leads to success during Thanksgiving feast
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the splendor of the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division’s Arrowhead Inn dining facility's Thanksgiving Day Luncheon Nov. 27 is hardly a distant memory to those who attended. There was a cornucopia of food, drink and desserts. But with such a banquet comes the question: "How?"
"For a meal this large, we had to start prepping about a week ago," said Sgt. 1st Class Pedro Posadas of 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team's dining facility manager. "We had to make sure all the food was in and all the logistics support that we get was done. We had to start ordering the food about two to three weeks out."
Posadas reported that the DFAC served between in excess of 730 people.
The DFAC team spent the whole day and night before Thanksgiving cooking and made 30 whole turkeys and more than 160 lbs. of beef in addition to hams, yams, potatoes, stuffing, breads, desserts and drinks. There was even a chocolate fountain to dip skewered fruit into.
"We didn't get that until the last minute," Posadas pointed out.
Of course, while a lot of the praise went to big ticket items like turkey, there were also displays and desserts, many of which were planned and constructed weeks in advance.
"All these displays were being prepped over a month out," Posadas said.
A few of the displays weren’t finished until a little closer to mealtime.
"You're doing the ice carvings right up to the crunch time,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Trevor Farrow, the brigade food chief.
Two separate ice sculptures were displayed, one of the 2nd Infantry Division Indianhead and another of the 3-2 SBCT Arrowhead.
“Our soldiers took a lot of time and a lot of training and put a lot of care into making their products and displays to show that they are the best,” said Farrow.
Even the smallest items in the meals showed the level of dedication expected of an Arrowhead cook.
"I had no idea I had such talent in this kind of facility," Posadas said. "Sgt. Doucette, who made the homemade chocolate coins, she actually put the Arrowhead crest and all the battalions on them."
When the time to serve finally came, senior leaders from across the unit were on hand to portion out the Thanksgiving feast.
At the peak of the luncheon, there wasn't a seat to be found and a line stretched out the door and around the corner.
“That was seriously the biggest meal I've eaten throughout the entire year. It was delicious. Every piece of it," said Spc. Abbi Kyllo, of Arthur, N.D., who is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3-2 SBCT. "My favorite part of the meal was the dessert; the chocolate fountain for sure. I love chocolate."