ANDERSON – Turkey is just the tip of the iceberg. When you’re helping to feed the community on Thanksgiving Day, there’s tons of ingredients to get together.
“Butter and milk are the two biggest and most important things,” said Cordell Ford, kitchen supervisor at The Christian Center in Anderson. He’s organizing and helping to prepare the meal that TCC will serve at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1225 Main St., in Anderson, on Thanksgiving Day from 1 to 3 p.m.
TCC’s is one of several holiday meals being offered free of charge to folks in Anderson including the Gospel Highlight Broadcast’s community Thanksgiving meal at The Geater Center, and Thanksgiving day dinner at East Lynn Church. The John Lawson Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner at Cross Roads United Methodist Church is offered on Tues., Nov. 26.
At TTC, Ford’s got a list of ingredients he’s trying to get together right now in order to be able to serve everyone that shows up Thanksgiving Day. Turkey is not actually on that list because Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, as they have done in years past, has already stepped up to donate turkeys for the big day.
That still leaves all the other fixings for dishes like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole and more. Ford’s grocery list is full of big numbers like 300 pounds of butter and 75 pounds of sugar.
Ford, 36, runs the TCC kitchen all week while he pursues his degree in social work. The Christian Center serves about 83,000 people each year at its community dining room, open seven days a week.
“We do a lot,” said Ford. “We stay busy, that’s for sure.”
Ford’s fully prepared for the challenge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd. He knows the drill.
“We’ll start prepping four days ahead,” said Ford. On the big day, Ford said, “We’re going to have multiple shifts.” Volunteer crews will work three three-hour shifts starting at 6 a.m.