During the freezing temps in February of 2019, the building that formerly held Angie’s Teagarden was closed after the interior of the building flooded as a result of a frozen pipe bursting in the upper level of the building. After some time, Why Not Us, a group of 71 women, put together their contributions to bring back to life this historic building. Why Not Us was finally able to purchase the building from the city of Jefferson in July 2021. The building underwent a complete renovation and on July 5, 2022, The Centennial was able to open its doors to the public.
Sara Ostrander is the chef and operator at The Centennial. Sara comes with many years of experience in the culinary industry. Sara’s knowledge started with the completion of cooking classes in high school. Sara went on to complete the culinary arts program at Indian Hills Community College. After this completion, Sara worked as a cook in two different hotels before moving on to the hospital setting where she later became a certified dietary manager as well as the manager at the Dallas County Hospital. Before running The Centennial, Sara was the Food and Nutrition Services Manager for Clive Behavioral Health. Sara is now the cook and operator at the newly renovated historic restaurant. The Centennial’s slogan is ‘Contemporary Taste Meets Historic Charm‘.
Sara tells us that when it comes to choosing a turkey for your holiday meal, you should plan for at least 1.25 pounds per guest and if you are planning to order presliced turkey, you should think about a pound per guest. If you are doing appetizers, you should plan about 4-5 pieces of each appetizer for each guest. Regarding side dishes, you should plan about 3/4ths of a cup per side per guest and about a cup per guest for salads.
Sara has put together a chart (attached below) that helps you to know how much you need of each item depending on the size of your party:
When thinking of dishes for a large group, think of the things that will hold the best if you prep them. Some things that hold fairly well are potatoes and casseroles. A dish that doesn’t hold very well is pasta. Sara tells us that she likes to find a dish that is new or out of the ordinary for a typical traditional dish. She says it’s fun to just try something new – add a different color or texture to your plate.
First and foremost, Sara recommends starting by creating a timeline for the event week (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.). Take the time to figure out what items can you take the time to prep ahead of time and when – this will save you the time the day of. A very important thing to add to your timeline is the turkey. How long does it need to thaw? How long will it take to cook?
A helpful tip that Sara tells us in this video is to ensure that your refrigerator is cleaned out and has room for all of the food that will need to be stored.
Sara recommends having the appetizers OUT of the kitchen. Perhaps you can set up a table for them or have them set on the dining table. By doing this, it will keep people out of the kitchen and out of the way.
Sara demonstrated how to make a quick and easy appetizer, puffed pastry tartlets. There are so many different ways to do this appetizer and you really can’t mess it up.
How to make these pastries:
Here is what your puffed pastry tartlets should look like when they are finished.
A nice thing about this appetizer is that they don’t need to stay warm to be eaten. They are good hot or cold.
Sometimes preparing for the holidays can become stressful. You can limit the stress by outsourcing different tasks, like decor or food, leading up to preparing for the holiday.