“Turning Out the Turnovers,” Ensign, Oct. 1980, 56
Here’s another idea for feeding a large group. When we were ready to break ground for a new chapel after fourteen years of owning the hilltop property, our bishop wanted breakfast included. Our ward clerk (my husband) volunteered my services, and I improvised a menu from an article I had read. We fed over 300 people piping hot and delicious sausage turnover pies—mixed, stored, and baked in the homes of ward members. They were easy to assemble and cook, easy to serve, and economical.
We purchased thirty pounds of link sausages, thirty pounds of bulk sausage, fifteen dozen small or medium eggs, and fifty pounds of potatoes. This was to be the filling. We made six batches of soft pastry dough. Each batch called for five pounds flour, three pounds shortening, two tablespoons salt, and three cups ice water. In addition, we flavored the pastry with a tasty combination of fine herbs. The combination chosen was a commercial blend of thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, and basil. One tablespoon of herbs per batch of pastry gave a delicious flavor throughout.
The filling was mixed in three large plastic food-storage containers. Five sisters in the ward each boiled and mashed ten pounds of potatoes and brought them to my home. I precooked the link and bulk sausage in large pans on the stove. In each of the three storage containers, we mixed one-third of the potatoes, five dozen eggs, ten pounds of bulk sausage, dried onion flakes, salt, pepper, and a little sprinkling of herbs. Canned milk gave the filling a moist consistency.
A double batch of pastry, ten pounds of cooked link sausages, and a container of filling went to the home of each of the three “assembly team captains” and their two helpers. In each home, one sister formed the dough into balls about the size of golf balls and handed them to the next worker, who rolled and cut out circles about six inches in diameter. A metal saucepan lid made a good cutter. After cutting and removing the scraps, they rolled the circles a little more in one direction to elongate the dough into an oval. The third worker added the filling, using one whole link sausage and one-third cup of filling for each turnover. This third person then folded and closed the dough over the filling and placed the turnovers on a cookie sheet.
Another group of sisters picked up the turnovers (along with an instruction sheet) and refrigerated them until the next morning. This ensured a flaky crust. Each sister was instructed to preheat her oven to 425° F. by 7:30 the following morning. The turnovers required 20 minutes of cooking per sheet. After cooking, the sisters wrapped each turnover individually in aluminum foil (pre-cut and delivered to the homes), leaving an end open for steam to escape. They packed the turnovers in large, flat, foil-lined boxes, which doubled as serving trays, covered the boxes with a large towel, and brought them to the chapel site piping hot.
We added orange juice and Danish sweet rolls (made by a member of the stake), and served a quick and filling breakfast in fifteen minutes with no mess and very little clean up. Our cost per person was between fifty and sixty cents. The architect in attendance told our bishop, “This is the best organized breakfast and the best food I have eaten at any ground-breaking ceremony!” We sold the leftovers (there weren’t many!) and they stayed so hot that some people burned their fingers taking them from the boxes—Marie P. Sharp, Sepulveda, California