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My day at work

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
One of our guys retired today so myself and someone else were asked to do the cooking. I was pulled in at the last minute (yesterday morning when I got to work) so most of the idea work was already done. We were asked to prepare for 50 (about 70 showed) and do hot, heavy hors d'ouevres. Now, you have to remember that were I work it is customary for those of us in my job to do the cooking and such for retirements and promotions are anything else that involves food. We do it for no extra cost and everything is at cost to whoever asks us to do something. We were left to our own devices with $250 to spend and our creativity.

So here is the spread for today.

Fruit and veggie trays. Always make sure you have enough ranch dip. We ran out with about 3 people to go.



Beef tenderloin canape



shrimp canape and beside that is a dill and caviar canape



slow cooked pork ribs



Chicken sate with peanut sauce
Lamb patties with roasted garlic aoli and mint and roasted jalapeno dressing



dessert (prior presentation)



If some things look out of place or messy well that's the folks that were nit picking before everyone got in there to eat.

We had an open house today and word got out very quickly to come look at our spread. I was asked if we could cater a promotion party for someones husband. She took our numbers and said she'd rather give us some cash than give it to some restaraunt.

We never get paid for this stuff. It just comes with the job so to get so many compliments and wows today, not to mention a potential job, was really cool.


Problems that we had today.

The Mandolin bit the tip of my thumb off this morning and I almost passed out for some reason. Maybe the pain or just the shock of not having cut myself in the kitchen for close to 2 years. :confused: Or was it being so pissed that neither one of the 2 medical kits has any supplies in them except some finger condoms. :eek::mad: I don't think I'd ever cussed so much in anger today at all the little stupid things that are supposed to have been taken care of. Come Monday, people will be seeing things my way.

The room is community between the 2 squadrons that occupy the building plus others. So equipment and items are often shared. That means that our punch bowl was not there. Plates, napkins, plasticware and other essentials weren't replaced. Good thing I bought stuff last night on a hunch.

More people showed than was planned for. Barely enough food to feed all the first time through.

$300 was what was spent. $250 is what was told to the retiree. Then he added a cake to it for a birthday.

My planned zucchinni app never made it out. I added too much roasted red pepper to the goat cheese filling and the zucchini wouldn't stay rolled up. The chives weren't any good for what I needed. And the time I was away from cutting my finger something happened to the zucchini that I had prepped already. It turned to mush and was impossible to work with.
Maybe I shouldn't have come right back to something so delicate when I was so upset. And then maybe all those zucchinis wouldn't have perished in vain.

Most of our serving trays are missing.

Lessons learned from today that is usually never a problem

The hot water doesn't stay hot long enough. Still. After 3 years of fussing and complaining to the people in charge of the building it still hasn't been fixed.

The water to the pot sinks will cut off in midstream. I guess the valves are failing.

Ecolab has stopped coming out to restock the kitchen. I've been saying something to the people in charge of that for 3 weeks and it still hasn't been taken care of. That means I have no sanitizer, wash n walk, orange force or any of the other cleaning stuff needed.

The people in charge of stocking the kitchen haven't done it in about 3 weeks. Again, I've been saying something to the people in charge of that and nothing has been done still.

Maybe people don't listen to me. The thing is, I'm more qualified and have more experince than anyone else on how a kitchen should be maintained and operated. I wonder what will happen when I leave in a few months?

Bring more of my own equipment. Glad I bought stuff last night. Listen to those hunches more often folks.

Use more foods that have cheaper cost but higher yields. I would have done some things differently but it wasn't completely my show, so, you know....

Cussing alot and quite loudly and all the stupid stuff that is either broken or wrong in the kitchen is actually alot of fun when done tastefully yet filled with disgust.

When it's crunch time, all body aches still go out the window and I still don't hear people talking to me and they know to move out of my way.

Today was a fun day all in all and I can't wait to do it again.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #2 of 15
I love how you used the pineapples for presentation, is it very hard to rip the pineapple out but keep it in tact for slicing for other things?

It looks like the chicken skewerswerent soaked in water or were you going for that look?

Everything looks really great and I loved reading your catering synopsis, thanks for putting up the photos :)
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
It's not to hard to pull the pineapple guts out. Just remove the heart first before digging out the rest of the meat. A grapefruit spoon works pretty good. But I like to use something else that I've got. I don't know the name of it but I'll post a picture up later.

Good eye on the skewers. They weren't soaked in water for very long. It turned out ok though just not as good as it could have been. I wasn't really the lead for todays ordeal and that's my excuse.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #4 of 15
no need to make excuses I think it all looks gorgeous.. I am not one for canapes and have never made them myself, your photos are what is going to drive me to start.

I was curious if when you pull out the pineanpple inners if you can pull them out kept in tact in order to slide and use for a fruit platter? or do you pretty much just rid it out and use it for tidbits?

Thanks :)
post #5 of 15
FNG,

No matter how hard it was, how frustrated you became, or how many body parts you lost :eek::eek:, everything looks beautiful! You did a wonderful job and all else pales in comparison.

I was going to ask the same question as alongcame. The fruit platter is really pretty and I was wondering how you got the pineapple out so neatly. I'll try it.

Would you mind sharing your recipe for the lamb patties and accompanying sauces?

Would you mind coming to work for me? Like alongcame, I don't like canapes....

Again, congratulations!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
The lamb patties:

3# ground lamb

5 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste

1/2 c. yellow onion, finely chopped (the closer to brunoise size, the better)

3/4 c. Chopped mint (that's my guess because I just eyeballed it)

2 eggs

S&P TT


That's the basics I started off with then adjusted as needed.

That made about 55 small patties



The mint and jalapeno

5 roasted jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed

1 cup of mint.

olive oil

kosher salt TT

Take everything for a spin in a small food processor until you get the consistency you want. I spooned this on the bread underneath the patty.



The roasted garlic aioli I used is from a place back home in SC. Very good stuff and the owner, Dale, has some really good restaraunts.

Red Bone Alley Restaurant
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #7 of 15
You know you don't have to get Ecolab stuff from the Ecolab guy. Your supplier might have it.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is what I like to use for the pineapple.



Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I didn't know that but he just happens to be our supplier for that.


On a side note, does anyone use Zee medical supplies? The school I go to uses their stuff and everyone raves about it. I've had a peek through it several times and it is soo much better than the $10 kit we have stuck to our walls.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #10 of 15
That tool looks a little like a curry comb for horses. Think they're NSF approved?:lol:
post #11 of 15
I get my Ecolab Stuff from Sysco, great products!!

Haven't heard of Zee first aid stuff, who supplies that?
Thanks,
Nan
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #13 of 15
I will have to find one of those pineapple things and give it a try, thanks!
post #14 of 15
locks...lots and lots of locks......equipment lists.....
Health Dept. come out and check your facility?

with limited budget and unknown amounts of people, dips make sense.

Looks like an awful lot of labor went into your spread.....turned out really good for being on the fly.
Think about different heights, different shaped bowls/platters....
practice the design on a table at the kitchen. Really helps visualize.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
We've often thought about locking stuff up but it doesn't work out. Too many people in at all times of the day and weekends to lock anyone out. Our sister squadron, which uses the other side of the kitchen, spent an entire day etching their stuff and yet it still ends up on our side. If you say something about it such as "That belongs on the other side" the typical response is "Yeah? So they can come over here and look for it." :eek:

And yes, the base health dept did just happen to swing by while we where in the kitchen and I am praying, oh praying so much that they caught all the things that haven't been fixed yet. I'm thinking that when I have one month to go I am going to make a long list of everything and either present it to them myself or bring them back so I can give them a proper tour of our place. Maybe then it will force the hands of the powers to be to accept responsibilty and do something. can you tell I've about had it?

Overall, I'll say that we have a decent facility to work out of for what we usually do. It's just the little things that should've been fixed by now on a 5 year old building have not been taken care of. Take the hot water issue for instance. I'm told that nothing can be done because the hot water comes out so hot that it melts the pipes. So what was done is to cut back on the amount of hot water we get. Well, I'm sorry, that just doesn't cut it for me. I mean, is it heated by lava or something? How can a modern building be built to code and it has pipes that can't stand hot water? No where else in the building is there a hot water issue. So why to the kitchen then?

aggh, I don't want to get started on it. I might be to passionate for this place.

yes, alot of work did go into it.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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