Sunday, March 20, 2011

From the "Life is Never Dull" File

 Life is Never Dull File

Every once in a while, one has to look back to see how far one has traveled.  Today is one of those days.  Yesterday we had our annual corned beef and cabbage dinner.  It was delicious.  The kitchen staff did an excellent job. 
That dinner marked the year's anniversary of the beginning of a very traumatic time for me.  I would like to report that, in looking back, I've learned from that experience and have moved on.  
So, what is happening in the future.
The Snack Shop is taking on a new challenge. We will be serving a breakfast and a lunch once a week from May through August.  We will, also, serve a picnic once a month during the summer.
Don't be surprised to learn that Shop and Stock, the person I rely upon to supply the shop, was totally against the idea. 
"It's too much work"
"It's too hard"
"You'll never get the people to work it."
"I'm not doing the bull work."
The list of negatives was endless.
The idea of doing any cooking on the grill seemed to be beyond his comprehension. 
"We might do an outdoor breakfast.", I mentioned.
"You can't have eggs.  Eggs are hard to cook on the grill.  How would you do it?", he countered.
I had to think about that.  Eggs really aren't hard to do on an outdoor grill.  The grill has a side burner, just the right size for a big skillet.  Eggs would be easy. 
It wasn't until later that I had the image of what he was thinking.  I think he thought you cracked the eggs directly on the grill and, by some quick hand action, managed to keep the egg from falling through the grates.  I keep forgetting that his entire expertise in the kitchen involves opening the fridge for the next cold one.
That conversation ended with Shop and Stock harumphing, "Do whatever you want!"
So, the mission began. 
The theme for the Summer Diner is retro 1950.  I found a perky waitress for the menu's cover.

We will offer a choice of three breakfast meals on Monday morning.  Three lunch selections on Thursday.  One of the lunch selections will be from the outdoor grill.  Meal suggestions are coming in.
So far, we know we'll offer turkey clubs; soup in a bread bowl; reuben sandwiches; grilled cheese; and the usual hamburgers and hot dogs. 
For the breakfasts we'll be doing a lot of the breakfast bakes; chipped beef on toast points; toast, eggs, and bacon, etc.
The diner will offer ice cream floats and iced tea to go along with the lunches.
So, as I continue making lists and determining what we need, I run into the expected stone wall.
"I really would like to have a lunches be portable.  What size paper bags does our vendor carry?", I asked.
"You aren't going to put lunch in a paper bag.  They are too expensive.", he shot back.
"...and I need cocktail swords for the club sandwiches.", I mused as I added to my list.
"Cocktail swords!  Way too expensive."
My thought was that people could take their lunch out to the picnic tables in nice weather.  I was thinking of the lack of mobility of some of older residents.  While Shop and Stock's answer was to just plop the lunch on a paper plate, I was afraid some of them couldn't balance the plate and a drink while navagating through two doors to get outside.
I checked on the price of the size paper bag I want, less than a penny each.
The cocktail swords are less than two cents each.
I factored in the cost of disposable products per serving.  I think we can afford paper bags and cocktail swords.
So, the battle wages.  I say something is white, then he insists it is black.  Perhaps it is a control thing.
Whatever it is, it makes life interesting.  
But, I have a solution.
I think I'll start using reverse psychology.  Give him an idea that I don't like and let him come up with the opposite.  That way, I'll get what I want and he'll think it was his idea.  It will certainly make things a lot easier all the way around.