Food, Community And All Things Sustainable

March 7, 2010

The salad bar nap

Even though we didn't, it sure felt like we served 1,000 folks for lunch. There are days when we really do serve that many. Business has been slow the past few weeks, normal for this time of year in the restaurant business. We prepare less food, work alone instead with a partner and hope more folks show up to eat. Had a partner today and grateful for her.

Ok, some background, so you can fully appreciate what happened today. Daily routine at work: Put on apron, start making 6 salads and blending lettuce. Salads go into large tubs and into the big cooler to be used tomorrow. The lettuce is for today's salad bar. I'm not talking your pot-luck size salad, I'm talking this size dessert salad: 2 #10 cans crushed pineapple, 1 #10 can peaches, 10 - 5.1 oz boxes vanilla pudding, 2 quarts whipping cream. #10 cans are those big lunch-lady sized cans.

Salad bar set up starts at 10 a.m.: 2 bowls of lettuce, 16 bowls of salads (8 different salads), 15 crocks or small bowls of cheeses, pickles, cheese spread and fresh vegetables. Sunday buffet - 2 meats, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn - set up at 11:00 a.m.

At noon today folks start pouring in, and they do not stop. We go through all the salads prepared for today. We're smart, we realize we are in deep, deep trouble. Oh, maybe it'll be ok, cuz we do have those salads that were made ahead for tomorrow. Dip into those salads - just taking one bowl's worth out and leaving behind the remaining 5 bowl's worth. Doesn't take long to realize we just need to take all of those salads. None left for tomorrow, now that does mean we are in b.i.g trouble!

OK. Quick confab. Decision: we're gonna take our chances they won't notice we are missing at the salad bar. Load it up as much as we can without overflowing the bowls. Run into the kitchen with our lists and start to remake those salads for tomorrow.

Wonder what the first lady in tomorrow is gonna think when she reads our list from today. Each day we have to write down what we make. We wrote that list today - twice. Oh yes, then there's the matter of the extra comments we put on that list...can't list 'em here.

Thus the need for the four-hour nap upon arriving at home.

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