Sunday, November 21, 2004

10-12 lb. Turkey/H.W. at H.W.

Well, it's hell week. Catering time. And time to dust off those famous words:

10-12 pound turkey
2 qts. of cornbread dressing
A pint of cranberry sauce
A dozen rolls
And a pumpkin or pecan pie.

Back in the day we never included the pie or rolls. And we made dressing in the bain maries. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, it is a rectangular holding tank filled with water and kept hot with gas burners. [ see Paleolithic Age for more details ]

And we used to swish our ladles in the water whenever we needed a quick fix for the serving line. But with the advent of stricter sanitation requirements, swishing is a lost art.

And the staff is required to wash their hands more. And some even wear latex bras, er, gloves. Apologies to Playtex. And whatever happened to girdles? Again, back in the day, every female HAD to wear one. You just weren't one of the "in" crowd if you didn't squeeze your midriff, via the buttocks region, into a Playtex girdle.

I guess they went the way of pantylooms, poodle skirts, saddle oxfords, penny loafers, and bouffant hair styles. Was it Twiggy who led the way? Or Mary Quant, or was it Helen Gurdy Brown? Who knows or who cares?

And the staff is required to have clean aprons. Wiping your mouth on one or blowing your nose into one is strictly verboten.

And the art of putting your fingers into a veggie bowl so you can get a better grip-better leverage- is not allowed anymore.

And dented cans? Throw 'em out. So's you don't serve botulism stew.

And you got to "date dot" the product. The day of trying to squeeze [ see girdle paragraph ] another week out of the pork chow mein is no longer considered appropriate behavior.

And cooking enough fried chicken in the morning to last until 8:30 p.m. is now out of the question. Doesn't fit the hot holding guidelines. Same for chop beef, fried cod, er, pollock, catfish, er, basa, er, tilapia, and hushpuppies.

Another no-no. The days of allowing the truck driver to bring in torn bags of flour, sugar, meal, etc. are kaput. Fini'. Cos we don't know what kind of critters done crawled up in that bag. Boll weevil, roach, varmint-name your poison.

Well, I could go on and on. But it's Thanksgiving. And I need my beauty sleep. Cos it's Hell Week at H.W. [ Hell Whole ]

Farewell and adieu, v.c.

P.S. The Superstation has been showing "The Wizard of Oz" this weekend. What a great movie. And Kitty wouldn't watch the wicked witch scenes which scared the beejeezus out of her as a kid. Childhood memories, eh?


Hoots said...

Makes me nostalgic.
Does anybody make cornbread dressing any more? "Meat-seasoned" it was called. About the time I left we were down to two factory-made flavors.
Several years ago we bought some turkey butts, boiled them into stock, PICKED them, if you can believe, and made some of the best killer dressing *ever*. That was the last time I saw people returning to the cafeteria, starting on Thanksgiving day and for three days afer, asking if we had any more of that dressing. Outta sight, as they say.
And cranberry sauce made fresh from whole berries. We had to buy early in order to beat the grocery people at the market. Otherwise, we might be stuck paying retail, and still not being able to buy as much as we needed.
Don't get me started...

Anonymous said...

Guys you are making me all gooey inside for the good old days of week long Thanksgiving madness. Well, not that gooey, I have had 5 years to get over it and nothing beats being home with the family. Have a happy one, Rock on Luby's