Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

OK to Exhale Now...

I spent a sleepless night last night, worrying about the catering jobs that I had today and how I could pull them off-- was it even humanly possible to pull off the impossible? I had a breakfast, lunch and snack to cater to my #1 client (three standing orders every Saturday). I also had a wedding to cater in the afternoon-- in Barnesville, GA. Yeah, I'd never heard of Barnesville either when I accepted the job. It was a big order and a huge privilege to be asked to cater this wedding so I accepted the job. It turns out that Barnesville pretty far away-- almost as far as Macon! It took about 1.5 hours to get there from the Biscuit. I've never brought scrambled eggs that far-- I was hoping that they would keep their consistency not only for the duration of the trip, but I was also bringing all of the china, glass and silver with me. I had to arrive a couple of hours before the reception to set up, so the eggs that were cooked at 1:00pm weren't served until around 5:00pm. I had all of the food in "hot boxes" and they hold the temp for up to four hours, so I wasn't worried about the eggs going bad, more about their appearance. I've learned through experience that scrambled eggs have a tendency to start turning greenish in color if kept under the heat lamp for too long. I feared that the hot box would be the equivalent and I've been fearing this day for weeks. I expected to open the egg containers and find green eggs, resulting in an horrified wedding party , and an irate bride & groom.

The time I spent worrying about this turns out to have been wasted time. When I opened the hot boxes, the eggs were still warm, had the perfect consistency and color and they still tasted incredible. The food I served got rave reviews from everyone, especially the Fruit Table that I put together about an hour before the guests arrived. The bride and groom couldn't have been happier. They thanked me for everything as they left the reception, and promised that they would be giving me many referrals!

The reception was held in a place called "The Upper Room". It's on the 3rd floor of a 102 year old building, with a 102 year elevator about the size of a broom closet. Setting up and breaking down was a nightmare. Our hand trucks wouldn't fit in the elevator, so we had to hand load everything-- 20 cases of dinner plate, 20 cases of dessert plates, 400 coffee mugs, two coffee urns, 10 chafin dishes and 4 large hotboxes of food. Before leaving we had to bus all of the tables, and hand wash all of the china, glass and silverware. When we finally got back to the Biscuit, I asked the dishwasher to help me unload the van. He filled a hand truck full of plates and coffee mugs. He hadn't gotten 5 feet away from the van when he lost control of the hand truck and all of the glasses and plates were broken. We spent another hour cleaning up the mess. Luckily, we had insurance on the rented china, so as long as we return it on Monday (even broken) there will be no loss. I just hated the fact that I spent three hours washing plates that were later broken. What a waste.

My loyal assistant Alex (otherwise known around the Biscuit as "Little Brian") was with me every step of the way today! He's really taken with his new job-- and really impresses me with his hard work and long hours. I like the fact the he values my opinion and wants to learn from me. He's told me several times that he's aware that my professional reputation is on the line during every catering job, and he does everything he can to represent me. Alex is young enough to be my son. Since I never had a son, I don't mind taking on the "mentor" role in Alex's life. Surprisingly, I do have a lot to teach on some subjects-- and its nice to have an "apprentice" that wants to learn.

It was a long day- I spent over 21 hours working today! I left home at 3:30am and got home at 1:00am. As I've said a million times- I'm getting too old for this! But it was worth it. Every time I cater a big event like this, I learn a lesson or two. In return, the next event comes off better. I also really enjoyed talking to all of the guests- there were some great people at the party. Hopefully I made some good connections and will get some good referrals. Time will tell.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breakfast in the evening!!! Those are my kind of folks!! I could eat breakfast three times a day and love it. How unique.

6:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Beverly...my favorite meal growing up was when mom would make "breakfast for dinner." It was always more grand than our usual "breakfast for breakfast."

I graduated from high school and got a 2-year degree in Barnesville. It's a really great town. Did you happen to meet Angie from Goggans Florist? They do most of the weddings there. She's the only person from HS I am still in touch with...a great friend.


11:52 AM

Blogger epgraves said...

"The Upper Room".

Glad that this won't be refered to in the history books as "The Last Catering."

8:21 PM

Blogger =^..^= Kitty =^..^= said...

Was this at Barnsley Gardens? It's a lovely place. Glad you and "LB" survived to cater another day!!!

2:35 PM


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