Monday, July 23, 2018

changement de plan

Dammit. A hot-dog-sized monkey wrench has been thrown into the works, but I think I can recover. I went to the No Brand store during my lunch hour, in search of my favorite pork franks. Alas, the store had nothing like that in stock: instead, it was selling these packages of extremely skinny Wurst. While such a sausage might be better than nothing, when it comes to making chili dogs, I want the best. Of course, when you come up empty and can't buy the best, you have little choice but to settle for the second-best. For me, that meant schlepping back to my office building's basement grocery and buying up their stock of Johnsonville "Beddar Cheddar" dogs. I think these dogs actually come in a natural casing, which means I won't want to boil them the way I'd boil a typically "naked" (i.e., uncased) frank. Instead, I'll pan-fry these fuckers tonight, pile them into a plastic container, then take them to the office later this week, possibly even Friday.

While I'm at it, let me bitch and moan about the food I lugged over today: I hauled about 18 kg (weighed it) of food from my place to the office, taking a taxi to span most of that distance. In my Costco bag—which has been suffering much abuse at my hands, what with all the heavy loads I carry in it—I had packed the corn salad, the baked beans, the chili, the Shack Sauce, a bottle of BBQ sauce, two blocks of sliced American cheese, a bag of Kirkland shredded Tex-Mex cheese, a bottle of sliced pickles, two large packs of hot-dog buns, and two large bags of chips—Fritos corn chips and Kirkland sea-salt, ripple-cut potato chips. I was able to lug the bag one-handed, but my back complained the entire time.

I also ordered my "milk buns" today; they'll arrive at the office building's basement grocery on Thursday. Once they arrive, I'll take them home, slice them into halves, toast their insides, then maybe turn them into sesame rolls if I have the time and energy. If not, no biggie.

Tonight's mission, which may bleed into tomorrow's mission, will be to bake enough cornbread for everyone to have at least two pieces. That's about 50 pieces total.

And once this massive cook is finished, and I'm slumped over my desk in exhaustion, I'm going to have to ponder whether it's worth it for me to continue doing these luncheons as a once-a-month thing. If I do them as every-other-month events, while still rotating the teams that we invite to eat with us R&Ders, then those teams will no longer be coming to our office at a rate of once every three months: the rotation will change to once every six months, i.e., only twice a year. While doing these luncheons isn't financially ruinous to me, I'm sensing some cracks in my normally unsinkable budget. And in terms of sheer effort, well, this is a hell of a lot of cooking. As a cook, I'm slow to begin with, and whenever I plan out and serve what is essentially an entire meal (usually with the exception of drinks and dessert, which I farm out to other coworkers), prep normally takes days, requiring careful planning. It's like a one-man version of Robert Irvine's show, "Dinner Impossible." I'm beginning to appreciate the herculean effort my mother put into the large-scale meals she had served at Korean events and at my brother Sean's cello concerts. She would feed literally hundreds, cooking everything in our humble kitchen, and it's only now that I'm beginning to understand the sheer scale of what she used to do. Here I am, complaining about feeding twenty-five people, but from a Mom-scale perspective, feeding two dozen hungry people is nothing. It's a humbling thought.

ADDENDUM: un autre changement de plan: I had listed cole slaw as something to make. Gonna nix that. I think corn salad/slaw, baked beans, and corn bread really ought to be enough. A man can go only so insane.

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