Wednesday, July 25, 2018

dogs ready to launch

I failed to find the griddle I wanted, but I already have a largish grill pan, so I used that to grill fifteen hot dogs at a time on my stovetop. Luckily, hot dogs are easy to pack:

These are going in the fridge, and on Friday, I'll probably warm them up by dunking them in boiling water (or as we say down south: bawlin' wudda') for a while. Because this particular cook is so huge, I might have to recruit someone to dole out the hot dogs.

I've been pondering the question of just how many portable gas stoves I need (I have two at my desk, with cans). I think I can get by with only one, but more likely, I'm going to need two: one devoted to keeping the chili warm (and constantly stirred), and another for reheating the burger patties and dogs. I can reduce the strain on the second burner by the above-mentioned method of keeping the dogs in hot water: once lunch begins, the dogs merely need to sit in the water, off the stove, and they'll be good for the duration of lunch. By doing that, I can use the second stove exclusively for reheating burger patties (which will be necessary if I want the cheese on the patties to melt). My kingdom for a chafing dish or three!

The one thing I want to avoid is forcing the diners to crowd around the microwave to heat up their burgers and dogs. If each person needs 30-45 seconds to heat one burger, and about the same amount of time to heat up a hot dog, then multiply 30-45 seconds by two to account for each protein, then by twenty-five to account for twenty-five diners. See the problem? People will become disgruntled because they have to wait to use the lone microwave. Far better to have everything hot and ready and on the table.

So the plan is: create separate stations in the room for potato chips, drinks, and dessert. Keep together at the main prep table: corn salad, baked beans (which I'll heat up, containerize, and serve while warm), burger and hot-dog buns, proteins, burger trimmings, chili, corn chips, and cheese. That's a lot to keep on one small table, but I think I can manage. If something needs to be at a separate table, it'll probably be the burger trimmings. We'll see how it all works out; I think that, on Friday, everything will coalesce of itself, and meal service will achieve a smooth, organic flow.

That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

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