Friday, July 27, 2018

pics from today's luncheon

And here you go: pics from a very ambitious luncheon that took me all week to prepare.

To orient the troops on their luncheon adventure, I gave the Korean and expat staffers a rundown of what was on the menu and how they could obtain their food. Here's the menu first, slapped onto the side of the office fridge:

Next, a pic of Station 1, where the adventure begins. First, pick up a plate and/or bowl. Even though I just bought twenty-five perfectly good bowls, they're too huge for use in this meal. A chili bowl isn't normally as large as a soup bowl. For this meal, I bought paper bowls:

Also at Station 1: the bread—

My coworker A volunteered to run the burger station. He did a great job, too; everyone liked the burgers, which was a relief: I thought they'd be dry.

[NB: above, coworker A is not pressing the juice out of the burgers: the patties ended up a bit cup-shaped when I cooked them last night, so A is pressing them down just hard enough to put the meat in contact with the surface of the warm pan.]

The burgers were Station 2A; below is my work station, which became Station 2B, the spot to get chili dogs, kraut dogs, and chili bowls. Not too many Koreans favored the chili dogs; that seemed to be more of a Western thing. A surprising number of Koreans went for the Germanic stuff: the Bratwurst and Frankfurter (the latter of which I started calling "sort-of French" because of its very vague resemblance to a chipolata).

And here are the sausages at my station, fresh from a boil and still piping hot:

After you get your proteins, you move across the room to Station 3 for toppings, trimmings, and condiments. Note the twin bottles of my pride and joy—homemade Shack Sauce (and try to ignore the ridiculously huge pile of onions that I asked my coworker to slice up for me):

Here's the other side of Station 3, which primarily shows off the toppings and trimmings for kraut dogs. Kraut dogs were unexpectedly popular.

Below, Station 4: the sides and some of the drinks. You see potato chips (Kirkland ripple-cut sea-salt chips), corn salad, and baked beans. The corn salad, which I made early in the week, and to which I had added some chili peppers, became unwontedly spicy over the course of the week while it sat and meditated in the office fridge. To counteract the heat, I added a few blobs of sour cream. This didn't help much, but one of my coworkers said the spiciness level was fine, at least for him. The lone Korean staffer in R&D said she loved the corn salad; she ended up taking a large Ziploc bag of it home with her, along with a bag of baked beans.

Two of my coworkers were kind enough to go across the street to the nearby branch of Subway, where the little elves were selling large packs of store-baked cookies. This was apparently a 36-pack. I downed two cookies at the end of lunch; they were quite good.

Cornbread! While I personally didn't find this cornbread all that memorable (see below), I did enjoy the rougher, more rustic texture it had acquired thanks to the polenta I'd used when baking it. To my chagrin, I forgot to give the bread a final honey drizzle. Ah, well.

And to finish this photo essay off, a final, blurry shot of the burger I put together. What I had really wanted to do was show off the homemade Shack Sauce in the assembled burger, but I don't think you can actually see any sauce. That said, it was a good burger. I liked how the patty was wider than the bun: one thing I hate is a burger in which the bread is wider than the meat. Such a look screams Inadequate! Scrawny! Too bready! to me.

It's almost midnight, and I'm still at the office. Time to go home, Poison Girls.


Charles said...

I think I definitely would have gone with a kraut dog there. There is just something about pork and pickled cabbage--the two are a match made in heaven (witness: grilled pork and kimchi). The chili dog would have been my second pick, with the burger maybe last. I'm sure your burgers were good, but burgers for me are a little like beer--yes, you can make them at home, but there are so many places where you can get really good burgers that it doesn't seem worth the trouble. The only exception I would make (for burgers, not beer) would be if you are barbecuing.

John Mac said...

Well done...everything looks great. All that worked paid off. You rock!

Kevin Kim said...


Thanks. It was tiring but worth it.


The kraut dog certainly had appeal. I should've bought more eurodogs. I think I was comparing Friday's event to our post-Trump event: you'll recall that, in November of 2016, you all went straight for the chili dogs and pretty much ignored the nacho option. That, too, was surprising to me. Anyway, I assumed that chili dogs would be just as popular among the Koreans as it had been among you guys. Silly assumption.

Charles said...

Yup, I do remember that. Good chili dogs.