Catering is one of the many parts of being a culinary teacher at my school. Not only does it offer great experience for my students, it provides money for my program and cheap good food to everyone else. Most of our caterings take place either before school or after school in which I ask, plead and beg for student help. Out of my 150 or so students I am lucky if I get 3 to show up for a morning catering and 6 for an after school one. The way they see it is they are free slave labor during school and there is no way they are going to work before or after school without compensation. Which by the way I pay in the form of food, all teenagers like to eat. You would be amazed at what I can get teenagers to do in the kitchen for the promise of food. (This doesn’t work at home by the way)
Of course no amount of begging can get them awake before the sun, not even the promise of food. So that pretty much leaves me. Yup, I am a one man caterer… okay so I do a one man set up, when I have to. You see I plan smart, I make sure my students prep all the food before the actual day of the event so all I have to do is heat, tray and serve.
Last Thursday was one of my last caterings of the year. It was a continental breakfast for 150 people and we were ready. Man I was so prepared for this catering I was on cloud nine. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel pretty damn good when I walked out the door the night before the event. Then it all came crashing down.
Later that night I had a startling realization… I left out the most popular dish. You heard right, I left out the one dish everyone looks forward to, breakfast after breakfast. In case you want to know it was croissants stuffed with sausage, green chile, and cheese. They are to die for. And I just ruined it, I left them out… all 140 or so of them. Crap! A major error, but not one I couldn’t come back from. My students and I prepared more than enough other food to cover, so I was good. Not happy but good.
I showed up the next morning at the ye old butt crack o’dawn time of 5:30 am, yes that is an actual time, I checked, and set to work. I was going to totally rock this catering. Then no one showed up. Yup, my biggest morning catering of the year and I was on my own. So naturally I started to panic. My principal showed up with her secretary and came to my rescue, all was good… well until I decided to catch a hot pan with my forearm. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking, but my instinct said catch that freaking pan before I don’t have any food to serve, so I did. With my arm. No, I couldn’t possibly catch the pan with the hand that had the pot holder, oh no, I had to catch the pan with my arm. Yea major suckage. Of course because of my crazy morning I didn’t get a chance to apply ice, water, aloe or anything to my burn so it got worse. By the time I saw the school nurse it was a 1st degree burn and well on its way to a 2nd degree burn.
I had gone all year without injury, all freaking year, and BAM! Burn baby burn! Another scar to remind me of my time teaching. Oh yea the last time I taught I sliced my forearm open like a filet, butterflied my flesh real good, but that’s a story for another time. I’ve bored you enough. Next time I will give you a recipe for one of the dishes I serve at all my breakfast caterings, you know the ones I left out all night.