Monday, September 20, 2010

Cook shack saga ends...

Well it is over.  As the week went on, it just got more ridiculous.  Wednesday morning it was just Annmarie and I to get it all set up after moving the trailer the night before.  Luckily, I was not present for the move.  I was told that without the forklift the trailer never would have fit into that tight spot.  I suspect that there was much adult language used to assist the manuevering needed to get the trailer in place.  I had to take several trips with the car to get all the food necessary to fill the trailer.  We were slow gettting things going due to the move mess.  We were short of help all day long, but did very well.  I also managed to get a steam burn from the grill on the back of my hand.  Unfortunately, we had no clean up crew and it took us quite a while to clean up.  We got out of the cook shack after 2030.  I was carrying chicken food (discarded food scraps) back to the car over a mile away.  The chickens are just not going to be gracious enough I am sure.
This was our location at the Round-Up.  It was very nice. 


  Thursday morning was the same thing except I had to fill the propane tanks also.  It was getting very busy so it was hard to get it all done before 1100.  I panicked Thursday morning because the cooler was too warm.  We checked the food and threw out some hot dogs and I called the refrigerator repair company.  It turned out that we had a bent fan and a broken thermometer and a charred plug.  So we threw out the bad thermometer, I grabbed a 20 amp plug and repaired that and everything was golden again.  Until we started to run out of food.  I had to hoof it back to the pool and load up my trusty wagon with food and hamburger and hot dog buns.  Now I had to go to the other end of town in my car for the buns.  Made the trip on foot with my wagon and as soon as I showed up I had to leave for more buns.  My feet were killing me by the end of the day.  More cleanup.   I had asked everyone to throw the scraps in five gallon buckets for the chickens.  I ended up with two buckets and one weighed almost fourty pounds!  My feet were killing me and I had to stop every 50 feet to change hands for the buckets.  I got home at 2100 and helped Annmarie count money for another 2 hours.
  So I was slow getting up Friday morning, but had told Annmarie to stay home and we were not going to do breakfast.  Our new location is directly across from the Let'er Buck room entrance and exit.  Not the breakfast crowd.  So I got in around 0800, unloaded some condiments I had bought on Thursday but left in the car.  I went and loaded the car to the gills cause I did not want to have to do the wagon thing again.  Annmarie had even put moleskin on my feet before I left.  The road was closed when I tried to get back to the Round Up grounds.  The Westward Ho parade was that morning.  So.... I went back to the pool house and broke out the big green wagon, unloaded half the car and preceded to drag it all to the cook shack.  Now the fun part was I had to drag the wagon past a few hundred nervous horses.  Not very fun, and it took me two more trips!  My feet were screaming.  I worked for another 10 hours, had to make a trip to the pool house after sending Annmarie for another 800 burger patties as we were going to run out of the 5000 I had initially purchased,  cleaned up and got home at 2030.  We were much faster at cleaning.  The pace was very quick.  We sold the most burgers ever.  Over 1150 patties cooked on Friday.  I had seen our company at the Round Up.  They were going to go to Happy Canyon then come out to the house.  So I went home and moved a lamp into the library and ran an extension cord to the hallway so they could have light.  They showed up around 2230.  They had a hard time figuring out how to get in the house.  There is no doorbell.  I spotted them and opened the door.  We did not install a doorbell on purpose.  We stayed up till 2330, but everyone was very tired. 
I was up at 0500 and into Pendleton bright and early.  I was not going to use the wagon again!!  I took all the food we had to the cook shack, piled it in and went to get propane.  We ended up putting tomatoes, lettuce and onions in coolers behind the cook shack.  A full crew showed up so Annmarie and I got to go wander town, look at the vendors, do some wine tasting from a local winery and eat some fabulous food.  We had some great Thai food.  Annmarie said she was not hungry, but ended up eating about half my Thai food. 
I went in on Sunday, it was pouring down rain, to collect the food and help Mark pull the trailer out of its spot.  We ended up with a leak in the roof, most likely around the grill vent.  We did our best ever days on Friday and Saturday was even better.  We did 40% more revenue than last year.  What a way to spend my vacation.  I am now going to write it all down and make a notebook so it will be much easier the next time.  I will be sure and include some of the pitfalls and pearls. 
Today, I am canning tomatoes.  We had over 16 gallons left over.  I have 14 quarts cooking right now and another 14 getting ready to go.  The chickens are so overwhelmed by compost that they have started being picky.
New cook PSA cook shack