Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Catering

Been a while, sorry for the lack of posts lately.

I've been pretty tied up with the combination of caring for our little man, along with working a full and a part time job (so our little man can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle!)

Got to do a little Q'ing, however, as for the second straight year we did a catering job for a Hamden, CT family on Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Naturally I had to complicate things by bartending Friday night. It was margarita night at the country club where I work part time, and I have learned that making myself unavailable for an important shift like margarita night usually leads to being left off the schedule for weeks. So I sucked it up and worked.

So that meant that I had to work from 5AM until noon at my full time job, drive home to Norwich, load six pork butts and two whole packer briskets into the Backwoods, then get into the car and drive to New Haven by 5PM to bartend. While I was gone, Sheila filled in admirably as pitmaster and made sure the smoker stayed at temperature. Home at 1PM, dumped the ash and reloaded a new full basket of charcoal, filled the water pan, threw in a brisket flat I was making just in case and it was off to bed for a few hours of sleep.

Up at 7AM, once the meats were at temperature I wrapped them all in foil and piled them into a large cooler for transport to the site. Got there at around 12:30 PM, with arrival between 3 and 3:30 PM.

The job was for 50-55 people, and they wanted plenty of leftovers. I cooked the six butts, two whole briskets and one flat in advance. On site I cooked 50 smoked chicken wings, three sausage fatties and 50 ABT's (bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeno's). I served the ABT's and one of the fatties as appetizers, with each fattie slice cut into fours and toothpicked. They all went pretty quickly.

All the other food was on the buffet. By the time we left after most people had already eaten, all of the other two fatties were gone and there were only three wings left. Most of the brisket flat remained, along with the burnt ends (which I put out last as a final treat), and there were a couple of small chaffing pans of pork left.

Overall, everyone seemed to really enjoy the food. Catering jobs are a lot of work, but can be really satisfying when they go well. We really had a good time doing it, and hopefully they will ask us back for a third year next year!

Naturally, we forgot to bring our camera and did not take any pictures of the food. If the host took any that she can send me I will post them.

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