My son is probably pretty upset with me as I have not as yet acknowledged his birthday present to me. I have been in a tailspin since the election. For the first few days I couldn’t think about anything else. Evidently, I hang out with mostly liberals because everywhere I went, I only ran into a few people who admitted to voting for Trump. Usually, with me that ends the conversation.
On top of this we have gone through a very difficult period at the Irish Rose. Jose who has been with us for more than twenty years is very sick and can no longer work. It has really made me appreciate how good he was and how much I leaned on him to carry out my policies in the kitchen. His presence is very much missed.
And then, we are breaking in the new chef and another newer kitchen employee and the unimaginable happens. Someone either steals or loses or destroys the kitchen recipe book. The staff that remains knows many of the recipes as we assign certain preparation to certain cooks to insure consistency so some of the recipes are not lost, but there are enough missing to make it daunting.
Then there are new things that we only recently added, like our preservative free bacon, which up to this point, only Jose had worked with and we have not formally set down recipes. Among the missing are Steak Sauce, Bangers (we sell thirty pounds or so of those a week so it is very important that we recreate the recipe ASAP), and our new Bacon, the Bacon we premiered at this year’s Baconfest.
Last year I bought a new computer and had it upgraded to do video so that we can shoot and edit our own television commercials. It was fitted out new with Windows Eight. I hate Windows Eight. I had one computer that I returned to Best Buy because it had Windows Eight installed. I hate the way they were trying to make the program work for both devices and lap tops and the way something is always trying to help you when you don’t want it to. I didn’t want to have it again but I needed a new computer.
Right after we had it installed, it was updating on line and I watched the whole thing melt down. In the process, we lost a lot of things we needed. Now in looking for my recipes, I find that they too were victims of this catastrophe. I had Eight taken out and replaced with Seven, then I took it off line permanently. We bought a new Lenovo for the internet that I am working on as I write this. The Seven I bought came with a free upgrade to Ten that keeps bothering me on the Lenovo. If you are at all computer savvy you have probably been through something like this.
But I do not have recipes and the clock is ticking. The first thing that comes up is catsup. Chuy and Luz come up to my apartment to tell me. They come together because they think I will be upset. This was a recipe that I found on the internet. Vainly I look for the lost recipe. Finally, I give up and pick one I think looks interesting. I give them the recipe and while it is different than our old recipe, everyone likes it and thinks we should keep it. One down.
The rest of my week is pretty much the same. Look up recipes, make changes, submit it to the kitchen and see how it comes out. Bangers turn out perfectly the first time. I think hit it lucky and found the old recipe or one that was really close. I can’t tell the difference. This is one I would really like to be exactly the same, so it is quite a relief.
And, so it goes, the rest of the week culminating with bacon. I decide to make bacon earlier in case it doesn’t turn out the first time. In my research, I discover that I can use celery juice to cure the meat. This will give the meat the traditional pink color associated with commercial bacon. Ah, an improvement! It seems like every time I have to reformulate a recipe that the new is better than the old. This has been the case with everything in the process of going preservative free, in every instance the new has surpassed the old.
Additionally, it has provided a possible solution to a problem I have been worrying about, corned beef. We only sell corned beef one time a year but that time is pretty important because it is St. Patrick’s Day and the week running up to it. We usually go through about three hundred pounds. On Monday, my new chef (Mauricio) rides with me to Chicago. I intend to stop at the corned beef Factory and talk to Teddy about the possibility of manufacturing corned beef without the nitrates or nitrites but I am so busy talking to Mauricio that I miss my turn off and cause us to lose about an hour finding our way back.
So, we don’t have the time. The following day I am researching bacon recipes on line and I come up with the celery solution. I call Mauricio and he picks up five pounds of celery. Instead of juicing the celery we macerate it and add it to the cure. On to pink bacon and the possible cure for the St. Patrick’s corned beef dilemma. I will let you know how it comes out.
The day of the Riverwalk was the largest day of our existence. Thank you to all who came. Unfortunately, because of losing Jose and the new kitchen manager not yet having started we had a few screw-ups. We hope those who were affected will give take this into consideration, it was after all, our biggest day in twenty-five years and we accomplished it without the normal number of staff. Also, this Tuesday was out of control. We never expected that much business on a Tuesday especially right after Thanksgiving. As we seem to be on a real growth path it would help us greatly if you would make a reservation where you would have not have had to before. That will allow us to schedule more help where necessary, and thank you for all this business.