20 minutes had gone by. Natasha sat, stunned, in her genetics class. Still reeling from the disastrous day; she had no choice but to accept defeat. First hiccup- forgotten ingredients (goat cheese, Serranos, and lemon juice). Second malfunction- the coconut black beans were burned. Third fail- rice, the back up plan, was supposed to be boiling on the stove, but the open flame had gone out for an unnoticed 15 minutes. Fourth catastrophe- due to the uncooked rice, and the kitchen manager’s incessant fixation with not serving under cooked food again, the lunches were late to the meeting. Fifth utter devastation- there was not enough food to go around! Heartbroken was a better representation of her feelings. Uncertainty had definitely stirred the pot of madness into a grave tragedy.
While one door closed, the food was cooked to perfection, 5 more indeed opened- with time management and unpreparedness behind them. Natasha needed a drink. Although learning about the TATA box and its role in gene transcription was holding her hostage. To take the most from this experience though, the flustered student had to examine what went wrong. But first, an apology was billowing up inside. There was no excuse for such a poor display of kitchen management. The club members, trying to enjoy a fun meeting, were deprived of a nice meal for nearly 20 minutes! Completely unacceptable, and most definitely frowned upon in this establishment. Not to mention, Bernadette and the merry band of volunteers were also let down.
A full over haul was necessary. Everything needed to be reconsidered. The plan had always been that the FN 358 food service class would take over the actual cooking in winter and spring quarters. But Natasha’s attempt at managing the production was poor, to say the least. After days’ worth of Debbie-downer symptoms, the kitchen manager finally felt ready to move forward.
As each day presents a chance to do better than the day before, so the next few days would be spent researching ways to improve. After hard work by the volunteers and Bernadette, Natasha felt that prepared food would be most welcomed for the subsequent meeting. The end of the quarter usually brings with it the craze of final projects, grade scrounging, and utter exhaustion. With that being said, an affordable and rather easy to produce meal was just what the stressed students needed. Most restaurants provide large party catering, but that darn lurking budget would forever limit the possibilities; Just another lesson in frugality and real world experience. Which actually brings up another topic to be discussed- starvation and hunger. However, that tangent will be saved for another day.
Back to catering- the kitchen manager loves to veer from the crowd, so Subway was not an option. Investigation into Chipotle, Quiznos, Olive Garden, Twisted Sage Café, T Philips, and Costco was conducted over a two day period. Boxed lunches were most definitely out of the question- a range of $6.99-$8.99 per person was inconceivable. Olive Garden was somewhat reasonable, though; for just over $200, they could provide 7 gallons of soup and 84 bread sticks. (Oh yes, the weekly e-board meeting brought about an agreement of serving 80 lunches each meeting. Natasha had been adjusting the amount of food produced because there were always left-overs. But the boo-boo at the last meeting meant a standard serving size had to be decided upon.) In the end, good Old Costco proved to provide the best bang for the FN Forum buck. Come hungry to see what the kitchen manager, Bernadette, and the trusty troop of volunteers came up with at this Thursday’s meeting…