Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu for a buseman's holiday

Busman's holiday:
A vacation during which one engages in activity that is similar to one's usual work (
It seems that I've been allotted a certain number of cooking hours each day. Meet the quota at work and my culinary soul is satisfied. Skip a day and I must cook I must cook elsewhere to fill the void.

When I decided to take the President's Day holiday off from work, I figured that I'd enjoy a quiet day at home. The time to complete several projects was on my mind. My plan fell apart when the crew at the El Dorado Western Railroad learned of my day off.

It seems the mechanics are working on our new Fairmont model A4 gang car tomorrow. "Come over in the morning," said Keith, president of the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation. "We can use an extra body."

Keith's recruitment call told me of dirt, paint chips and greasy hands in my future. I quickly proposed an alternate way to use my talent. Railroad workers work hard. And hard work builds appetites, I reasoned. What better was to showcase my special skills than to cook a meal for the gang?

"Do you want lunch tomorrow?" I countered. While several mechanics will provide support to the county museum railroad project tomorrow, I'll prepare lunch (more correctly, breakfast for lunch -- see menu below).

In the process, the mechanics will do what they do best -- rebuilding railroad cars. And this chef will do what he does best -- cooking a wonderful meal for a crowd.

Sounds like a busman's holiday to me!


I'm serving breakfast for lunch tomorrow at Bob McCormack's engine rebuild shop. At this hour, I plan to prepare huevos rancheros served over chipotle-cheddar biscuits. While elements of the menu may change when as I walk the isles of the supermarket, it'll look something like this:

Two or three scrambled or fried eggs
Salsa Espanola
Simmered pinto beans
Chipotle-cheddar butter milk biscuits
Toppings (chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, Mexican crema and diced tomatoes)
Caboose coffee (these are railroaders, after all!)

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