Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving spread at work

For the last month and one-half I've been working at a men's residential recovery program in Sacramento, California. My former boss called me in early October looking for a cook. I agreed to work lunch and dinner until I leave town for my summer job.

Readers who've been around for several years will remember that I previously worked in a woman's recovery home. I am once again working in the same location in mid-town Sacramento. The woman's facility was closed some 20 months ago. Most staff were laid off and the house was converted into a sober living home.

Little has changed in the house other than the fact that male parolees have replaced the women. While the men eat more than the women, they have the same heartfelt appreciation for the meals that I cook during the week. Six weeks ago I move into the job as if I had never left.

This isn't the first time I've talked about Thanksgiving at work. I last featured my menu and prep list in 2011 on 'Round the Chuckbox. Here's the menu for 2014 Thanksgiving dinner:
Roast turkey breast
Sour cream mashed red potatoes
Candied sweet potatoes
Cornbread dressing
Traditional turkey gravy
Orange cranberry sauce
Seasoned green beans
Tossed green salad with homemade ranch dressing
Hot dinner roll
Pumpkin pie 

I miss working in a commercial kitchen with a steam line. Cold food isn't an issue since 25 residents can be served in 15 minutes. I lay the pans out on the counter and on the range and serve each resident as he passes through the kitchen. 

Serving the residents gives me the opportunity to set a nice looking plate. It also ensures even portion control. I want the last resident to receive the same portion as the first. Note that I forgot to place the cranberry sauce on my sample plate.

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