Posts

What We Have Learned Through 36 Years of Catering

Development of systems has allowed us to provide excellent food and excellent service
Back in 1982, my partner, Jim Gilmore, and I were getting tired of mowing lawns and cleaning gutters to make a buck to pay for school. That was back in the days when you paid for your own school – pre college savings plans, pre parental input, and admittedly, pre outrageous tuition rates.
We were borrowing our dad’s cars and mowers and hand tools and ladders, to complete odd jobs when we weren’t focused on getting to the gym to pound out 2 hour workouts. Jim was a college wrestler and I was an aspiring powerlifter, so gym dues and protein shakes were also on our expense list. We applied a lot of our energy towards designing elaborate workout and nutritional plans to reach our respective athletic goals.
Meanwhile, our little business utilized a haphazard approach to earning money. Not surprisingly, our results in the gym far outpaced our success in the odd-job business, and we both inherently realize…

Porky's Pride!

Image
Porky's Pride Slow Roasted Sauerkraut Stuffing!
From Wikipedia......
"Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage...."
"Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lactic acid fermentation that is analogous to how traditional (not heat-treated) pickled cucumbers and kimchi are made. The cabbage is finely shredded, layered with salt, and left to ferment. Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 15 °C (60 °F) or below. Neither refrigeration nor pasteurization is required, although these treatments prolong storage life."
"Many health benefits have been claimed for sauerkraut: It is a source of vitamins BC, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more …

Shoulder Season and Year Round Weather Tips

Image
Here we are in March, with the bulk of winter behind us and the hope of an early spring ahead!

Next week, we change the clocks to gain an extra hour of light after the work day. This should make it easier to get outside for some exercise.

I love outdoor activities, including cross country skiing, hiking, mountain biking in the summer, and fat biking in the winter. Of course, all of these things depend on the weather. Having the proper gear to deal with the climate is essential.

The heart of the winter and the heart of the summer are pretty easy to gear up for to enjoy a seasonal activity. You can usually adjust your clothing and gear for any condition.

It's the shoulder seasons that make outdoor fun a challenge or even limit your choices completely. Late fall and early spring are included.

During shoulder seasons you deal with mud, rain, sleet, ice, wind, and lack of snow, all of which can make any activity outside either unpleasant or downright impossible.

Here in Minnesota, it h…

Typecasting, Branding, and Branching Out!

I really enjoy the hit  TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

During Season 2, Episode 2,  entitled Thor , a well known actor is battling with finding work after starring in another series, Seinfeld.

Jason Alexander has been typecast as George Castanza, the bumbling character who never seems to get a break. In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, Larry David pitches a new show idea to Alexander about an actor who has been typecast (starring, of course, Alexander).

While the episode is a spoof, it highlights the very real problem actors face when a character they play very well starts to define them. Actors who are typecast can find it very difficult to find roles varied from their past performances.

Alexander became known as "George" despite being a gifted actor who is capable of many different types of roles. Unfortunately, his "brand" became "George".

Businesses, much like creatives like actors, painters, and writers, work hard to build a brand.

Bran…

To Cater

Image
cater
kay-ter
to provide food, service, etc., as for a party or wedding: to cater for a wedding.
We like to add "excellent" after the word "provide" in the definition!
There are lots of types of events we cater....we categorize them as eitherindividual events or business/organizationalevents.
Individual events include "life" events, such as:
Weddings Groom's Dinners Birthdays Anniversaries Showers Graduations Housewarmings Funerals (Life Celebrations)
Business/organizational events include corporate catering, school catering, church catering, such as:
Customer Appreciations Sales Goal Meetings Fellowship Gatherings Business Anniversaries Safety Meetings Tenant Appreciations Seminars Sports Banquets Awards Banquets Trade Shows Groundbreakings Fundraisers Union Events School Functions Holiday Celebrations
The possibilities are endless!
While we are well known as a pig roast caterer, specializing in barbecue catering, we offer a pretty wide variety of menus f…

Sweet!

There is an excellent article in the Star Tribune today about sweet potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes - A Winter Staple

Over our 36 years, regular potatoes have been a big part of our menu.  For decades, we have offered such favorites as Potato Salad, Au Gratin Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, and Mashed Potatoes.

These are fantastically popular, delicious side dishes that have been signature items for us. We are the first to acknowledge the effect butter and cheese, when added to any potato, have on our taste buds!
Cheesy potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. We  also know firsthand the love folks have for our dynamite Potato Salad!

We also acknowledge the recent rise in popularity, as mentioned in the above article, of sweet potatoes. So a few years back, we added them as a stand alone dish, the simple and tasty Mashed Sweet Potato, and combined them with regular potatoes and yukon gold potatoes to create what we call the Golden Harvest Medley. Both of these menu items also employ butter, sal…

Systems

Enjoying the outdoors and doing a great job catering a special event have something in common....both benefit from a systems approach.

The other day we got over a foot of fresh, powdery snow here in the Twin Cities.

Some of my favorite skiing is right after such a storm, and before the ski trails are groomed.

The day after the blizzard, I looked over my gear, and grabbed my skis, boots, poles, and gaiters, got dressed, and headed for Murphy Hanrehan Park in Savage/Prior Lake.

Murphy is a top pick for me whenever we get snow, as it is in thick woods, features a few lakes and many swamps, and is the hilliest system in the metro. You get it all at Murphy-challenge, scenery, seclusion- all of my favorite elements that combine for a great day on skis. As a bonus, Murphy also offers a lot of opportunity for wildlife viewing, or at the very least an abundance of tracks to test your scouting skills in the fresh snow.

I own what some describe as a "quiver" of skis. This means a set …