Ways & Means

This is something of an addendum to my previous post, which was pretty hazy and confused, but it got me thinking about some things that truly needed to be thunk!

The creation of a kitchen is a very complicated thing, and you have to really look at it from all angles before you can even get a rough sketch of the “terrain” if you will. In the last entry I was simply wandering in the woods, map-less, but I now have a simplified topographic of the place.

I began with the recipes and lists that had been prepared already, and tried to discern what was missing, the two elements that were most apparently absent were, a produce list, and soup recipes.

So I brought in a copy of all of the Diner soups, which interestingly enough (to me, at least) remained intact in their commercial yields. In my pursuit of putting together the Diner Cookbook, my biggest and most recent hang-up has been, breaking the yields down into house sized portions. I just never got around to it, due to the complexity and time-consuming nature of the project. And now, it seems that it has been in my best interest, that the recipes remain in their unadulterated, restaurant size and shape – which is exactly what we now need!

From there, the produce list was pretty easy, I just went through the recipes, jotted down all the veggies they called for, and then alphabetized the list. Then I typed it up in Excell, so I can make an ordering sheet of it later, and then printed up a copy to make notes on. I color coded which veggies can be dry-stored, and which need cold storage, and then I marked the cold veggies that are not already in the walk-in for the beverage bar. This ended up being; salad greens, bean sprouts, and scallions. Possibly mushrooms, but we’ll see. Point is, we were all worked up over how the cold-storage situation would work out, and it really doesn’t look like it’s going to be much of a problem after all…

Once I was feeling better about lists and such – I went into the kitchen itself. I started cleaning up the construction mess, and took a general mental inventory of space, equipment, and more specifically, utensils. We have acquired a good deal of second hand kitchen gear from two other delis that have gone under in the past year (yes, I know that sounds foreboding, but I really think their troubles came down to overhead, i.e. rent – which simply isn’t such an issue in our case, thank goodness!).  We have a surplus of spoons, ladles and knives, but no utensils for hot foods!

So again, back to the lists – pots, pans, high temp spatulas and metal spoons & ladles were all rough drafted and sent to the owners for review. The next big hurdle, as I see it, is staffing – hiring, training, and perhaps most of all, outlining shifts. We need to determine what our hours will be, both for service to the public, as well as opening and closing duties, and how long they will take. We also need to outline what duties will be done by whom, and when!

Ah, politics, you gotta love it.

So now you might not hear from me till post New-Years, hopefully I will have some free time before then, but there are certainly no guarantees!

Ciao, bella!

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