Hawk's WebJournal

Doing what it takes to get the job done.

[sticky post]The Sticky Note:
Pembridge
emt_hawk
Hi. For one reason or another, you've reached my LJ.

I F-lock my posts, so if you want access to that section, I need a better reason than "Gee, I think you're cool. Or you talk about stuff that I want to spectate on." I also want to know who you are, because with some exceptions, such as the writers I follow, I know everyone here on a face-to-face basis.

Most of it is f-locked, because I talk about things that bother me or aren't for public consumption, like fire or ambulance stuff. I don't violate HIPPA, but at the same time I talk about my opinions, which may not match the truth. When that happens, I try to correct things.

If I talk about stuff that is f-locked, I'd appreciate it if you don't repost it without contacting me first.

Thanks for your patience,

--Hawk

Cooking Thoughts II:
Pembridge
emt_hawk
The experience.

When you go to a restaurant, even a greasy-spoon, typically what happens is you get seated, someone takes drink orders, and should introduce your waitron. You get menues at this point, you're left alone for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then someone comes back and takes your order.

You wait for your food, then it shows up. You start, and within a couple minutes of your starting to eat, your waitron/service staff should come back and make sure you're happy. If you're happy, then you should be left alone until you notify the staff that you're ready to talk to them, either to get the check, or to see about dessert.


When you come to an SCA event, you should know when the meals will be served, and where. You should know where to put your stuff, so it's not in the way. You should know if you will be able to drink your own alcohol, or not.

Your seats are up to you folks, sometimes there's a seating chart to write down where folks will be sitting, so there's the opportunity to dine as a household, or dine with folks you don't get to see that often. I need to remember to add this to how I'm preparing, because it will allow me to see where our special projects will be seated.

Once seated, service will begin. This is where I think I need to spend some time. I need a group of servers from Anglespur, I think, at some point. I need a front person, which will probably be me, and a group of people who are willing to serve the meals to the guests, more than be the guests. Because we have a 2+ hour break, it would be easier on them, than if we were pushing courses out, as we get them done. This practice *should* speed the dining experience, but I don't know. I need to look at other events as a guest and see what happens.

My goal is to get people the food, and then move them on to the next step, which, in Anglespur, is dancing, and Commedia, depending on the evening. The food should be an accent to, a part of, the rest of the evening, not the focal point. But at the same time, people have driven to your event, sometimes up to about 3 hours, or longer, depending. The premise is that they should not be disappointed because the food doesn't match their expectations. Fortunately the SCA members I know, most of them are not food-snobs. HOWEVER, just because they're not food snobs, doesn't mean that I can put out crappy food.

More to come.

--Hawk
Tags:

Cooking Thoughts:
Pembridge
emt_hawk
These are comparing modern Chefs vs Medieval Event-style cooking.

I have been watching "Chef's Table" on Netflix, or watching Tony Bourdain eat his way around the world, and I've been percolating thoughts about period cooking for large groups. These chef's are able to perform their art every day. I spend time not performing my art, because I put firehouse/ambulance first. Just the way it is. But that doesn't mean that I can't learn from these things. I have expectations of then trying to put on something that should start comparing to what these people are doing. What they're doing is neither hard, nor expensive, or they wouldn't be doing it. Don't get me wrong, these are very talented people. They are making a meal into art, where they will provide a tasting menu of 20 to 30 items, and you're expected to sit and eat this, over a two and a half to three hour period.

The first issue is that the "Brigade" style cooking, where things are handed down from a central authority, is not medieval. Napoleonic, but not Medieval. OK, that's not a problem, we can cope with that. It means that I need to re-examine how I'm presenting meals. Do i place a chicken, a roast bit of goat, and a meat-pie on the table all at the same time? That's more medieval, where a "feast" would be more inclined to have a wider variety of food items, for people to select what they like, from what's presented. I know I've beaten this to death, so I need to move on.

When I look at a hall of 50 people, I need to think about their experience. Do I present a soup-type dish in the pot, on a cart with people dragging the cart around, do we deliver a serving bowl of the dish, and let the patrons select their own portions, or do we deliver the soup, already plated on one of the firehouse soup plates? How do I deliver the bread for their course?

The pros and con's are both compelling. They address pricing and labor, which is the expensive part of any volunteer operation.

Pros:

  • It presents each person with a portion. This is good for portion control.
  • It relieves the issues of "does the patron have the correct gear to deal with this course?
  • It presents a consistent presentation/plating of whatever it is we're serving.


Cons:

  • The soup plates are often not as pretty as some folk's feast gear.
  • I have to plan to get the dishes washed between courses.
  • We have a culture that expects that they should bring their own feast gear, and use it.


We've been doing smaller courses as part of the menu for AD&D, but we're offering four courses throughout the day, each spaced two to two and a half hours apart. I don't believe that's medieval, but it answers the question of "what will we feed folks throughout the day?" I don't have to plan out a sideboard, nor do I have to worry about how the sideboard will be eaten. Will people pig out on the sideboard early, and be less hungry come dinner time?

I'm trying to get away from the buffet/DIY sort of experience that many feasts have become. How many times have you gone to a feast, only to hear the kitchen call for servers, one from each table, to come collect the next course? The folks at the event are our *guests*, and we need to treat them that way.

I'm contemplating holding a dinner, as a dry run for the feast, worked out in the kitchen and delivered and presented in a manner that I can not only control, but change/improve as we go. There are a lot of good cooks out there, and I think that enhancing the meal experience is going to be a difficult, but rewarding task. I want to create an environment where the cooks get the opportunity to try their hands at different dishes, and techniques, because many of the ways that we do things at home work acceptably at home, but not in a commercial kitchen at volumes that we're working on. For example, browning lamb dredged in flour. What's the best way to do this, so you don't burn the flour, and in doing so, spoil the stew? I know I need more time spent in the kitchen doing it, but I can't afford to be making three gallons of lamb stew every week and either eating only that, or throwing it away.

I also need to migrate to working by weight, not by volumes. I understand that the bakery environment works in a volume system, and I need to migrate to that for cooking other food.

More to come, as I think about it.

--Hawk
Tags:

So I'm watching a lot of Travel shows, including Bourdain's "The Layover"
Pembridge
emt_hawk
One of the things he keeps saying is that a city or location has a "low tolerance for bullshit."

I understand that LA/Hollywood must have a high tolerance for bullshit.

How many places have a tolerance for bullshit outside that? Most of the places in the real world, claim to have a low tolerance for bullshit.

Your mileage may vary.

--Hawk

Heartbleed Indicator for FF, Chrome, or Opera
Pembridge
emt_hawk
http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/04/17/netcraft-releases-heartbleed-indicator-for-chrome-firefox-and-opera.html

Identifies if the page you're trying to browse to has an old SSL certificate and could be heartbleed-infected.

--Hawk
Tags: ,

On Anime.
Pembridge
emt_hawk
We got a Roku box for our TV. It was a fixed price, and we get some free things to watch. I get Crunchyroll and another anime channel.

So I started up a spreadsheet/form input thingy that allows me to keep track of the shows I've watched. This way, when I trip over something, and I can't remember if I've seen it or not, I can go back through the log, and refresh my memory.

I mean, if I couldn't make it all the way through the first episode of something, why subject myself to that again.

--Hawk

Arisia
Pembridge
emt_hawk
Well, I'm at Arisia

-Hawk


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Tags: ,

Internet issues.
Pembridge
emt_hawk
Is anyone besides me having server reset issues when they attempt to refresh their LJ page?

--Hawk

Ow.
Pembridge
emt_hawk

So today was fight practice.  No surprise, if you've been following this at all, you've probably noticed the pattern,  Sundays are fight practice.

Today, I began with strapped round-shield.  Not my favorite, to say the least.  I would rather have a center-grip round than a strapped round.  I am going to make one, once I have more of the other projects completed.

Projects include new helmets for fight practice, repairing the helmets that aren't crap, and making Mike a new pair of bazebunds out of the pattern that T gave me.  They also include a new body armor for me, preferably one that doesn't require an assistant to get into and out of.  I will eventually replace all the mild steel left in my kit with stainless steel objects, because I'm tired of rust or maintenance.

I began with a flat-strapped round shield, and demonstrated that yes it's a shield, I can do OK with a shield.  Then I changed over to heater shield and fought that for a while, against Carl.  The objective was to teach him that he needs to make his opponent move his shield around.  Tactics of mistake, as Donal Grame once said, IIRC.

I spent some time working with the newbies, from the outside.  I have one who's never had any physical activity in his life, and he's... different.  He'll require more effort.  The other one I'm not reaching, but we'll get there.  I have a stick, we can correct wrong behavior, and reward correct behavior.  :)  Skinner would be so proud!  :)

Right now my right index finger is aching, and I don't know if it's from mousing or from fighting, so I'll drug the hell out of it, and go from there.

Have a good night!

--Hawk


EMT Recert
gear
emt_hawk
Well, that's over.  Took the test.  Now to wait 6 weeks for the results.

--Hawk
Tags: