Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chowda'

Every year around this time, the school my kids attend has a huge fundraiser called “Marketfest/ Fall Fest.” (The name changed this year to Fall Fest, which I thought was a great idea) And every year, I make a copious amount of clam chowder to sell……. 48 gallons of clam chowder to be exact. It started 3 years ago when the task of making the chowder fell on various parents of the school. Each assigned parent made about a gallon of soup each, combined it all, and heated it up in the very small kitchen at the school. (That year I think we made about 10-12 gallons all together) I volunteered, being a chef, and they liked it so much, they asked me to take it on myself the following year. I usually get some of my vendors to donate product, and use my work kitchen to complete it, as the quantity necessary would take days to cook in my house kitchen. The three weeks prior to the event, one of my vendors, which I won’t name, but it rhymes with Wysco, informed me that they could donate all the items needed for the chowder, and it would be no problem. The week before the event, I called up my rep to confirm, and again, he said it would be no problem, and that I should get an order on Wednesday, so the items could piggy back on that order, and I would be able to start prep. Wednesday comes, and no product. I give my Wysco rep a call, and he says at that point, that they must reluctantly back out of the donation.
“Two f@#*ing days before my event? Are you f@#*ing kidding me? We give you half a million dollars every year in business, and you won’t swing a couple hundred of tax deductible dollars worth of product?”
I was pretty livid. After I slammed the phone down, I uncertainly tried to persuade a couple of my other vendors. My seafood rep, Metropolitan, and my brand new produce company, Hearn Kirkwood (we’ve only used them for about 3 weeks now) came to my aid and donated all of the items I needed. And what’s more, they shipped them all to me the very next day. A big thanks goes out to Anton at Metro, and Rick from Hearn Kirkwood for bailing me out, and taking up the slack for the jerk offs at Wysco.
I have to say, this year was the best year ever. Although, I worked a ridiculous amount of hours at work this week, and did not complete the chowder until 2:30 in the morning the day of, everything went off without a hitch. We sold all but about 8-10 gallons of chowder, which went to Cookie’s Kitchen, (they donated their time and all of the other food that was prepared and sold), and we made a good deal of money from all of the other events and sales. The kids had a great time. An athletic club down the street donated the use and labor for their rock wall, we had an Australian face painter doing all sorts of cool things, Master Lee of the A+ martial arts school did a fantastic demonstration along with his students. We had the steel drum musical stylings of a local reggae artist, Riley Hoffer came all the way from Arkansas to give a presentation on how kids can go “green.”
On a funny, side note, there was a guy who made a flourless chocolate cake for the bake sale, a school bake sale mind you, and demanded that we put a $100 price tag on it. He, supposedly, had a restaurant that closed a few years ago, that was a “Baltimore Institution,” and this was one of the most requested items on the menu. I wanted to tear it apart to see if a diamond was in there, or at least a kilo of cocaine or two. Come on, dude, are you serious? You better take that thing home and sell it on E-bay. I’m still waiting to see if it sold. With about an hour left in the event, we reduced all the bake sale and chowder prices to half price, but even then……… I don’t care if you flew all the way to Colombia to get heirloom mayan cacao beans………. If you immediately obtain total spiritual consciousness, after eating it…………If it’s 10 times better than sex…….No 8” bake sale cake is worth $100. Well, on second thought……. I might pay for that last one.
Anyway, an immense thank you goes out to all who volunteered precious time and goods to make this the best Marketfest/ Fall Fest ever. It was a great feeling to walk away feeling good about how everything went, albeit extremely tired and drained.
Now……… now comes the time for me to pass out.

1 comment:

Amit said...

U have discussed good topic about this festival.