Friday, January 26, 2007

Would You Eat Something With 10 Arms?

In the aftermath of last night's fancy dress party, there ended up being a lot of food left at work, today. I had my eye out for some fish, as they do fish and chips every Friday. Chef Anthony is back working with us, so he did his usual and gave me a nice piece of haddock for my lunch. Earlier in the day, there had been so much salad left from last night that Anthony told me to throw the leftovers from Thursday's salad bar away. I eyed a bucket of cut lettuce, which I thought would be great at my house. Anthony suggested that I take it home and that became the first swag for my stash, today.
I kept looking for left over fish to take home. Last Friday, I didn't get any, as the Head Chef, Gary, saved it all to make something out of it, on Monday. When lunch ended, I went scavenging for the remaining fish. Unable to find it, I did come across some left over fried calamari. For the uninitiated, calamari is, basically, squid. A squid is a torpedo-shaped sea creature, with ten tentacles. Some people get weirded out by what it is. Would you eat something that had ten arms? I would, cause it tastes great. A popular way to serve it is to cut the squid into rings, lightly batter them, then fry it. Then the calamari rings are dunked into tasty dipping sauce. As Richard loaded the calamari onto a trolley, to wheel into the plate wash room, and throw it down the waste disposal, I grabbed some, which was still warm. I dunked it into the tasty dipping sauce, which was like a Thai sweet chili, and savored the taste of the chewy little squid rings.
I continued with my work, which at that time includes collecting all the cast iron hot serving pots of food. I then separate the stuff that Gary wants saved from the stuff he wants thrown away. I went into the plate wash to get a trolley. When I entered the room, I saw that Richard hadn't gotten around to throwing away the calamari yet. Taking advantage of the situation, I grabbed the rest of the calamari and proceeded to dunk some in the dipping sauce. Always the party pooper, Richard grabbed the remaining dipping sauce and threw it away, probably to stop me from eating it. What a twat! It's not like this costs him anything and he doesn't seem interested in the calamari for himself. While collecting, I noticed a single piece of chocolate marshmallow nut cake left on the serving plate, all by itself. I rescued the cake, which was doomed to go down the waste disposal, saving it to take home.
While I am putting the food Gary wants saved into containers for storage, Gary comes by where I am working. He's read the blog I wrote, yesterday, about the fancy dress party. He's amused at how happy I was to take home so much free food. I told him how Richard deliberately threw away the dipping sauce I was using with the calamari. One of the chefs brings in a tray full of cooked rice for me to throw away. Gary asks me if I want to take some of the rice home. Hell yes! I grab one of the buckets we use to store food in and fill it with rice. While I am doing this, Gary goes away, then comes back with a tray full of lamb. "Do you want some lamb?" he asked. I pondered the problem of how to take it home. Gary suggested I put it I the bucket with my rice, but I declined, intending to fill the entire bucket with rice.
I had a brainstorm. "I'll wrap it in cling film," I said. As I am loading my bucket of rice, Gary disappears with the tray of cooked meat. He returns with several pieces wrapped in cling film. He'd done it for me. I added the full rice bucket and the lamb to my swag pile. Gary wandered off and left me working.
A little later, I am at the front of the kitchen when I spy the left over fish on a serving plate, parked where we leave the plates and dishes to go to the plate wash room. "What's happening with that?" I ask Gary.
"Take it home," Gary says, matter of factly. The fish gets added to my swag pile. After I am back in my work area, I hear Gary shout out, "J B, man...I've got a surprise for ya." He likes to call me, "J B." Gary walks into sight carrying a tray full of more left over calamari., complete with little dishes of dipping sauce. We both have a little, then he utters the now familiar mantra, "take it home."
"How am I going to carry this home?" I ask, with growing concern. In response, Gary points at a bucket. "I'm more worried about the dipping sauce," I advised.
Gray then brings me a black plastic dish of more dipping sauce and says, "wrap it in cling film."
Not wanting to miss out in the fun of giving me food, the Restaurant Manager, John, comes by and asks me to follow him. He leads me to one of the work surfaces in the kitchen. On it is a chopping board and some duck. John tells me I can take the remaining duck home. John's a good manager to work for. He looks a bit stern, but he's nice enough, once you get to know him. He tells me he wants to be mentioned in my blog, in exchange for giving me the duck. Deal! After I finish working, John offers me a permanent job, there, with a raise. I accept. Starting Monday, no more temp work. John's arranged things so I can still take off time to go to auditions and shoots. Finally, some things are going my way. I have a big audition in two weeks. Let's hope that goes my way, as well. I struggled out to my car with all the swag. I could have used ten arms myself, at that moment. I'll be eating well this weekend.


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