Friday, March 31, 2006

Peaks and Valleys on the food front all of a sudden

Our chef -- God be good to him -- has been on an upward quality curve these past few months. The meals we've been getting in the Local Government canteen are improved ten-fold over what used to be proffered. I think the new management changes there have brought the standard right up. Although in some areas there is always room for improvement.

Because of various problems with the cooker at home, I tend to have a brunch at work now around mid-morning. This means that I have been paying closer attention to the food on offer than I might otherwise. The scones, for example, come in at least two varieties. One is your plain, slightly soda-ish type and the other has some cherries through it. They also appear to have grown to the size of half a loaf, as if a bit too much yeast was added. The difficulty in eating them is the same as in trying to get one's mouth around a squash ball. The effect is the same. I have personally caused at least three fellow employees to have to take evasive action as pieces of cherry scone have richocheted off the ceiling and pinged, rattling, into the light fittings.

"Sorry! Cherry scone!"

They nod in understanding.

The heating apparatus used to keep this confectionary warm consists of a catering pan over a water boiler. This does the task, but sets the outer layer of the ball of dough into a concretion that defies the sharpest teeth. I nearly put my eye out tapping a butter knife off the surface experiementally only yesterday.

Dinnertime is when our catering people shine, however. Wonderfully expressive concoctions from bacon and cabbage for our country-born colleagues to exotic Mexican dishes which come with a verbal health warning to every customer are followed by traditional bread-and-butter puddings, or crumbles, or custards.

Everything was fine with this until Barbara sat down at our table yesterday with a giant panini which had been assembled by a team of architects rather than served.

"You'll never fit that into your mouth."

"You'd be surprised," she said, yanking at serviettes and wrapping it up in swaddling clothes. Her progress was hindered when the whole thing fell assunder and she discovered a large hole in the panini bread that spilled the contents onto the plate and table top.

Just as we were marvelling that so many swear words were known to such an otherwise serene young lady, our reveries were interrupted by an Environmental Health Officer leaping backwards from his plate at the next table.

"What the HELL is that...!!!???" he shouted, peering over the back of his chair.

"I think it's called 'Brie'..."

He poked it suspiciously with the tip of his fork. It looked like it had been hiding inside the grated carrots in the salad for some dangerous purpose. Ambush, possibly.

"I think it's off," he said, sticking it closer to his nose.

We passed the object about the table on a side-platter. I declined the scratch 'n' sniff experiment.

When I left them, they were thinking about teapots. Tsk, tsk!


Anonymous said...

It's worth a laugh to go to your canteen then ? *S*

Anonymous said...

Well done Willie!

Good to see you are contributing to the ICP2002 board again. Somebody has to! :)

See ya around