It's been a month since I "retired" and wrote about the free time I now have to craft and read and pursue other leisure activities. Sometimes things don't go according to plan. The month has been hectic and enjoyable, but there hasn't been as much time for leisure activities - including blogging - as I pictured.
Feeding a crew of 7 or 8 construction workers takes more time than I imagined. I take meals to the job site three or four days/week, depending on where they are working. I have an organized system for menu planning and shopping, and I try to spend one day preparing as many items as can be made in advance and frozen. The available options then go up on the menu board in the kitchen so I can easily see what's in the freezer and what I need to prepare last minute.
The hitch to this plan is that things change rapidly in the construction business, depending on weather. I rarely know more than a day in advance where, or if, I will be delivering, so I have to adapt quickly. The plan is to take the portable grill and serve burgers and brats, but the wind is blowing and I would be serving grit-burgers. It's raining at the planned job site, so we're moving to site B which requires more driving time. No time to make a salad that requires a lot of peeling and chopping. I need a quick dump-together option.
Then there is loading and clean-up! I keep a folding table, a small trash can/liners, and totes containing the necessities (hand soap, paper plates,etc.) in the back of my SUV. But each day, I load food, a pitcher of lemonade, serving utensils, and condiments. And what gets loaded has to be unloaded, leftovers stored and everything washed. Thank heaven for the dishwasher or I would be out of this business. Even with automated help, there are still pots, pans and large serving pieces that have to be done by hand. I try to limit how much disposable stuff we are using and throwing away every day, but I gave in and went to disposable pans for main dishes and desserts.
With the drive time and serving time, it takes a large chunk of my day, but the guys are so appreciative, that it's worth it. After several days on a distant site where they ate fast-food burgers every day, two employees requested, "Let's move to a project closer to home where Tami will feed us." No matter what I offer, it is always received with enthusiasm and gratitude.
Maybe I can blog from the job site.