I am so excited. The old dryer died about 3 weeks ago. It and the washer were 15-year old cast-offs from the parsonage. They'd been stored in the basement. A damp basement - as they were rusted in the weirdest places. (Like the dryer door - inside). To say they were temperamental is to be understated. No matter what cycle you choose for the washer, it took 40 minutes for it to wash. Even on the "normal" cycle, medium load. Do you know how long 40 minutes is when you're trying to wash and dry 30-8x5 tablecloths? Of course, since the dryer would turn itself off from overheating while it dried the tablecloths, it didn't really matter it was taking 40 minutes for the wash cycle.
I hesitated to gripe. It's only in the last two years we had a washer and dryer. Before that - we had a "laundry service". And apparently that was the cook taking home the bar-back towels, dishtowels, aprons, and tablecloths Which was certainly NEVER going to happen with me. Rumors persisted about a professional laundry service prior to the laundry via cook ... but when I was using the kitchen I could only tell we had about 10 cleaning towels - and they were used OVER AND OVER AND OVER - because the laundry hadn't been delivered yet. (talk about nasty and non-sanitary)
So besides death of the dryer, WHY are we getting a new washer/dryer? (plus a lot of other things?) Because in the 3-months I've been managing the kitchen, I've MADE a profit. It sounds weird to me. I just thought I'd saved them money and stayed in the budget. But apparently they look at not being over budget AND having money leftover at the end of the year as "making money". Instead of contributing it back to the General Fund, they're willing to fund my "need" list for the kitchen.
Besides the normal maintenance budget I have another $3k to manage. Hence the new washer/dryer. And 10 quart mixer. Plus two new 6 foot shelving racks for badly needed storage and a 6 foot stainless-steel work table to hold the coffee and ice tea service and the mixer! I am SO excited.
Also? Numbers are funny, aren't they? (Well - to me they are). In February I'm going to make Orecchiette con broccoli. (First link is Italian, second is English). At the grocery store I can get the Orecchiette pasta on sale 2 lbs for $5.00. So for 10 lbs of pasta I'd be at $25.00. Sometimes our food purveyor has a better price than retail. I wrote and asked him for a price check. Then didn't hear from him for a few days. So I went to this great wholesale/retail place, Capri Flavors, last week. There, I was able to buy a CASE of the pasta for $29.00 dollars. (20 lbs, which is more than I need, but I'll use it up.) I went ahead and bought it. I was feeling like a bad steward of funds - because I was sure the "National Food Purveyor" was going to be cheaper than $1.49 a pound.
On Monday I got an eMail from said purveyor. I almost fell over in my office. $150 for 10 lbs of Orecchiette. Can you imagine??? Clearly I declined that offer.
So - go me. Saving money, coming in under budget, now if I can just get my hours down to 15/week, (hahahahhah) I'll be in good shape.
Speaking of "good shape" I had the best work crew last night. (plus a ridiculously easy menu). My friend Meg came in and helped me put together 4 Cowboy Casseroles (using leftover ham instead of sausage) to serve 100). While she did that I made 4 Orange Marmalade French Toast Casseroles. Then "Chef Dudley" arrived. He normally cooks the amazing Italian or French inspired Valentine's Day Musical Extravaganza meal for our church variety show. In two hours he quickly and efficiently helped me cook off 20 lbs of bacon and 24 lbs of sausage patties. (It's Pajama Night, I'm making breakfast for dinner, if you can't tell.) Then I quartered 20 lbs of oranges - and was done with all the prep work in 6 hours!
Finally today I'll make 300 pancakes which will be served with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and "fruit melody" (ie: frozen blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries). And of course regular and sugar free syrup.
Happy Food Wednesday everyone!