My cousin Chris and his wife and family were in town for the Big10 10k race that was in Chicago this weekend. My Mom emailed my sister and I on Friday to see if we might be able to meet them for dinner Saturday night. My sister already had plans, but I realized it would make sense to just spend the night at my Mom’s house because of my market schedule. My Mom lives only about 5 minutes away from the Veggie Burger shop. So I packed my weekend bag on Friday night, went to bed at 9:45 to get up at 3:45.
It was a gorgeous weekend. Temps were in the low 80s – low humidity. The Glenview Market that I do every other Saturday was actually held across the street at Wagner Farm. I thought that it would be a good idea, since it’s a working farm and lots of families would be around. But the exact opposite happened. When we are across the street at the church parking lot, there is a traffic pattern and only really one way in and one way out. The customers are close enough to my tent that I can almost touch them.
I was right across from the main entrance of one of the farm buildings, but in this area, they only had about 5 tents, mine being one of them.
All the veggie stands were close together on the other side of the farm. Most people would take that path you see in the middle of the picture, walk towards the veggie stands, look our way and then continue on. And the traffic pattern that did come in front of my tent was like 20 feet away, so I felt like I was shouting the whole time “do you want to try a sample of a veggie burger? They are gluten free, dairy free and Vegan!”
And as I was setting up the burners, I turned the third burner on, when all of a sudden the temperature handle popped off, and I had propane on fire shooting up in the air about six feet. It all happened so fast and my only thought was “don’t burn the tent down!” I took my spatula, pushed the burner onto the ground and then got my water sanitation container and put the fire out.
I was disappointed in my $1,000 sale day, but when I talked to the owner, he knew that set up would be a tough sell, and the previous sales record for that set up was only $750, so I felt better about that. Before I knew it, I was done for the day and headed to my Mom’s house to shower, change and head downtown to meet up with my cousins family.
Don’t you love my Mom’s selfie she took on my phone?! My cousin and his family are very private about showing their kids on any kind of social media, so you’ll get a pizza pork picture. We met them at Giordano’s pizza. It’s been a while since I’ve had their pizza. I mean, I make so much pizza I don’t order it out very often, and if I do, it’s typically Lou Malnati’s – my favorite Chicago pizza.
I’d have to do a side by side comparison with Lou Malnati’s, but this was a damn good pizza. The crust was super crisp, the inside of the crust chewy and we don’t even have to talk about that glorious cheese, so we?!
It was great catching up with them. My cousin has a Big Green Egg and we were talking all things food. I may have to visit them some weekend so we can cook up a bunch of food
My Mom and I went back to her house, sat outside with a glass of wine, gabbed and watched the sunset before checking out the Olympics.
I was early to bed again on Saturday night, but it was nice not to have the 50 minute drive into work like I normally do. Thanks for letting me crash at your house Momma!
My Mom actually stopped stopped by the market and got a veggie burger wrap and actually loved it! She asked me what was good at the market, and I really couldn’t tell her. I am only familiar with the tents around me, and that’s about it. She got salmon, honey, cranberry jelly, peaches, tomatoes among other things. She saw me in action and asked “is it always this busy?” Yep! At that market I hardly ever get a break, which is a good thing. The time goes by so fast. I made $75 more than last weeks sales record – bam!
On the way back to the shop, Alberto and I had to stop at Restaurant Depot to pick up some stuff for the shop since it’s on our way back anyway. Holy cow you guys. Have you ever been to a restaurant supply store? I could have spent hours and hours at this place. Basically anything and everything you would need for a restaurant from cleaning supplies, pots and pans, produce, dairy, meat of all types. Amazing!
I stopped by my Mom’s on my way home to pick up my stuff, and to grab her gas grill. She’s only used it a handful of times and I haven’t had one since mine died last summer. We managed to squeeze it in my car and while it was a noisy ride home, it made it to my place in one piece. I had other plans for dinner though. My boss gave me a frozen chicken last week from a farm in Wisconsin, and I put it in my fridge to thaw on Friday knowing I was going to be grilling it up last night. I pulled it out, unwrapped it and realized the inside of the chicken was still frozen. Rats. Normally I wouldn’t care and would just cook it low and slow, but it was already going on 6:00 p.m., my coals on the Weber were not lighting at all (I was almost out of lighter fluid) and quickly went with Plan B. Grilled Bobak’s smoked sausage on Turano Bread rolls with sauerkraut, Plochman’s ragin’ mustard with tater tots on the side. This was a point killer meal at 16.5 points, but before that I’d only had an English muffin, two cheese sticks and a small piece of leftover pizza, so it’s all good. And I love how I used all these Chicago products!
As I was grilling the sausages, I looked over and realized the Weber grill coals finally caught, and when Jacob came outside he looked at both grills going and said “are we having people over?” It looked as if I were feeding a crowd!
I will leave you with cute dog pics. On Friday I looked over and Roman had his whole foot in his mouth!
And last week the dogs slept with me a couple nights in a row. I put them in my bedroom and Roman immediately jumped off the bed and just stared at the door, no matter how many times I tried to get him to come into bed. I finally asked “do you want to sleep with your Mom and Dad?” and his look is priceless! Needless to say, once Roman left, Rummy left too.
I have a long list of things to do. I still have lots of comments to respond to from last week about my job situation. I love the fact that you all think I have the skills and ability to start my own business, but doing so is way over my skies and I don’t have the business sense to make that a successful venture. I could not say it any better than my brother Charlie already has in a past comment he left a few months ago.
If I can answer on behalf of Biz on “why not just start your own business?” I would hazard to guess the answer is, “Because I want to work with food.” And if you’re the one in charge of everything you’ll soon find that the one and only thing you really wanted to do suddenly becomes just a sliver of your overall workload. Case in point, “he found that as his career as a chef progressed, the less cooking he ended up doing.”
If she gets a job in a kitchen somewhere, than in an instant: she’s in a kitchen and 100% doing what she set out to do. Mission accomplished!
If she starts her own business, then she’s got a TON of work to do before she’s in the kitchen. Ideally, she’d even work in a catering business first, to gain some experience. Then you need a business plan. You have to hire (and fire) people. You need equipment (both for cooking and for serving). Then there’s insurance, taxes, inspections, compliance, sales and marketing . . . I think by the time she actually got to start preparing food she’d be too tired.
And the biggest barrier? She doesn’t have a kitchen. So she’d either need to rent space in a commercial kitchen, or to do it at home: check for zoning approval with the city, have routine health inspections, likely set up a separate in-home commercial kitchen never used for personal use, comply with fire codes, and finally get licensed. I’m sure there are more things I’m not thinking of.
So this week will be interesting to see if I even get offered the position, and then I’ll have a lot of thinking to do before I make my decision. As always, I sincerely appreciate all your advice – it means the world to me!
Make it a great day!