Sunday, March 25, 2012

cooking for the fire deparment

lieutenant dan (he he... i still laugh when i say that) invited me to cook for the greenfield fire department. talk about pressure! i spent hours menu planning for these guys. i knew it had to be good and there had to be a lot of it. the menu consisted of meatloaf with a beer gravy, homemade mac & cheese, creamed corn, jalapeno & cheddar biscuits and carrot cake. (yep, i baked.... ) here's just a few of these handsome men.

so nicole and i headed to the station around 2:00. i asked nicole if she was planning on helping me (she doesn't cook... ever). she replied that she would help if the task was simple enough. well here it is. the simple task of mixing cream cheese frosting for my yummy carrot cake. she told me to document it as it probably won't ever happen again. mission accomplished. best cream cheese frosting i've ever had.

the guys were not quite sure of me at first. one in particular went out of his way to make me feel at home. his name was tai. when i asked nicole if she knew how to cut the butter in the biscuit dough, he chimed in with "use the back of the fork!" i fell immediately in love with him. (in case you were wondering, nicole did not know what cutting in the butter meant so i had to do that).
i also took a special liking to brian. brian came into the kitchen while i was prepping the mac & cheese and asked, "wait, like you're cooking that from scratch? like cheese sauce and stuff?" i was so confused. he thought i would make a special trip to whip up a blue box of kraft? i don't think so.
after convincing him that i was in fact making homemade mac & cheese, i rolled up my sleeves and got to work. after a couple hours dinner was served to 15 hungry dudes. i sat next to scott. scott was great. he appreciated my meatloaf, which in turn, made me appreciate him. this is scott.

after scarfing down dinner and a hearty helping of carrot cake i peeked and saw this. this my friends, you will never, ever, see again. like a billion guys in the kitchen cleaning. they did all the dishes and then some. it was a dream come true.

funniest part of the day came immediately after this. i put my camera down and caught a glimpse of dave. dave had a quart of ice cream in front of him. i looked at him with confusion knowing we all had a very large meal complete with dessert. he responded with, "what?! don't judge me!". well then. i will not judge you dave. you go right on with your bad self.
aside from the grossness of their refrigerator i was truly impressed with the set up they had going on there. they had flour, vanilla and i think i caught a glimpse of garlic powder. they even had a lazy susan. the day was truly fantastic. i love cooking for people that appreciate it. i didn't have a chance, however, to tell them how much i appreciate them and the work they do everyday to keep our community safe. i hope fattening them up a bit showed just a token of that appreciation.

meatloaf & beer gravy
1 lb ground pork
1 1/2 lb ground sirloin
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 egg
1 small onion, minced
1 tbs tomato paste
3 tbs fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

beer gravy
2 c beef broth
1/4 c flour
1/2 amber beer (for the record i used o'douls for these guys knowing beer isn't necessarily welcome in the firehouse)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper 

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. combine all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl using your hands. be sure to break up the pork and sirloin.
3. form a "loaf" in a bread pan and bake for 45 min to 1 hour or until your meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
4. in the meantime prepare beer gravy by bringing beef broth to a boil in a saucepan.
5. combine beer and flour in a small bowl using a whisk. pour into saucepan with salt and pepper.
6. turn heat down to a simmer allowing gravy to thicken stirring often. (about 5 min)
7. pour gravy over meatloaf.

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