Archive for June, 2018

And Then There Were Two

June 17, 2018 Leave a comment

I have to admit, my job seems to be a little more stressful than normal.  Could it be that RJ hurt himself again?  Could it be that I have likely done more damage to my shoulder?  Could it be that we have lost another employee and have not filled the last vacated slot?  Could it be that we have created more events and have also booked more private events than normal?  Could it be that I have taken on additional responsibilities to ensure our business grows in the right direction?  Perhaps all of the above!

But yesterday was particularly an exacerbation of what I’m talking about.  Every year since 2011, we have had a pig roast on Father’s Day and for the last 5 years or so Cousin Kenny has prepared the pig for us and done a fabulous job!  At the end of the event, we always confirm with Kenny and his wife that they will be back again next year and last year as every year they are exuberant to be invited back.  That does not excuse us from confirming as the event gets closer because as we know sh*# happens.  So several weeks ago, our Tasting Room Manager tried calling Kenny and got no answer.  She tried several times during those weeks, so this week RJ also tried.  We have not reached panic mode yet, because we are sure we would have heard from them if there was a problem.

So starting Thursday (3 days before the event), I buy some of the other food and it begins to occur to me that we may not have a pig.  RJ calls again Thursday night to no avail.  My Mom jokingly suggests we may have to have Brats.  Funny Mom.  Panic is rising.  We have 50 or more paid reservations for the event and I have spent $250 so far.  On Friday, I go out to pick up the rest of the food that goes with the aforementioned pig while RJ researches Cousin Kenny on social media.  He finds a happy farmer’s market post.  Whew!  He’s alive.  But wait, that post is from 2015.  RJ’s looking for an address and when he can’t find that, he finds a reference on another site that Cousin Kenny is out of business.  I find an address and RJ runs over to their house.  They still live there but there is no sign of the pig roaster and trailer.  But he leaves a note just in case.

I lost it.  I just spent another $150.  I call in the staff to brainstorm.  Maybe I buy brats and buns (thanks, Mom for the idea) and we offer money back or the brats.  It’s an idea…not a great one, but an idea.  What?  One of our staff (JT; now known as our hero) is storing a pig roaster in his back yard and has experience roasting a pig and has a Food Handler’s permit.  What are the odds?  A small recovery is taking place.  Now, we just have to find a pig.  That can’t be easy at the last minute.  Just so happens, Carlton Farms, Gourmet Meats is 20 miles from here and still open.   They have a 67.5 pound pig but they don’t know how we’ll get it thawed in time.  We’ll figure it out.  After all, we’ve got ourselves this far.  We throw our huge cooler in the back of the SUV (barely fits) and head to Carlton Farms.  There’s our pig.  I pick up two different kinds of sauces while I’m there so we don’t have to come up with recipes for those.  JT has the marinating recipe already.  The pig is too pig for the cooler but rests nicely on top.  We’re still pondering on how to thaw it safely.  Google it!

Back to winery with pig in tow.  We pull up to our parking spot and RJ notices he has a message.  Kenny’s wife called and said, “Of course, we’re coming.  We look forward to it every year.  We just picked up our pig.”  Holy sh*#.  Now what to we do with our extra pig.  Fortunately, he fits in our side-by-side freezer vertically.  As to how we’re going to use it, that’s another chapter.


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