Category: Catering

Catering

Savoury Crepes

6 April 2022
Savoury Crepes

Sports commentator and broadcaster Ian ‘Moose’ Abrahams has recently broke twitter with his latest weird food fetish tweet, about the filling he likes in his savoury crepes.

In the many years that we have been experienced crepe makers we have found that Nutella and strawberries or lemon and sugar are the top choices for sweet fillings and recently having offered savoury option cheese and ham or a tomato and pesto being the top choices there. Now the fillings are all down to personal choice and were not judging here however the twitter trolls have been out in full force judging poor Abrahams for having one particular savoury filling in his crepes.

TUNA!!! Is the culprit of the twitter agg!  So someone out there –perhaps some warped and weird cook – is out there cooking crepes and filling them with tinned tuna chunks and people like Abrahams is loving it.

I mean as I said before we don’t judge here and tuna chunks are nice aren’t they? But many of the social media population don’t agree. The Sports Commentator has attracted a lot of attention for sharing his love on savory crepes on twitter. Many people are angry, many concerned and many are relieved that they can finally admit the same.

One tweet read ‘Ian mate you need locking up for this’ whilst another quoted “That’s the sort of thing a stoned student would eat. What’s for second course? Porridge with cheese spread?”

Catering, Event Planning, funfair events

When The Fair Comes To Town

30 March 2022
Fair From The Air

Have you ever wondered about when the fair comes town. It suddenly appear on your doorstep, almost overnight in many cases?

The funfair owner just gets up one day and decides to come and set up in the park across from your house right?

Erm, no, not exactly. Most events are planned months in advance. Indeed many fairs follow a regular date, in some cases stretching back hundreds of years. They tend to be the culmination of much planning, regular meetings, inspections and so on.

We were responsible for a few years for the fairground supplied in conjunction with the summer festival at Gainsborough. I had happened across the event whilst passing through the town one summer day. I contacted the organisers about attending with some attractions at the following years event. This was politely declined, and I tried again the following year with a similar result. Out of the blue I received an email asking if I would like to supply a couple of candy floss and Popcorn stalls. So cue a meeting with the relevant people, a deal was agreed and I was asked to supply all of my safety documentation.

A few weeks later, again out of the blue, the organisers asked if I would be interested in supplying a full range of attractions. This meant another meeting and plans being discussed. This proceeded quite well, until it was pointed out that the council couldn’t agree this with us directly, it had to be put out to tender to a minimum of 3 operators.

All 3 of us submitted tenders, and eventually we were notified that we had been successful.

More Meetings

After receiving the green light, we submitted details of the actual line up we proposed along with safety documentation. Then the council Health & Safety team contacted us asking for an onsite meeting. Cue another trip to Gainsborough to talk through their concerns.

Full steam ahead now, or so we thought. Until we were informed that part of the car park could not be occupied. It turns out that a local solicitors needed 24hr access to their building. So this meant a rewrite of the plan, and some modification to the line up we were bringing.

The day before the event, we had to be in Gainsborough to oversee the setting up and siting of rides. We were obviously there for the day of the event. Also the day after to ensure we had cleaned the site up and caused no damage. Oh, and the organisers wanted a debriefing meeting to discuss any issues that had come up.

So you can see, far from just rolling up, we had not only to deal with numerous organisations and individuals at the planning stage. We also had to travel to Gainsborough a number of times, for in the end what was a 1 day event.

When the fair comes to town, its the result of a lot of hard work, before the rides even turn up.

Catering, Fun Story

New Service / Exotic Burgers

14 March 2022
Zebra turned

Take a walk on the wild side. Not your usual beef (now we have nothing against beef, and are very partial to a good juicy beef burger, but beef is a bit, erm vanilla). We now have a range of exotic wild meat burgers.

During the after Christmas part of the year, when our work load drops rapidly for a couple of months. We use the time for maintaining and refreshing our equipment. Improving what we do, and adding new lines to our services.

With the new found spirit of democracy permeating the business. We now hold group sessions to actually discuss things. Truth be told, I still prefer the old system of benevolent dictatorship, but I am co-operating at the minute.

In the interests of bringing you the tastiest burgers possible we undertook a series of ‘tastings’ to check out the potential contenders. Here is a round up of what the butcher told us, and what Emmerson and I thought of the meat.

Crocodile Burger

A Large Crocodile
The Raw Ingredients

Now I admit, this one is unusual, I mean, usually its the crocodile doing the eating.

They Said; This one has the look and texture of chicken with a bit of a shellfish taste to it.

Jason Said; This one wasn’t bad, it was more chicken like than beef, but had a faint tang of prawns in the aftertaste. Not my favourite, but edible.

Emmerson Said; Not a big fan, too fishy tasting for me.

Ostrich Burger

A flock of Ostriches
Birds, Rather Big Ones

Just in case you don’t know, an Ostrich is a bird. Now I know this conjures up images of a robin or something. That’s about as far away as you can get from this bird. Its big. Bloody big in fact, upto 9ft tall in some cases. It is also bloody heavy, weighing as much as 2 adult humans. Oh, and its also bloody fast. Reaching 40m.p.h in bursts and being able to maintain about 35 m.p.h over long distance runs. Makes you wonder how they catch the bloody things.

This one is quite healthy. Well, for meat. It is a red meat (ha, bet you were expecting white like a chicken, which is also a bird). It is lower in fat than beef and high in protein. During the mad cow disease days, or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy to give it its true title (for the record I can actually pronounce that). There were a number of initiatives to replace beef with ostrich, but it seemed to fizzle out after a couple of years.

They Said: A great healthy alternative, low in fat, high in protein and taste delicious

Jason Said; Weird being red meat, cos you really expect a bird to be white. Not bad, similar to beef.

Emmerson Said; I liked this one, not too strong a taste, but different.

Kangaroo Burger

A Kangaroo
Big Burger, Little Burger

Another iconic animal, hailing from the land down under. I know we all tend to think of them as cute and cuddly, but an Aussie friend tells me they are a real pest. Oh, and they are definitely not cuddly, being heavily muscled and potentially quite dangerous. Personally I voted against this one as it would feel too much like eating Skippy. (If you don’t know who Skippy is, ask your mum, or possibly grandma).

They Said: This one is a very tender, heavily flavoured meat.

Jason Said: I liked this a lot, a strong taste that stood out.

Emmerson Said:The bold earthy flavour definitely puts a bounce in your taste buds.

Wild Boar Burger

A Touch Larger Than A Pig

This one is another animal, that if you haven’t seen one tends to get associated with a pig. These can be huge. Like, massively huge. Weighing upto around 330kg (about 4 average sized humans). These can be aggressive, are heavily muscled and bloody heavy. There are plenty of documented cases of people being killed by boars.

They Said : A nutty, sweet flavour, but lower in fat than pork.

Jason Said: Another flavoursome meat that stood out.

Emmerson Said: Eatable, but not my favourite.

Now we also have another entry to the menu that has been democratically voted on. I wish to go on record as being dead against this one. But sadly, not everyone is as sensitive and deeply caring as me. This one is the;

Zebra Burger

Ziggy
Poor Ziggy

I think it smacks of cannibalism. We choose an anthropomorphic zebra for our company logo, then decide to eat him.

They Said; “This one has a subtle taste compared to the others”

Emmerson Said : the taste is similar to a beef burger but different , slightly disappointed the burger didn’t have the stripes in.

Jason Said : OH MY GOD! I can’t believe we just ate Ziggy!!!!

African Buffalo
African Buffalo

Buffalo

Weighing anything upto almost a ton. This is one big chunk of meat. Gawd knows how many burgers is walking around in this image.

They Said; A very health and tasty alternative to beef. The burger is high in nutrients such as protein.

Emmerson Said; Definite liked this, stronger than beef but very similar.

Jason Said; Loved this one, very beef tasting, but a stronger flavour.

If fancy a walk on the wild side and would like to book our Exotic Burgers Service, then check out our burger services.

Catering

History Of The Hamburger

10 January 2022

One of our most popular lines this summer has been the humble hamburger. Though perhaps humble is the wrong description given just how pervasive this simple dish is throughout much of the world. A staple of fast food establishments, and synonymous with American culture.

However have you ever given any thought to how we came to eat the dish and why it was called a hamburger.

Hamburg Germany Or USA

Like many things the origins are hotly disputed. The two main schools of thought are that the dish either came from the German city of Hamburg, or the good ole US of A.

The contender for the American side is that it was alternatively invented by Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, Fletcher Davis, or Louis Lassen, and with it being advertised in newspapers from New york to Hawaii since at least the 1890’s puts up a good claim.

The alternative argument postulates the invention of the Hamburgh Sausage in the Art Of Cookery Made Plain And Easy. A cookbook by Hannah Glasse published around 1747.

The burger gained national recognition throughout the States when they were offered at the 1904 St Louis World Fair, so it is an argument that will rumble on without conclusive proof for either claim.

White Castle

One of the earliest nationwide (USA) vendors was White Castle chain based in Wichita Kansas. They launched a square beef patty called a slider, which had 5 holes in each patty to relieve the necessity for flipping the burger over to cook both sides.

White Castle Sliders

Big Boy Burger

In 1937 Bob Wian created a double decker burger at his stand in California. It was called the Big Boy and would go on to become the name of his restaurant chain. They expanded nationally before gradually contracting, but a few do remain with the signature double deck hamburger.

McDonalds

Perhaps the most famous exponent of the burger world wide is the ubiquitous McDonalds. Originally established by the McDonalds brothers in 1940. The chain was eventually acquired by Ray Kroc who undertook a massive expansion which built the behemoth we know today.

BIg Mac

Along with Burger King, McDonalds dominate the market in the UK and USA. A number of local chains put a brave showing on, they are all only bit players in the market.

Crazy & Co.

Of course if you are planning an event and need burgers you can always have the burgers come to you. We offer a nice line in 100% beef patties, with cheese, salad and a range of gourmet toppings, basted in our special orange and cognac sauce and served in a brioche bun. Great for small events such as weddings or parties. But equally scalable to serve upto 2000 guests at major corporate events.

Catering, Fun Story, Funfair Rides

Popcorn Questions, FAQ’s

17 September 2021
Popcorn Bat Cave

Another of our favourite snacks, hot fresh popcorn. Answers to some of the questions we receive. If you have any others just add them in the comments and we will try and answer them for you.

How Was Popcorn Invented

The answer to that s lost in the mists of time. In 1948, in New Mexico, Herbert Dick and Earle Smith discovered small beads of corn, and popped kernels. This was inside a cave known as the Bat Cave. When they were tested with carbon dating, they were found to be 5600 years old!

The Aztec indians used popped corn, not only as food, but also to decorate clothing and ceremonial wear.

In north America, colonists were popping corn after adopting it from the native Indians. It was also used as a breakfast cereal with milk and sugar. By the 1800’s it was one of the most widely eaten snack foods.

Aztecs And Popcorn
Aztecs And Popcorn

How Does Popcorn Pop

The popcorn kernels contain a minute amount of water, surrounded by soft starch inside a hard shell. As it is heated up, the water expands and the pressure starts to build. This pressure builds against the hard outer shell, which eventually gives way. As it bursts the soft starch rapidly inflates turning the kernel inside out. The steam is released and the corn is popped, ready to eat.

Popcorn a Popping
Popcorn a Popping

Where Do Popcorn Kernels Come From

We have all eaten popcorn niblets, or corn on the cob. Turns out that doesn’t make popcorn. A particular species of maize called ‘Zea mays everta,’ is the only variety that pops. Though there are over 100 strains of this with different flavours. One strain produces the mushroom shaped popcorn, whilst another turns into the snowflake style, which tends to be the most popular for snacking.

Different Strains Of Popcorn
Different Strains Of Popcorn

Is Popcorn Bad For You

It’s low in fat and high in fibre. Really it is a healthy snack. BUT, as soon as you start adding butter, caramel, sugar, salt and toffee it ceases being healthy. So you could keep it as a natural healthy snack, but where is the fun in that. It should be slathered in butter, and sugar. Or if you are American or just plain weird, salt.

Are Popcorns Carbs

Yep definitely are. Around 74g in every 100g in fact. So definitely high on the scale.

Will Popcorn Help You Poop

As a matter of fact it will, it is high in fibre so it can provide relief from constipation. And it sure as hell will be a lot more pleasant than a suppository.

Plenty Of Popcorn Can Help Prevent This
Plenty Of Popcorn Can Help Prevent This

Is Popcorn Harmful To Cats

Popcorn itself isn’t no, but some of the additives and toppings may be, so before sharing with your feline friends it would be wise to check with your vet. The unpopped kernels can be harmful to their teeth, or even pose a choking hazard.

Catering, Fun Story

Doughnuts Questions, FAQ’s

17 August 2021
doughnuts

Another of our series answering some of the many questions we have received about doughnuts, that delicious fried treat so beloved of cops, well according to Hollywood anyways.

Do Doughnuts Make You Fat

If you eat one they wont, or even a few. If you eat loads everyday and dont work out then yes they probably will. All good things in moderation is the secret here.

Eating Doughnut Meme
Eating Doughnut Meme

Who Invented Doughnuts

Hanson Gregory, from America (obviously), claimed that he invented the ring doughnut aboard a trading ship in 1847. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with the greasy doughnuts twisted into various shapes and undercooked in the centre. So he punched a hole through them with the ships tin pepper box, to ensure they were cooked inside.

However a recipe book dating from 1800 written by the wife of Baron Thomas Dinsdale (English) lists a recipe for cooking dow nuts.

So take your pick.

Typical Ring Doughnut
Typical Ring Doughnut

Are Doughnuts Fried

Most of them yes. But, they can also be baked. THe baked ones tend to be more compact, but are equally delicious so there is no right and wrong to which type you prefer.

Are Doughnuts Always Round

The traditional doughnuts that we eat in the UK and North America are usually round. Either ring doughnuts with a hole in the middle. Or filled doughnuts which are a solid circle. But other countries have different styles. The Dutch Oliebollen is more of a ball. And a SPanish Churros is a long thin finger. Take a look at our feature on doughnuts of the world to see examples of what is out there.

Churros Fillings
Churros Fillings

Can Doughnuts Be Kept Overnight

Yep they certainly can, though they taste better hot and fresh. A tip is to stick jam filled doughnuts in the microwave for a minute, this warms them up and also makes them taste almost fresh again. However, beware. I once did this, and was interrupted by a phone call. After the call I hadn’t realised that they had been in for over five minutes. When I bit into one, a stream of superheated jam shot up a nostril and gave me severe burns.

Can Doughnuts Save The Planet

According to an economist called Kate Raworth they can. The explanation is a bit heavy for a nice simple FAQ like this, so check out the idea at source. Doughnut Economics.

Doughnut Economics
Doughnut Economics

Are Doughnuts Bad For You

Well they are if you superheat them in a microwave and then bite into the jam centre!

They do contain quite a lot of saturated fat, and sugar. So they are never going to be classed as healthy. But it could be argued that the pleasure gained from eating them is good for your mental health, so it kinda balances out a bit really.

Where Can I Buy Doughnuts Near Me

Asda, Tesco, sainsburys, Morrisons. Most of them sell premade doughnuts. They are not fresh and not hot so aren’t that good. Though we are partial to the Morrisons Jam ones, exploding versions excepted.

Boutique doughnut shops are springing up around the world, so there may be one near to you.

Or if you are holding an event such as a wedding or party, we can bring a hot fresh doughnut cart to you, free (to your guests) doughnuts all night. Hot, fresh, and slathered in sugar and Nutella.

Do Cops Really Like Doughnuts

Well, Hollywood reckos they do. And the stereotypical American cop lives solely on a diet of doughnuts, bagels and coffee. But seriously, who doesn’t love doughnuts would be a better question.

I guess there are people who don’t, but they are usually recaptured pretty quickly.

Officer Donut
Officer Donut

Are Doughnuts Bad For Dogs

They are not good for them. They contain sugars and fats which are harmful in large doses. The oli they are fried in can cause diarrhea. And some contain caffeine or chocolate which can be fatal.

Not The Best Plan
Not The Best Plan

What Is Correct Doughnut Or Donut

Well, the dictionary spelling is doughnut. Donut is a cut down simplified version created by our American brethren across the ocean. They seem to take delight in chopping sections out of words, and replacing the s with z. Or as they call it zee.

Don’t they realise we invented the bloody language. I think they changed everything after the War of Independence just to be awkward.

We love them really.

Catering, Event Planning, Fun Story, funfair events, Funfair Rides

Blast From The Past, A look Back At Our Old Blog

18 July 2021

Another selection of misadventures from our past history.

Keep Them Wheels Turning 2010

When we first started and was operating on a limited budget, we frequently had problems with equipment failures and vehicle breakdowns. As we grew and ended up in a position to buy better equipment, and also put back up systems in place we found that things seemed to run a lot more smoothly.

However the law of averages caught up with us the other day, we had quite a busy schedule, calling at a small village in Surrey to apply 125 chair covers and sashes and set up a chocolate fountain, then on to Sevenoaks to set a number of stalls and a couple of catering carts up, back to the first venue to drop two members of staff off, then I continued on to Walton on Thames to operate a candy floss and popcorn cart. As soon as I finished I derigged everything and shot back to the first venue with the intention of picking my staff up to travel home to Yorkshire, grab a couple of hours sleep, load the van up with the rest of the equipment for the Sevenoaks job and set back off down South.

Bang Goes The Tyre

Everything was going great guns when a bang, signalled that I had a tyre blown out, ‘great, just what I wanted on a lane in the middle of nowhere, a tyre change.’ In time I ended up wishing I was changing a tyre, because when I crawled under the back of the van I discovered the spare wheel missing (it was a hire van). I rang the owner and ot him out of bed, “ring the AA he said, the van is covered”, trouble is when I explained the problem they informed me that under their terms of service, not having a spare wheel meant that I wasn’t covered. Rang John again, “Ring a tyre firm he said and bill me”. An hour later after ringing every number I could find on the internet I rang John again. After an exchange of ideas, he informed me that he was setting off with a spare wheel, wonderful, the three of us only had to sit and wait in the van whilst John covered the 216 miles to us.

Now before John set off he had to nip up to our place and pick up the items I needed for the next day, this included a striker (test your strength machine). On our striker the base unit is made from 20mm steel plate to give it the weight needed to remain stationary whilst being hammered. The base unit is kept on a small set of wheel which allow it to be moved about the yard. When John and my other half lifted it into the van, John had not realised that the wheels were not part of the structure and left his fingers underneath when they dropped it into the back of the van. My wife rang me to tell me that John was running around the yard squealing about his fingers. She wasn’t in the mood for sympathy and told him that if he went to the hospital they would only tape his fingers up, and she offered to lend him a roll of tape to ensure he got on his way quicker.

When he arrived at our end the first thing he did was show me his fingers, which by then were black and blue and quite swollen. Bloody well serves him right for removing the spare wheel.

Squashed Fingers
Squashed Fingers

Mobile Bar Buzz 2010

We recently installed a bar at an event for a major motor industry manufacturer and a games console company. This was a pre paid job with us supplying a fixed package of drinks, including cocktails and one of our Jagermeister tap machines.

The event went stormingly with everyone in fancy dress and the room buzzing. Sabine Schmitz (the German female racing driver who raced Jeremy Clarkson around the Nurburgring race track, with Jeremy in a Jaguar S type, and Sabine in a Transit Van, she lost by only 9 seconds. Ms Schmitz and a cohort of German friends managed to consume our stocks of Jagermeister, before moving onto frozen Margarita cocktails with an added shot of Vodka, something our cocktail mixologist insisted you couldn’t do, but the Schmitz party proving you obviously could!

Our Mobile Bar
Our Mobile Bar

De Computer Sez So 2010

Quite often nowadays I don’t have time to keep this blog updated. Odd occasions I do have time I sometimes struggle for something newsworthy to write. Occasionally however something drops in my lap that I just have to put on here. I recently added a new van to our line up, and insured it with the company that insurers our other CItroen dispatch. In common with our other insurances we pay in a lump sum at the start of the insurance term. A couple of days ago the postman knocked on the door to deliver a registered letter from said company, upon opening it I read a formal notice that as I had not settled an outstanding amount they would be cancelling my insurance unless it was paid in the next 7 days. Now this puzzled me as I know I paid in full at the start of the policy term.

Upon reading further down the page, the amount outstanding was in large bold type to make it more noticable. It read that I owed them £0.00 that’s right Zero pounds and zero pence. I sent them a very nice email admitting that I owed this amount and asking if they would like a cheque for £0.00 or would they like it in cash in which case I would send them an empty envelope.

Amsterdam 2010

February, which is usually our quietest month (although this year turned out to be a busy one), saw us managing to fit a 3 day break to Amsterdam in. I have been there in the past both when I was single, and also spent part of my honeymoon there whilst touring Europe.

As is normal nowadays, everything was booked online a few weeks before, with the booking system informing me that actual airline tickets are no longer issued, we instead have E tickets. Anyway a couple of days before we were due to fly I discovered that my other half’s E ticket had been issued in her maiden name, and knowing that airlines are particularly picky about names since 9/11 I rang our carriers, KLM straight up. “No problem Mr Moody, said a pleasant Dutch voice, we can change names quite easily.” was followed by “Oh, sorry we can’t change your ticket”. Upon inquiring as to why, I was told that since I had booked them through a travel agent, the agent would have to make the name change request. I duly rang the agents to do this. (No problem Mr Moody, that’s quite easy, please hold the line”, was again followed by “Oh, we can’t do it”. The reason this time turned out to be the fact that it was Saturday, and the KLM office which deals with name changes doesn’t work weekends.

SO we ended up being told that we should get to the airport early, and the ticket desk there should change the name for us. On the morning we were flying we arrived bright and early only to be met with a queue of about 80 people! We informed an airport attendant of our predicament and asked if there was anyway of getting the ticket sorted sooner, upon asking to see our ticket, his reply was “I wouldn’t worry about your ticket mate, that flight was canceled last night”, turned out that the plane we were supposed to be on didn’t land because of fog.

Five bloody hours were in that queue for. Mid way through it the rumour seemed to be that the next available flight was the day after.Not wanting to lose a day of a short break, I got my laptop out, connected to KLM’s site and booked three seats on a later flight, reasoning that I would worry about refunds later. After booking the seats I was informed that I would have to pay for them at the ticket desk, so I would still have to stand in the bloody queue.

Anyway as we reached nearly to the front of the queue I discovered that the ticket agent was in fact booking people on the same plane I had just reserved 3 seats on, great it looked like I would have 6 seats on the flight, but at least one of the 6 would be in my wife’s current name. I duly reached the front of the queue to meet the ticket agent, a short stern faced lady who looked like she would make a good concentration camp guard in the movie industry.

I was just about to launch into a tirade about waiting 5 bloody hours and not being informed of cancelled flights when a young man dropped a bundle of papers on her desk and exclaimed innocently “These need taking care of when you get a minute”, the look she gave him would have welded steel from 40 paces, and her reply of “You know what you can do with those Stephen, shove them up your bloody arse!” seemed to modify my temper somewhat.

As she turned that steely gaze upon me I gave her my best smile, what I hoped was a slightly pleading look in my eyes, and informed her that not only did we need our flights sorting out, but my wife’s ticket was in the wrong name. Her eyes narrowed, her shoulders tightened and a visible shudder ran through her, taking a hold or herself she sighed loudly, stared towards the heavens, closed her eyes for a long moment then sorted everything out for us.

Amsterdam turned out much as I remember it, the Dutch must be the most laid back and pleasant race in Europe, and we spent a pleasant 3 days strolling around the city, with a short trip to the seaside town of Vollendam thrown in. THe first tram we boarded into the city centre, I asked the conductor for the price of the ticket (most locals use pre paid cards much like the oyster system in London), he just smiled and told me not to worry and get of when we were ready.

The next day having some experience of the tram system, we boarded the tram outside our hotel and I asked for 3 day passes. The lady conductor smiled sweetly and apologised for having run out of them. “It is not a problem”, she said, “Just buy them from a ticket machine when you get off”. Can you imagine that, over here it would go like this, “3 Day passes please”,
“Can’t do that mate I’ve run out”
“Oh, well can I buy them when I get off at the other end”
“No sorry can’t do that you need a ticket to travel”
“Oh well give me 3 tickets please”
“Sorry, just told you I’ve run out!”

Mid way through I had a headache coming on so thought I would nip into a chemist for some pain relief. What greeted me must have been one of the barest shelves of painkillers I have ever seen, about the size of a television set, it contained pretty much only what you could buy from a late night garage in this country. Upon inquiring about something a bit stronger I was informed that I would need a doctors prescription. “So let me get this straight,” I said, “I can walk into anyone of a million coffee shops and buy cannabis or marijuana, without any problems, but if I want something stronger than 400mg of Ibuprofen I need a prescription?”.
“That’s pretty much it”, replied the chemist.
“Strange country”,
“Yep” came the retort, along with that pleasant Dutch laid back smile.

Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Amsterdam Coffee Shops

Ready to come home, we reached Schipol airport, and found that they have a fully automated system to book in and be issued with your boarding card. I entered our E ticket number, only to learn that I was booked on the flight along with our daughter, but not my wife. It made me think of a recent case where an immigration official had waved his wife off at the airport in London, went back to work and added her to the known terrorist list of people banned from entering the UK, and then proceeded to live the single life until he was found out 4 years later, in the meantime his wife had spent 4 years stuck in Pakistan unable to find out why she wasn’t allowed to board a flight back to England!

As it turned out, because of the name change we had made at Bradford, my wife had received a separate reservation, which no one had bothered to inform me of.

If you missed them take a look at some of our other old stories here.

Catering, Event Planning, Fun Story

Candy Floss Questions, FAQ’s

11 July 2021

Over the years we have come across a multitude of questions about candy floss. Some are quite sensible, others belong in a joke book. We are going to look at, and try to answer some of our favourites.

Can Dogs Eat Candy Floss

Candy floss in itself isn’t harmful to a dog. It is basically pure sugar. However it will lead to a blood sugar spike, then subsequent drop, which isn’t the best thing for your pet. Because most breeds tend to be smaller than humans this will be more pronounced, and because dogs aren’t used to a sugar intake that high it amplifies the effect. So we wouldn’t recommend giving them more than a pinch of floss.

Dog Eating Floss
Dog Eating Floss

Who Invented Candy Floss

A dentist. No really, it was a dentist. To be fair, he wasn’t just a dentist. He was a political activist, invented a method to purify Nashville’s water supply, wrote children’s books and invented a lard substitute. William J Morrison really was a dentist. He didn’t invent candy floss per se. Cooks had been making spun sugar for hundreds of years. What he did invent was the electric candy floss machine. Or as he called it then fairy floss. This enables large quantities of floss to be made very quickly. Previously making spun sugar was a tedious affair, suitable for topping small cakes and the like.

He debuted his machine in 1904 at the St Louis World Fair. It was an instant success, he sold 68,655 boxes of the stuff at $0.25 a pop. That’s the equivalent of selling $500,000 worth allowing for inflation.

William J Morrison. The Cotton Candy King
William J Morrison. The Cotton Candy King

Why Do Some People Call It Cotton Candy

If you call it cotton candy you are most probably from North America. Which is a little strange, because they originally called it Fairy Floss. Sometime after thew switched to Cotton Candy. The Australians and New Zealanders still refer to it as Fairy Floss. Us Brits Candy Floss, The South Africans Tooth Floss, though the Afrikaners call it Spookasem (Ghosts Breath). The French barbe a papa (Daddy’s Beard), Dutch Suikerspin (Sugar Spider), and the Persians Pashmak (Wool Like).

So the name all depends on where you come from.

Is Candy Floss Bad For You

We once read that there are no poisonous substances, just poisonous doses. For instance, water is widely regarded as one of the healthiest things you can partake of. However drink too much and you die. Candy Floss is the same, sugar, pretty much all it is made of, other than a minute trace of colouring. Is one of the basic requirements for life. No sugar in your body and you end up dead. So a little candy floss won’t do you any harm. If you eat nothing but floss, then you will become really fat, lose most of your teeth, and can trigger sugar diabetes. So our tip is everything in moderation.

Can I make Candy Floss At Home

You certainly can, chefs have been making it for hundreds of years. A simple recipe is available here. You can also buy cheap little electric machines that make it in the same way as the commercial machines do. Truth be told they are not very good, but they do work well enough for a kids party or similar.

Home Candy Floss Machine
Home Candy Floss Machine

Does Candy Floss Go Off

Not really. Bacteria, which is usually responsible for food spoiling, doesn’t like sugar rich environments. This is why throughout history sugar has been used to preserve food. You can’t get much more sugar rich than candy floss. Additionally the heat generated to make the floss, around 186 Celsius. Makes sure that the floss is pretty much sterile as it is being made.

However, what does happen, is that the floss gradually absorbs moisture. This leads to it shrinking back into its sugar form, so after a while you end up with a coloured sugar lump instead of a bag of floss. Happily popping it in the freezer means it will last months. The best bit is, you can eat it straight from the freezer as it doesn’t actually freeze. The cold air doesn’t contain moisture so it extends the life.

When I was Younger I Was  A Candy Floss
When I was Younger I Was A Candy Floss

Is Candy Floss Halal

It can be. The ingredients are sugar, and basic colouring flavourings. Now sugar is just pure sugar so no problems there. The flavourings and colouring depends on what exactly is used. Red colour tends to contain the powdered shell of a species of beetle. Called cochineal it is a species native to North America. Alternatives are available, but if you want to be 100% sure then just eat white candy floss. That is made with nothing but sugar, and Silver Spoon brand is both halal and kosher.

This Little Guy Is Why Your Food Is Red
This Little Guy Is Why Your Food Is Red

Where Do I Buy Candy Floss Near Me

Any local funfair will sell floss. Many supermarkets have small tubs available. Or there are mail order sellers. If you are an adult then we can even sell you alcohol infused floss, in cocktail flavours.

Alcoholic Candy Floss
Alcoholic Candy Floss

How Is Candy Floss Made

A band of happy pixies live in the bottom of the machine, merrily knitting the sugar in to candy floss and pushing it through the little holes in the centre of the machine for the operator to collect with a stick.

Of course some people claim there is a scientific explanation, personally we like the one above, but if you are one of those boring grown ups who think magic isn’t real, here is an alternative explanation.

The sugar mixture is poured into a rotating drum. The high speed of the drum forces the mixture against a wire mess around the perimeter. This mesh is heated to 186 degree celsius. This heat breaks the bonds of the constituent molecules (carbon, oxygen and hydrogen C12H22O11).

The hydrogen and oxygen atoms form molecules of water, which instantly evaporate due to the intense heat. This leaves only carbon behind, which burns and begins to caramelise the sugar.

As it caramelises the liquid sugar is forced through the tiny holes in the mesh and solidify as they meet cooler air. As this is happening thousands of times a second. You get a mass of candy floss composed of these filaments which are just 50 microns in diameter.

Candy Floss Being Made
Candy Floss Being Made

Why Is Candy Floss Pink

Actually it isn’t. Pure candy floss is white. The only ingredient is sugar. For other colours of candy floss you add a tiny amount of colouring. So it can be pink, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple and so on. It tends to come out as pastel colours, so you dont really get a deep red, it comes out pink.

Does Candy Floss Have Gelatin In

As a general rule no it does not. But, you would need to know the food colouring ingredients list used to change it’s colour. There are literally hundreds of different food colourings out there, so some may contain gelatin. To be absolutely safe, eat white candy floss, as this is entirely pure sugar.

What Goes Well With Candy Floss

Far and away the most popular is popcorn. The two can be combined on a single cart and are ideal for weddings, parties or events.

Traditional Victorian Catering Cart
Catering, Event Planning, Fun Story, General

Crazy Catering Units From Around The World

25 June 2021

At one time, catering units, be they on the fairgrounds or at private events, tended to be basically a box. Nowadays however there are some really crazy catering units available, so that not only are you getting great food, you also get a centrepiece for your event.

We are going to take a look at some of the craziness out there, ranging from pizza’s being dispensed by fire engines, to something that looks like its driven straight off the set of Mad Max.

MAXImus MiniMUS

This is definitely one of our favourites. Resembling some post apocalyptic street food vendor that wouldn’t look out of placing serving a burger to Mad Max himself. Build to resemble a pig, with a snout and ears, it was built in 2009 for Kurt Beecher Dammeier, it took its name from the two ranges of food it served, one with a heavy sauce (MAXImus) and a lighter range (MiniMUS). Sadly from what we can see it appears to have closed down in 2017

Baby’s Badass Burgers

We love this concept, though with the way things seem to be going we are surprised it hasn’t been protested. Set up by an ex restaurateur and an event planner, this has a definite attractive lady vibe. With burger names such as Cover Girl, The Other Woman, She’s Smoking and The Good Wife, and Burger ‘Babes’ (attractive female serving staff), to spread the burger goodness. The company now has a number of franchised operations outside of it’s home of Los Angeles, so obviously it works well.

Snog Yoghurt

A natural frozen yoghurt dessert, sweetened with agave nectar and under 140 calories. What’s not to like. So when you need your first mobile store what immediately springs to mind. It’s obvious isn’t it, an ex London A.E.C. Routemaster bus. Built by a company specialising in luxury bus conversions, the original Snog bus opened in London’s Southbank in 2014.

Military Pizza Truck

Built into a 6 wheel drive, ex military truck, this is another candidate for catering in the Mad Max era. This one is kitted out as a pizza truck, but maintains it’s military colour scheme and feel. It’s also available for pretzels, popcorn and various other dessert options.

Space Shuttle Cafe

This one is an extreme conversion. TBH, I can’t see you getting this past the DVLA in this country. It is built to resemble the space shuttle, but it’s not a converted commercial vehicle as you would expect, no sir, this one is an actual Douglas DC-3 airplane fuselage, that has been fitted with running gear and an engine. It has a commercial kitchen and rest room built in.

Pizza Fire Engine

This is one of our favourites, so much so that we are actually carrying out a feasibility study to see if it’s something we can emulate for our own range of catering options. There are a number of versions plying their catering trade, including a couple of examples in good old Blighty. We particularly like the Company 77 effort, with a working water cannon (good for keeping the queue in order) and a photo booth built into the jump seat.

Airstream Catering Units

Originally built as caravans designed in America in the 1930’s. The sleek shape and highly polished aluminium finish is unmistakable. A number of companies make similar models, but Airstream is the oldest. For decades NASA used a modified Airstream trailer to transport astronauts to the launch pad. They have become increasingly popular for use as catering units both in the States and Europe.

Artisan Strawberries

Another one we really like the look of, we think it might be the shiny metallic finish, its just sooo nice. Dispensing the classic British summertime treat of strawberries and cream, along with bubbly for good measure. How can you go wrong.

Westport Flea Market Burger Van

Not strictly a burger van, this is more of a promotional item to advertise the Flea market Bar and Grill. But we included it just because of the sheer quirkiness, and the work that has gone into it.

Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill

Snowcat Burritos

If you happen to be skiing in the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, in Sierra Navada, and you are hungry. Then you are in luck, as they have a burrita stall built into an actual snowcat. Well, they actually have two, one serving burritos and the other Calzones. They are also planning to add churros with strawberries and cream.

Keep checking back as we will add more examples as we come across them.