Category: Fun Story

Catering, Equipment, Event Planning, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Food Trucks From CRAZY & Co.

22 September 2022
Our Horsebox Food Truck before And After

Vintage Horsebox

Next up in our new range of food trucks is our converted horse box. We looked at a wide range of converted horse trailers, but were never 100% happy with the design. We happened by chance upon a maker called Sinclair, long defunct, but their trailers were different as they had a curved front panel rather than the usual triangular style.

After much searching we located one at the other end of the country, a brief conversation and we were told that it is perfect, ready for the road.

Cue and early morning trip to Bournemouth. On arrival, the rather vacant sounding young man informed us that actually the lights don’t work. Hmm, so not quite road worthy then. Luckily I had the foresight to throw a lighboard in.

However upon examining the trailer we discovered that it had four different sized wheels.

“Tell you what mate, I’ll ring the boss and tell her about the trailer and let you know”

Check out our other food trucks.

Knutsford

Luckily I had a back up plan, I had found another trailer at Knutsford, only about 100 miles out of our way on the return trip lol, and this one was described as ‘mint’.

We duly arrived at Knutsford. The trailer was far from mint, but it was suitable for what we wanted. We struck a deal, coupled up and discovered that a short on the trailer lights had blew the lights on the van. That turned into a whole other saga as changing the fuse necessitated a full strip down of the dash to reach the bloody thing.

But I digress, we set off home sans lights. On the way we did receive a text message from the first seller asking when we would be returning for the first trailer. FFS, we left there 7 hours ago.

Not Quite Mint, But Useable or What We Wanted
The Initial Strip Down

After careful consideration we decided that rather than doing what most people seem to do, a quick coat of brush paint and throw some counters in, we decided to make it something nice.

So we started with a complete strip down to the bare frames, leaving my other half to retort, all you have actually bought is a bloody frame!

Taking it back to bare metal we primed everything with rustcoat, then coated the entire frame with black Raptor, one of our favourite products. This gives a hard wearing textured finish that protects everything and covers amazingly well.

New Flooring

One of the concerns the health inspector had was that the original floor would contain years of horse urine soaked into the wood. No probs, as we stripped and burned the original wood flooring and binned the rubber coating.

A new wood floor was fitted, two coats of stain to seal it, then a new rubber coating.

Fitting A New Floor

Big Decision, Wooden Cladding

One of the major decisions was how we were going to finish the exterior. The original wood was a high grade hardwood, but because all the screws and bolts were seized in, we pretty much destroyed it taking it off. A trip to our local wood guys yard and a look through his collection of woods saw us settling on Sapele. A tropical hardwood that is related to mahogany, and is a fabulous colour, ranging from red to golden brown.

We used a soak in wood treatment on all the panels, then a number of coats of satin varnish, as we didn’t want an overly glossy look to the trailer.

We also settled on a satin black for the fibreglass roof and aluminium corner panels. Again, we wanted a less shiny look, though I admit the satin clearcoat was a nightmare to spray without it looking patchy. In the end after numerous attempts I gave up. But curiously, after a couple of weeks the patches disappeared and a uniform coating appeared????

Front Panels

The front corner panels were steel, they were overly heavy and badly rusted, so we replaced them with three mm aluminium. In retrospect two mm might have been sufficient as the three really took some bending.

Making It Different

We wanted a different look to the usual horse trailers, and I freely admit that we had seen an American horse trailer that we loved, so we used that for inspiration. One of the things we added to achieve this different look was a number of windows, both to let light into the trailer, and to add some visual appeal.

On To The Interior

Finally we got started with the interior. A number of steel frames were built in situ, with sapele front panels added and temporary countertops in MDF. A water tank, water heater and waste system, single and three phase electrics and a cooking fume extraction system. Also in common with our other food trucks we added a 42 inch display for menus and such.

The interior corners we added alternating sapele and idigbo strips to add some visual effect.

Another Of Our Food Trucks Almost Finished

Our programmable light panel.

We added decorative copper panels to the exterior and additional windows to the front. Just waiting on the production of our top sign at this point.

Horse Box Catering Trailer, another of our food trucks

Sign finished and fitted

Equipment, Fun Story, Manufacturer Profile

Wisdom Rides Of America

18 September 2022
Wisdom Rides Logo

Continuing our look at some of the world’s ride manufacturers, we come to Wisdom Rides, one of, if not the largest ride manufacturer in the U.S.A.

Like many ride builders, Wisdom can trace it’s history back to being operators rather than builders. R.T. Dowis, the Great Grandfather of the current generation of the family originally purchased a ride to travel the carnival circuit in Colorado, Nebraska and the other Plains states, all by rail at the time. In an interview his Gt Granddaughter laughed when she said I would have loved to have seen his wife’s face when he walked in and said ‘Guess what I just bought honey!”

Moving To Manufacturing

Jerry Wisdom married Elaine Osborn, the founders granddaughter, giving up the chance to play professional football (Not what we and the rest of the world call football, but that strange American game where they use their hands more than their feet). Jerry being a handy engineer, was interested in the workings of the rides the family were travelling.

During some down time he stripped the ferris wheel down, redesigned it and created something that folded rather than disassembled. This resulted in the set up time going from five to six hours for five men, to around an hour and a half for two to three men. A massive saving when help is becoming scarcer.

Ferris Wheel Prototype From Wisdom Rides
Not the wheel in question, but the prototype for a new travelling model wheel

Jerry took over the family carnival business in 1963 and set about updating and modernising the rides. A big part of this was trailer mounting making them easier and quicker to set up and tear down.

By 1969, manufacturing and mounting rides on trailers had become a bigger part of the business. Leading to the carnival side being sold off to concentrate on the manufacturing side of things.

From A Scrambler To A Sizzler

It was 1970 when things took off for Wisdom. They had bought the rights to a ride called the Scrambler, what we tend to call a twist. They redesigned it and produced a new version known as the Sizzler. Which was a major hit on the carnival circuit.

Wisdom Rides Sizzler Ride
Sizzler Ride

This successful ride helped fund Wisdom’s expansion into a catalogue of around 40 different attractions that they build today. One of their major claims to fame is that they have built more roller coaster type rides than any other company in the country.

Wisdom Dragon Roller Coaster
Wisdom Dragon Coaster

Resources:

Wisdom Rides

Catering, Equipment, Fun Story

Citroen 2CV Deux Chevaux

13 September 2022
Citroen 2CV Car

Over the years, Citroen, the French Automobile manufacturer has stood out for doing things its own way. It has designed and utilised a number of systems for its cars different to anyone else. WIth it’s DS model in 1955 it gave the world a quirky hydraulic suspension system, swivelling headlights, a single spoke steering wheel, all wrapped up in a quirky streamlined body. Withs its 2CV, it gave something else.

One quirky car, the Citroen DS
Citroen DS

A Legend Is Born

Post war France, like many nations was struggling with austerity, rebuilding, the after effects of that cataclysmic conflict. At the time in the Gallic nation, most people were still using horses and carts. The roads in most of the country were rural and unpaved.

 Citroën Vice-President Pierre Boulanger wanted to design a vehicle that would be suitable for the many French farmers. Legend has it that the car he came up with was designed to allow a farmer to cross a ploughed field with a basket full of eggs, without them breaking.

Whether that was true or just an apocryphal story is open to debate. Either way the car features an unusual suspension set up, with a single horizontally mounted spring connected to both front and back wheels via shock absorbers, also mounted horizontally.

Suspension Diagram for 2CV
2CV Suspension

The Tin Snail

The novel suspension system was wrapped up in a simple tin body, corrugated for strength, whilst keeping the weight down, the car had a full length canvas roof, and has received a number of less than flattering names. An Umbrella On Wheels, The Duck, Tin Snail. Powering this new Citroen, was an air cooled, two cylinder boxer engine. Initially around 375 with a stunning 9HP. This was increased first to 425cc with 12.5 HP and then to 602 and 32 horses.

2CV Air Cooled 2 Cylinder Boxer Engine
The Mighty 2CV Engine

To keep costs down it came with no locks on the doors, a single taillight and no heating or ventilation system. Subject to much derision by the motoring press at launch, Citroen was flooded with customer orders, indeed at one point a second hand 2CV was more expensive than a new one due to the waiting list.

Early model 2CV
Early 2CV

3.8 Million

The motoring press got it wrong. Citroen sold 3.8 million of these little quirky cars, and it kept selling for over 40 years.

The car gradually became more ‘luxurious’ over the years, receiving upgrades such as wing mirrors, and two headlights. There was even a 4×4 version called the Sahara. True to form whilst everyone else in the automobile universe added a transfer box to split power between the front and back wheels, Citroen added a second engine in the boot to drive the back wheels. The car could run on front or back engines, or both, with two keys and starter buttons in the cabin, but a single linked gearstick, and two petrol tanks, one under each front seat, with holes in the doors for the filler caps.

 Sahara Rear Engine
Rear Engine In A Sahara

Citroen Fourgonnette

Now you might wonder why a blog about a catering company has an article on a primitive French car? It’s simple really, the French didn’t just make the 2CV as a car, they also made a van version called the Fourgonnette. This was rapidly adopted by everyone from the local florist, to the French Post Office.

It has also been adopted by us. Well, not technically a 2CV van, but rather an Acadiane van. Basically this is a 2CV running gear and engine, with a slightly modernised cabin added. So instead of the single round headlights, you get a more modern streamlined wing mounted light. It is also slightly more powerful, and is based on the Dyane car, itself basically a facelifted 2CV.

Acadiane Van

This, like the rest of our fleet of food trucks, will be designed for multi use. From an espresso coffee bar, to a frozen yoghurt dispensary. Over the coming weeks we will post some more details as it is fitted out ready for launch.

Fun Story

7 Ideas to Help Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

21 April 2022
7 Ideas to Help Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

When you feel that urge to snack on something sweet, you know you’re in for a rough few hours. Sugar cravings can hit anytime, anywhere, and they can be intense. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips or cookies, try satisfying your sweet tooth with these helpful tips and helpful foods. Predominantly, when people say they have a sweet tooth, they mean that it is an intense and persistent craving for a sweet substance. Fortunately, you can healthily satisfy your sweet tooth, even by making small changes. Here are some helpful tips to help you do just that.

1. Eat a Piece of Chocolate

Foods are supposed to be enjoyed and part of an enjoyable meal. Chocolate is often enjoyed as a dessert and fruit or other healthy foods. If you do not enjoy sweet treats, you can always enjoy them in small amounts throughout the day rather than eating one big piece or bar of chocolate. You can also try eating dark chocolate, which contains more beneficial nutrients than milk chocolate and is known to help with weight loss and heart health. Ultra-chocolate brownies are also a healthier alternative to other sweet treats. Also, homemade brownies are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the high sugar content of store-bought desserts and are often healthier.

2. Snack on Fresh Fruit

If you have a sweet tooth, you must eat a healthy diet. Your body is made up of important nutrients and minerals, but it’s also made up of sugar. Sugar is an important nutrient for your body, but too much sugar can cause many problems for the body, like weight gain and heart disease. Eating healthy foods like fruit can help satisfy your sweet tooth without causing these problems. Eating fresh fruit will provide you with some nutrients and minerals to keep yourself healthy. It would help if you tried to eat fruits at least twice a day because they are so good for your body and delicious.

3. Drink Water

All kinds of things can cause your sweet tooth to go away, but nothing works better when it comes to water. The first step is to get yourself a water bottle and drink it all day long. Drinking water will help you feel full, so you won’t feel that intense urge to eat sweets. In addition, it will keep your body hydrated, which is important if you’re trying to lose weight.

4. Freeze Your Grapes

If you have a sweet tooth and try to appease it, the best thing you can do is freeze some grapes. If you don’t like the taste of frozen grapes, try eating them after they’ve thawed or try them with a little bit of sugar. You can also try freezing strawberries and eat them as ice cream or add them to your smoothies. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, try eating some fresh fruit instead of sugary treats.

5. Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth regularly is a great way to help keep your mouth healthy and clean. It also helps to remove plaque, a sticky substance that can cause dental problems. It is also a good idea to floss daily to prevent gum disease. In addition, flossing helps to remove the debris that can build up around your teeth, and it will help you keep them clean and healthy.

6. Sample Some Ice Cream

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, try some ice cream. You can choose from various flavours and types of ice cream, so there is bound to be something that will suit your tastes. When you sample some ice cream, you will notice how good it is. You will also get to try some new flavors that you may not have tried before. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth healthily, try sampling some ice cream.

7. Eat a Dried Date

Dried dates are an excellent choice for people with a sweet tooth because of their high fiber content. Eating dried dates will keep your blood sugar levels steady, which will prevent you from having cravings for sweets. Dried dates are a great choice if you like to snack on nuts since they have the same crunchy texture as nuts. These tiny fruits are packed with nutrients and contain a healthy amount of fiber, so many people choose them to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Conclusion

The above tips are great ways to satisfy your sweet tooth healthily. Although you may feel tempted to eat sweets, you can always choose to satisfy your sweet tooth healthily. It is good to know that you can make healthy choices for your sweet tooth and have some fun. Hopefully, the above tips will help you have a happy and healthy sweet tooth.

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.

Fun Story

Crazy & Co.’s New Coffee Blend

5 March 2022
CRAZY & Co Own Label Coffee

Of the many different catering options we offer, the favourite amongst our own staff are our Barista coffee carts. We are all definitely coffee aficionados. In fact a funny anecdote is that the managing directors stubborn little sod daughter has overtaken the elders on the team and fast become the best barista much to the annoyance of her father. (The last paragraph was written by said stubborn little sod).

Over the years we have used a number of different coffee blends. To be truthful, the vast majority of people can’t really differentiate the subtle differences between many blends. Equally, most commercial blends are so similar in the beans they use and the roasting process that there isn’t really much of a difference anyway.

We decided to come up with a blend all of our own, obviously it needed to be commercial enough to please our clients, but equally we wanted it ’boutique’ enough to please us.

Small Boutique Roasters

After much searching we hit upon a company that was not only fairly local to us, but would work on producing a blend to suit our requirements. After taste testing a number of offerings we finally all agreed upon the ‘one’. Well, in this case it was the ‘three’, as a stubborn little sod on the firm wouldn’t agree to the majority choice, and it was felt that we should also offer a darker roast.

Steppenhengst

So can we introduce our new in house coffee blends, Steppenhengst, a Brazilian blend made with 100% Arabica beans (we have nothing against Robusta, but find that on the whole we prefer Arabica), this one has notes of Caramel, peanuts and chocolate.

Steppenhengst Coffee Blend
Steppenhengst Coffee Blend

Hoof Rot

Our second choice of coffee blend is the charmingly entitled HoofRot. Hey, one of the drawbacks of democracy is that we actually have to give other staff members a say in choosing names. This time its a Columbian roast (yes they grow rather good coffee, as well as other ahem stimulants), a nice blend of vanilla, butterscotch and chocolate notes, it tastes better than it sounds.

Hoof Rot Coffee Blend
Hoof Rot Coffee Blend

Zucking Febra

Our final concoction is one you don’t want to pronounce after over imbibing the alcohol. This one is a Robusta/Arabica blend, but a darker roast than the others. With notes of Toffee, Cocoa and spices this is a blend of Brazilian and Ethiopian beans, and a stronger tasting brew than the others. That could be the Robusta making its presence known or simply it being a darker roast.

Zucking Febra Coffee Bland
Zucking Febra Coffee Bland

Weird Coffee

Many people drift through life thinking Nescafe instant is the epitome of coffee evolution. Whilst other connoisseurs can tell you the origin of a bean from a single sip. An interesting theory evinced in a book from Stewart Lee Allen entitled Devil’s Cup postulates that the explosion in creativity and advancement of the human race can be attributed to the stimulant properties of the brew.

The Devil’s Cup

It provides an interesting take on the history and development of coffee throughout the ages. And indeed at one time coffee houses were hotbeds of intrigue, insurrection and business development. The famous Lloyds of London insurance company actually started in a coffee house. Coffee is a heck of a complex subject once you start delving beneath the surface of your usual instant/Starbucks or whatever blend. There is a vast range of blends, strengths, roasts etc. as well as some pretty way out coffees.

Kopi Luwak

One of the stranger coffee blends out there. Little cat like creatures called civets eat the ripened coffee cherries. These are digested, stripping certain enzymes from the coffee bean during the process and then pooped out. These are collected and processed the usual way resulting in a coffee claimed to be almost chocolate like, with much of the usual bitterness removed. In honesty, having tasted it, I can attest to it being a fabulous tasting coffee.

What I would like to know though, is who exactly, whilst wandering the highlands of Indonesia, happened upon a pile of Civet shit, and thought I know, I will search through it to see if there is anything useful in there. And having noticed the undigested beans, promptly thought wow, I bet they are ever so tasty if I roast them and make coffee!

Monkey Spit Coffee

Another of the sounds disgusting, but supposedly tastes nice blends. Just as it sounds, the monkeys eat the cherries, then spit the beans out. Supposedly imparting a vanilla flavour to them. I am pretty dubious about this one, though never having tried it, it might well be true.

Black Ivory

Pretty much the same idea as Kopi Luwak, only this time instead of little compact bundles of cat poop to search through, our intrepid producers need to sift through steaming mounds of elephant shit. Touted as the world’s most expensive coffee. Black Ivory is on our bucket list to taste, though at around £88 for enough beans to make 4 espresso’s, this is never going to be a regular option on our coffee carts, and might be relegated to the bucket list of strange things we fancy doing.

Black Ivory Elephant Coffee
Black Ivory Coffee Blend

lTo hire a coffee cart for your event, check out our services at Coffee Crazy

Fun Story, Ziggy

The Book Of Ziggy

27 February 2022
Ziggy Our Hero

Sometimes it’s hard coming up with a consistent stream of posts for blogs, Facebook, Instagram etc. Although we offer a wide range of catering services, eventually the images all begin to look the same. Sure we throw in some funny stories, anecdotes, news items etc. But it is hard to keep in front.

Ziggy

When we began the new rebrand of the business, we had a logo designed professionally. This turned out to be an anthropomorphic zebra, which we promptly christened ‘Ziggy’. Mainly because whilst we were arguing for a name, we happened to be watching a documentary on David Bowie, during his Ziggy Stardust period. We liked the name, so our hero was born.

Coming Soon! he Book Of Ziggy
Ziggy

We have just taken a new team member on, who is a professional artists. He will be adding stories to our blog posts, and undertaking some design work for us, and he will also be creating a comic strip starring our aforementioned hero Ziggy. This will probably be monthly, but if it is well received it could be more regular.

It will consist of short 4 panel strips. Many will be humorous stories, hey we like making people laugh. But it might well also contain news, commentary on current affairs, thoughts from us, basically a hodge podge of ideas, that hopefully will add a touch of fun to our blog service.

So visit us regularly and keep an eye out for “The Book Of Ziggy.”