Hooray, today we celebrate national waffle day. Or at least if we live in the good ole US of A we do. I think they have more national food days than the rest of the world combined. Although evidently the Scandinavians also celebrate it on the same day as part of the Feast of Annunciation.
The date actually celebrates the granting of the first electric waffle patent to Cornelius Swarthout of Troy New York. On 24th August 1869 he was granted the first patent on an electric waffle iron.
Now waffles had been around well before this date, being eaten in the 14th Century. But his invention made waffles easier and more consistent to prepare.
Eaten throughout the world, a waffle is a dough cooked between two patterned plates. The dough bakes in the waffles characteristic uniform impressed surface.
The best known, and probably oldest waffles are the Belgian type. Tending to be round, although we have seen square and heart shaped versions. These are usually a sweet dessert type mixture, ideal with fruit and chocolate or cream. There is however a savoury mix available so they can be served with cheese and meats.
Stick or Lolly Waffles
Gaining in popularity, due in part to being easy to eat are stick or lolly waffles. The same sweet mixture as a Belgian, they are baked in a waffle iron that produces a tubular lolly shape, the mixture is poured around a stick, so once backed they are held like a lollipop. Usually we dip the waffle in molten chocolate, then into one of a range of toppings such as chopped nuts, candy sprinkles etc.
Another new variant is the bubble waffle. Baked on an iron that produces a bubbled surface, they are then wrapped into a cone and the toppings poured into the centre of the waffle.
Whichever is your favourite waffle on national waffle day, we can provide one of our range of carts to serve freshly prepared waffles for your guests or colleagues. From a small party of 50 or so, to a major sales event numbering in the thousands, we can cover all of them.
If you want to make your own, a basic recipe is below, you will need a preheated waffle iron.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup butter, melted
Fresh fruit, cream, chocolate, your choice of toppings.
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Seperately, lightly beat egg yolks. Add in the milk, butter; mix thoroughly. Add into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites; fold into batter
Add to your preheated iron and bake till golden brown
Lockdown during Covid had many effects. Most of them not good. However sometimes adversity leads you down a new path. In our case a more profitable one. We had always provided what we called fun catering services. Doughnuts, candy floss etc. During lockdown we had a number of our corporate clients ask us to provide catering services more along the lines of a main meal.
This led us into providing a range of services such as gourmet burgers, Chinese noodles, jacket potatoes etc. This was a good move as it turned out. However it did rapidly create a major problem for us. Namely that of power requirements.
For doughnuts etc, the client would provide a single 13 amp socket which was more than adequate. however when we moved up to mains catering, we would have for instance a couple of chip fryers, a couple of hot plates for the burgers, a chip warmer and perhaps a water boiler.
All told we could quite easily need not far off 40 amps. So the conversation would go like this.
“We need at least four seperate 13 amp supplies”
Client, “Yep no problem”
Only on the day what would happen is would set up, ask for our power supplies and be handed a 6 way adaptor with the comment that 4 were for us, and the other two for the DJ and pizza van. So they were intending to run around 60 amps from a single 13 amp supply. Predictably we would either melt the socket, or more usually blow the fuse or circuit breaker.
10 K.V.A. Generator
We already had some 10 K.V.A. portable generators, which combined with some new LPG powered equipment we obtained, allowed us to carry out most events.
Unfortunately many venues don’t allow the use of LPG due to the purported safety risks. So eventually we decided that we would need more electrical power.
66 K.V.A. Higher Power
We investigated what was on the market, and took an in depth look at what are requirements were, and come to the conclusion that around 30 k.v.a. would be fine.
So obviously we went out and bought one with a bit over twice the power at 66. Why you may ask?
Easy, 30 would do us for the time being, but any expansion or multiple items at the same time and suddenly we would be back to struggling with power again. Additionally the larger unit was only some £800 more than the smaller version. Was physically the same size, and used the same engine, so running costs should be on par. In short the only difference was the actual electrical alternator which converts the engine motion into actual electricity.
We had a selection of single and three phase sockets added for ease of use, had our new branding applied to the unit, and added one of our new spill kits to provide insurance in the case of any fluid spills.
We also had a custom built trailer unit made from our friends at Fairtech Fabrications, this allowed us to transport the unit behind any of our range of vans.
We are in the process of building a new coffee van, this time based on a vintage Citroen Acadiane van. We wanted to give this more of a 1970’s vibe so commissioned the rebuild of a vintage Cimbali lever pull espresso machine to fit in with the ‘vibe’.
We also needed a new coffee grinder and wanted a more utilitarian looking grinder to go with this. The modern stuff is all flashing lights and in built computers, we wanted something that looked, well, a bit more solid.
Some one recommended the German brand Mahlkönig. After a brief look online, it looked solid enough to fit the bill, and came with a fabulous recommendation. So we bought one.
Jeez, when I actually went to collect it I was stunned. This wasn’t just solid. This was the King Tiger Tank of grinders. I think it is actually heavier than the single group coffee machine we are having refurbed.
You have to actually see this in the flesh to appreciate just how friggin big it actually is.
10 March is national popcorn lovers day in the UK. The legendary snack which is a mainstay of cinema’s the world over.
The earliest evidence of fossils in Peru suggests that humans have been popping corn since 4700B.C. Which must make it one of the oldest continuous snack foods in existence.
In the modern era they were popped on stoves, until the creation of Charles Cretors steam powered popcorn cart in 1880, which commercialised the process.
During the great depression, popcorn was so cheap that it became a massive seller. Indeed many farmers switched production to corn to take advantage of this. When WW2 rationing cut down on candy production, popcorn sales tripled. It’s initial introduction into movie theatres wasn’t welcomed by the owners, who felt it distracted from the films.
This changed however when they realised the profitability of it. The 1938 installation in to Dickinson’s theaters by the owner Glen W. Dickinson Sr. of popcorn machines led to the realisation that he could earn more from selling corn than tickets for the film. He eventually began buying up popcorn farms, and reduced the price of his tickets to get more people in to eat his corn.
It’s National Strawberry Day. Nothing screams British summertime like the clocks going forward, rain, Wimbledon and strawberries and cream.
Those little red fruits, bursting with juice. Perfect with sugar, cream and even chocolate. A strange fact is that despite the name, they are not actual berries. They are part of the Rose family.
Legend has it that if you split a strawberry in half, and share it with someone you are interested in, they will fall in love with you. The juice can also be used to sooth sunburn and whiten your teeth.
One of our most versatile fruits, being used in cakes, ice cream, milkshakes, jams, yoghurts, even alcoholic cocktails.
The garden strawberry, which is what we tend to eat. Was first bred in Brittany France in the 1750s. The fruit was a cross of two species, one from North America, and the other a variety introduced from Chile at the start of the 18th Century.
The fruit was however grown for hundreds of years before this. Ancient Roman literature mention the fruit, as do texts from numerous other European countries. And natives in Chile were cultivating the fruit long before producing the variety used in the garden strawberry.
The famous tennis championship at Wimbledon is known worldwide for its thrilling matches and classic games. It is also known for the 28 tonnes of strawberries covered in 7,000 litres of cream that is munched through every year.
There is no definite answer to why this is a tradition. Historians think that it was started by Thomas Wolsey, a powerful figure in King Henry VIII’s court. He held a banquet in 1509 where strawberries were served. This was unusual at the time, as dairy products were viewed as a food for the peasants. It just so happened that Wolsey’s palace, Hampton Court, had its own tennis court, where strawberries and cream was served to the spectators. So legend has it that the dish became associated with the game.
Of course the more boring explanation is that when the tournament began, strawberries happened to be in season, and were in fashion in Victorian England. So it was a natural treat to partake in.
A fact about Wimbledon is that all of the strawberries are grown in the South of England. Many regard Wimbledon as being almost tennis in an English country garden.
During the pandemic when the tournament was cancelled, part of the crop was turned into jam. I suppose a version of when life gives you lemons make lemonade.
Cream is still our most requested topping, but we can supply strawberries with chocolate (milk, white, dark or coloured), ice cream and custard. A great summertime treat for your guests or clients, especially around Wimbledon time.
December is usually our busiest month, by quite a margin. This year it got even bigger. We picked up a contract with Amazon to provide their Peak Treats service.
Basically it consisted of visiting 70 Amazon’s in 4 countries over 6 weeks, dispensing over 66000 Salted Pretzels and 15,000 litres of mulled wine (Non alcoholic sadly)
So how did it go. On the surface all serene and everyone happy.
Underneath, our usual paddling madly like ducks to make it look all serene.
Last Minute As Usual
We were notified that we had won the tender for the event. However we had to provide a sample of the food and drink for a company tasting. So obviously we didn’t want to start spending money on stock etc until after the tasting just in case it all went Pete Tong.
Happily they loved the items on the tasting and everything was finally signed off, 8 days before we were due to begin. This meant we have roughly a week to design and build 6 new mini Christmas huts for the job. To buy and take delivery of high capacity boilers and pretzel warming cabinets, new mains, obtain enough stock and and sort out freezer facilities for tens of thousands of pretzels.
Building The Stalls
Luckily the local fabricator we use was a bit quiet on the work front. So we nipped some spare steel we had up to him and talked him through fabricating the frame we needed. This took best part of a day. Fortunately the cover guy we had found was in the vicinity that afternoon so he called and measured up for the covers we needed and promised to have them ready for Sunday teatime (The job started Monday morning gulp).
A quick trip to the woodyard to have the counters made, and then the paint shop to pick up our new favourite product Raptor with which to coat the steel. Nigel promised to have all the steel work ready for mid week so things were on track. Our resident wood guy measured up for the wooden panels we needed and promised to have them by Sunday as well.
We priced up a freezer trailer hire for the pretzels, but quickly worked out we could buy a second hand unit cheaper than hiring one, so that’s what we did. It was delivered about an hour before our first delivery of pretzels, so just in time, but hey, it was there. This proved to be a godsend. Not just for the pretzels, but a number of other jobs where we usually ended up disposing of stock, we suddenly found we had the storage capacity to keep it, so win win all around.
The pretzels came from a company we have used in the past who import them directly from Germany. The mulled wine was sourced initially from a localish company, which was handy, the problem was they only did them in bottles. So for the initial batch I ordered a thousand bottles. We went in one of our vans to collect the order. 2 pallets worth. The fork lift driver rubbed his beard, “Whats the payload of this van”.
“About a 1.2 tonne I think”, I replied.
“Ahh well 2 pallets is 1.2 tonne mate, and you too will take it a little over”
Oh FFS. “It’ll be OK, stick them in”
Only it wasn’t, once they were in the van towbar was touching the floor. Turns out that particular van was only a 1 tonne payload. We had to take one out and make another sodding trip. After that we sourced an alternative that came in 10 litre drums and was delivered direct to our yard.
The equipment we sourced started out pretty well. And worked pretty well for about a fortnight. Then the warming cabinets started blowing the electric at random times. Turns out they have a design fault. The U shaped heating element in the bottom expands as it heats up. As it expands it rubs against the ide of the cabinet. Luckily it is insulated. Unluckily continued rubbing removes the insulation and then blows the electric. Quick work bending the ends of the element sorted that out.
I had all 3 of our vans serviced before we started thinking this would ensure everything was OK. Only true to form Murphy bit us twice.
On the very first day the van i was driving suddenly flashed up a warning that it was no longer charging the battery half way to the site at Rugeley. Now having owned Citroen Dispatches for a number of years I know that a failed alternator or snapped fan belt doesn’t damage the engine. I also knew from past experience that as the battery voltage dropped the van computer would start to shut systems down.
Sure enough ten mile from the destination, just as I hit twisty windy country roads, the electrically assisted power steering shut down. Followed by brake assistance, lights, indicators etc.
I actually got to the venue, pulled into the usual parking bay and applied the handbrake just as the engine shut down, phew.
Now the important thing was we had got there. Getting home should have been a problem, but one of our staff, Fred, had been late getting to work. So in temper he was told he was going to have to drive his own van and meet me at the job. So we had a spare van to tow me back.
The same sodding thing happened a week later with a totally different van. Only this time it was at Dunfermline in Scotland. This resulted in us having to call at Halfords and buy 2 new batteries so that we could keep changing them on the way home to keep the engine running.
Mentioning Fred, one of our regular staff members, we have officially changed his name to Frank Spencer (If you are too young to remember Frank, check him out here) . He left a trail of destruction throughout the duration of the contract. including;
Putting the plastic chocolate sauce bottles in the electric pretzel oven to warm them up. Cue an aroma of melted chocolate and plastic!
Faffing about with the gel packs in one of our ethanol gel pretzel warmers, managing to set his hand on fire, shaking it to get the burning gel off, and successfully setting fire to one of the brand new covers on our Christmas huts.
Deciding to move the fully loaded pretzel ovens on a job and forgetting to plug them back into the electric. Resulting in a panic to get everything warmed up in time of opening.
The only other real hiccup we had, was the fact that we would do an afternoon shift at Amazon, then go back for the evening shift. But for some reason, the night security never seemed to have been notified that we had been booked to do the job. Cue most evening trying to convince security to actually let us on site.
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.
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.
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?”