Who is in charge of the Kitchen?
For the past fourteen out of the fifteen years that we have been doing the Brouhaha, Tonie Ervin has run things pretty smoothly. If you watch the recent tongue-in-cheek video FAQ you will see her being referred to as “cranky”. This for the most part is true. She is a bit of a taskmaster, but she gets results and the kitchen has always been a pleasant success (fundraising wise) under her jurisdiction.
Can I Volunteer to help in the Kitchen? How do I do it?
Volunteering takes nothing more than coming into the kitchen and offering yourself. OK, that sounds a bit sinister. Look, just let someone on staff know that you are interested in helping out. The biggest thing that we ALWAYS need is dishwashers, esp. Sat morning after breakies and Sat evening after the free meal! Usually, if Tonie needs assistance in prep work and pot stirring, she pressgangs someone into the role. SO if you don't want to help out, don't stand too close to her for too long!
I have attended other events where I have been allowed access through the kitchen. Why am I restricted from coming past the counter or using the back door?
Although we can appreciate that you know your way around the park, and through the kitchen, we have tried to make things as safe as possible. Some of our staff tends to get a bit zealous when cooking and cleaning, so the kitchen floor can be an unsafe place. Heck, sometimes we don't even want to walk on it ourselves! Maintaining control over the access through the kitchen doors is a way to ensure the minimization of slip/trip hazards. In other words: “Safety First!”
Why don't you post a menu ahead of time?/ Why is a lot of the food the same every year?
As any good cook will tell you, a decent menu is a living breathing thing; and when you are restricted to a budget that can make things a bit prickly. In truth, we have posted our menu ahead of time in the past, with ill effects. Upon shopping, meals had to be added or dropped entirely due to financial concerns. It takes A LOT of money to purchase enough food to feed 200+ folks all weekend, and we like to keep our bottom line as impressive as possible. Although, Tonie believes that cutting corners is not acceptable, if we can get something for a deal- then the menu will change at the last minute. That's just the way things go.
For the most part, however, the menu pretty much stays the same every year. This is CAMP FOOD folks; cooking en masse with a tiny staff takes a lot of effort, so foods are chosen for not only their accessibility and price margin but also for their ease in preparation. We need no additional “chefs” in the kitchen, and no one is complaining about the amount of labor that goes into cooking, but if you cannot spend one weekend out of the YEAR eating weenies and beans- you can always choose to bring your own food.
If I bring MY OWN food, will there be a place in the kitchen for me to prepare it?/ Will a member of the kitchen staff cook MY food for me?
NO. Due to safety regulations no one aside from staff members and appropriated volunteers will be allowed behind the “counter” during Beltane. Furthermore, the staff is on a tight schedule and has NO additional time to prepare side meals for guests. You are always welcome to bring your own grill and prepare your own meals at your cabin site, just be respectful to those around you and follow proper fire safety techniques. Those found not following fire safety techniques in a courteous manner will be asked to leave the park.
What if I am a Vegetarian/Vegan?/What if I have a food restriction or requirement?
Our kitchen staff coordinator Tonie has managed to build a rapport with several returning guests every year who have committed to the conscientiousness of the vegetarian path. In fact, through the years or menu has evolved and grown to accommodate the lifestyle of our vegetarian friends! Recently we have added an impressive three bean salad that was the envy of most meat eaters who wound their way through the lunch line Sat afternoon.
If you are vegetarian, and are purchasing a meal ticket, you need to make sure when you register online that you let our staff know. We try to guestimate a certain amount of “veggie” guests every year. However, vegetarian meals are, quite frankly, a little less cost effective than the rest of the dinners we serve. If you are NOT a vegetarian, we ask that you please leave the limited meals we have available to those who have requested them.
Outside of being vegetarian, we cannot produce optimum results for the purchase and preparation of everyone's specific dietary needs. Anyone with specific allergies should be reminded that they are responsible for their allergies. Diabetics are responsible for making sure they have enough sugar free snacks on their own. We do provide sugar free sodas and fruits to try and balance this out, but we cannot cater all of the meals to accommodate a handful of folks.
To be on the safe side just assume that all food served may come in contact with the following allergy specific provisions:
Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts), Soy and Wheat
Are the mealtimes written in stone?
Occasionally, over the past fourteen years, accidents have happened and meals have fallen a few scant minutes behind. Overall, however, we at the NCPCOW do NOT run on “Pagan Standard Time”! Meal times are generally a one hour window. After that hour time frame, we will still feed you, but you may not be eating whatever we had for that meal. Furthermore, we do not guarantee that you will be served a specific meal. That is one of the reasons for not posting a menu. IF you purchase a meal ticket for example and come to breakfast Sat morning at 9:55 am, chances are you will be eating cereal or pb&j for breakies rather than eggs and bacon. First come, first eat!
Spaghetti on Saturday AGAIN!!??
Again, this is a profit margin decision. Your registration at our event includes a FREE meal on Sat night. This means it's got to come out of someone's pocket, and that someone is the NCPCOW. Basically we are holding a free spaghetti dinner once a year for about 200+ folks. That is A LOT of money and A LOT of food. Considering you get a healthy serving of pasta with sauce, a salad with two choices of dressing, garlic bread AND a giant plop of the ever coveted chocolate pudding, plus all the tea you can drink; most folks find it is a pretty good meal for the price! And FREE tends to be everyone's fave price!!
Oh, and the rumors are true. If you REFUSE the pudding, the Twins will make TERRIBLE FUN of you!! Just a warning…
What about this meal ticket I hear so much about?
Let's break down the benefits of buying a meal ticket. The implementation of the meal ticket program was to allow those who eat every meal at Beltane the opportunity to not have to carry A LOT of cash around. Also, it allows the line during peak time meal serving to go a little more smoothly and quickly. All meals are $5. The meal ticket is $15. If you eat every meal from Friday night to Sunday morning, you will SAVE four bucks per person on this plan. If you come Sat morning, and eat through Sunday morning, it will still mean that you can enjoy the convenience of not waiting in line for change or scratching up money while holding your tray of food. If you come Sat afternoon, you may still purchase a meal ticket, but you will be losing money. So unless you want to donate that other four bucks to the church, (donations are ALWAYS welcome!) meal tickets tend to be for the all weekend attendee. Keep in mind that your meal ticket armband MUST be worn in PLAIN SIGHT on your BODY all weekend; either on your ankle or wrist. We will not accept meal tickets worn on belts, shoes, bracelets, ect…
A meal ticket will get you the following at every meal served: One tray of food and One Drink. For example, Sat breakfast will be X number of items, and a drink for $5. Your meal ticket pays for this. When you come into the kitchen, get served and show your armband to the cashier at the end of the line and you are covered. If you wish to purchase additional snacks and drinks, you are more than welcome to. However, those are not included in the meal ticket program.
Believe it or not, our profit margin in the kitchen is very slim. Some of the items we vend are being done so “at cost”. We get no discounts for the foodstuffs we purchase and we are happy just to “comp” our expenses during the event. This being said, the kitchen can be a great way for us to help with our fundraising during the Brouhaha, but we also try to keep YOUR wallet in mind. If you feel that portions are too small, food is inadequate, meals are too expensive, or something is not to your liking- feel free to notify the Kitchen Staff Coordinator Tonie Ervin and she will begin the proper beheading procedure! NO, seriously, we listen to suggestions and comments, and appreciate both compliments and concerns.
If you have any other questions please contact us