Monday, April 9, 2012

Free Enterprise in the Heartland

Last weekend my dog and I participated in a sheepdog trial.  As is usually the case, we drove out into the country to reach the venue.  Such trials require a large field - preferably 30 or more acres.  The field must be enclosed in sturdy field fencing, or there must be a secure enclosure nearby in which the sheep can be kept safe overnight.  There must be room for holding and sorting pens for the sheep, and electricity for the registration and scorekeeping crew.  There must be fairly flat ground for participant parking - room for fifty or more vehicles.  Many are RV's, campers, or trucks towing large trailers.  Understandably, most suitable locations are out in the wide open spaces.  Most trials also offer food for sale since there are generally no retail opportunities up or down the road.

The weekend trial had everything - great hill top location with spectacular views.  Lovely 30 acre grassy field - fenced.  Barn with electricity, and several enclosed corrals.  But right up until the day before the trial, no concessionaire had agreed to come.  There is also a house on this farm.  It is rented to a family of six, mom and dad and four children.  They were approached.  Would they be interested in making some coffee, putting out some muffins, grilling some burgers?  This family morphed overnight into concessionaire extraordinaire.  There were breakfast burritos, egg and ham sandwiches on English muffins, warm banana bread with butter and hard boiled eggs.  For lunch they offered teriyaki chicken with rice and broccoli. hot dogs and baked beans, potato salad, burgers with choice of cheeses and home made cookies.  They built a fire in an outdoor pit, and offered the fixings for S'Mores. Dad manned the grill. Mom cooked to order. Juniors took orders, delivered food and operated the antique cash register which they found in the barn. It was a dandy - push down keys, a cash drawer with wood dividers, and a "No Sale" sign when the drawer closed. On Sunday, Grandmother and Grandfather came out after church and chatted up the customers. They all reminded me of one of my favorite songs, "Daddy Sang Bass". Enjoy this clip from Johnny Cash.

I have not revealed any details. I don't want to say where we were. If the county health department found out about it they would shut the kitchen down. No license, no inspection. We ate like kings.

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