The Great Blizzard of 1978

One of my favorite internet stops is the Cubby-Blue blog by Tim Souers.  Tim is an excellent artist, a passionate Cubs fan, and a creative genius.  Three days ago he posted illustrated instructions for making Banoffee pie. Part of the process calls for whipping your own whipped cream.  This led to my posting the following story in the comments.


A long time ago…it was my first year out of Indiana U., living in married housing (my bride still being in school) and working as a supervisor in one of the dorm cafeterias.

The Great Blizzard of ’78 arrived. I walked to work through snow up to my armpits. Given the weather few (if any) other full time employees made it in. But the student workers were available. My job was to trim the menu to what the student workers could prepare without the help of full time staff.

The desert menu called for zebra pudding which is chocolate graham crackers lined up on edge with whipped cream in between and then cut on a diagonal. The whipped cream was made on site. I gave the student the go ahead to make it and a bit of instruction (not quite the blind leading the blind…a few gallons of whipping cream and a bunch of sugar in the floor mixer and whip til it peaks).

A few minutes later I returned to see how it was going. We shut the mixer off and checked if it peaked and it just about did and I said “another minute” and we turned it on and I turned around from that huge bowl full of white fluffy whipped cream to some paper on a clipboard on a stainless steel table and talked about something or other.

I turned back around and the bowl was no longer full of white fluffy whipped cream. No, it had collapsed and was now a smaller (but still large) quantity of butter.

No zebra pudding was served that day and the desert/pastry chef had less need of butter or sugar for a couple of weeks.

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My Time to Waste