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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