Southcentre, where I work, sponsored a Stampede breakfast today. The caravan came with their live country music. Anyone responsible for the event wore pink (Southcentre is one of the sponsors for Run for the Cure). Several thousand people came out to eat sausages and pancakes with strawberries and fake maple syrup.
As a volunteer, I was assigned to heat frozen pre-cooked sausages on a propane grill the size of a large barbecue. This confirmed my desire to remain a vegan. "Pork parts" was listed as the first ingredient with a a bunch of chemical preservatives added for good measure. Once the lineups grew to several hundred for each station, I was assigned to cook pink pancakes over the same grill.
The caravan provides this really great contraption that is shaped like a funnel and when you squeeze it onto the grill, perfect round pancakes are formed.
"Once the pancake bubbles all over, it's time to turn it," says this volunteer who is in charge of the volunteers at station 5. He might be all of 25 years old. He didn't seem to think I knew what I was doing. "Honey I've cooked more pancakes than you will ever eat." I told him.
Flipping pancakes turned out to be a lot of fun. Country music lyrics, while very inane, are catchy. "She likes my tractor better than me." There's something about a plaid shirt and wrangler jeans that looks like a party waiting to happen.
Most people are gracious and respectful. A few are just downright annoying.
"Can I have a better looking pancake?"
"Can I have three pancakes instead of two?"
"Can you give me that one right there?"
"That pancake looks burned. Can I have a different one?"
All legitimate questions I suppose. I wanted to snap at them "People this is free food. This is free labour. Go home and fix yourself a bowl of corn flakes."
Two hours and several thousand pancakes later, we were done.
I headed home with my pink apron and plastic shaped boot. Stampede breakfasts are kind of fun.