Honey, I Shrunk My Pants!

Back in the spring, mom and I made our way up to Ankeny to check out Sysco’s new test kitchen.  They had a show while we were there and even made us our very own sandwiches!  Our main purpose this spring was to taste our way to the best burger we could find for our Tuesday Night Burger Nights that we hosted throughout the summer.  I think we definitely succeeded as the burgers were a huge success!

We were invited again this fall to a bigger show that they have put on at their facility.  Sysco is located just up the street from Olive Garden in Ankeny.  They are great to work with and we have found these tastings to be very beneficial.  It’s truly amazing all of the supplies that they offer to restaurants throughout our area.  In case you’re wondering, no, you can’t just go there and buy food.  It’s strictly for food related businesses.  Although, I wouldn’t blame you if you put on a chef’s coat and tried to sneak in the doors!  It was a fabulous show!

After telling the family about the spring show, my sister-in-law, Theresa, decided to come sample some product!  Theresa is in charge of ordering apparel, golf supplies, and other chotskies for the Golf Shop.  Her sales people never let her taste the shirts, so it just doesn’t have quite the same appeal as a trip to Sysco.

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When we arrived, we got a bunch of fun supplies and we were all entered into a drawing.  Here’s mom excited to load up on all of her goodies!

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We were taken into the first room that was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.

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The fresh fruit lady had a delicious fruit salsa that had jalapenos in it.  Yummy!

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They also included recipes for all of the dishes they had on display.  It’s a nice way for food service personnel to get some ideas on different food options.2013-10-22 23.15.47 They made the whole room feel like a fresh food market place!

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Check out all of these mushrooms!  I had to resist rolling around on them.  I bet they’d make a nice pillow.  Oh yes.  That’s right.  They’re food.  We’re supposed to be using them for food.  Silly me.  Luckily, my mom still keeps me in line when we’re in public.

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We had our eyes open for some more items to sell at the snack bar.  It’s always a juggling act to see what golfers want to eat.  The first thing that caught our eye were these flatbread pizzas.

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Theresa got hung up at the desserts.  I’m not sure we’ll ever have a cheesecake that you can purchase at the turn, but that didn’t stop us from giving it a try!

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She was willing to take one for the team!

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We made our way through the building.  These snacks caught our eye.  They were labeled as Hearty which I read to be Healthy.  I know that the chocolate and peanut butter covering the mix should have been a dead giveaway.  It’s probably why I can’t ever lose weight at the golf course.  I’m always confusing the hefty helping of cookies to read healthy helping of cookies.2013-10-22 23.33.34 They had lots of delicious meats on hand to sample.  This was a fabulous turkey.  It melted in your mouth.  Plus some ham which was also tasty.

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After having our protein for the day, we headed over to the Pillsbury Dough Boy where we ate muffins and cakes.  Pillsbury had recipes on hand for Sysco customers to try.   We oooo-ed and ahhhh-ed over their selections.

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The theme for this food show was fall foods.  There were many soups and heavy sauces to sample.  All of the vendors were showing their products and how they could vary the recipe to make it versatile for many different options.

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Then, we ran into a coffee distributor.  I hung back and didn’t talk to the vendors since I’m not a coffee connoisseur.  As you know, the Brady girls have coffee every morning, so they lined up to try some coffee!

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I was standing back.  Eying the ribeye from a distance when I heard them announce the winner of the hour from our entries that we filled out when we arrived.  We have our winner!  Theresa Brady.

BAM!  I practically knocked Theresa over when I shoved her and exclaimed, “You win EVERYTHING.”  I should have taken a picture of her on the ground. (As a side note:  she really does win everything.  If there is a raffle to be won, it has Theresa’s name on it every time!)

We both ran off to claim her prize and left mom with the coffee salesmen who thought I was a few screws loose.  I guess my husband is right.  He always ignores me when I’m with my sister or sister-in-law because I become really strange and apparently embarrassing to be around.

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After apologizing to the coffee reps, we moved on to the next food vendor.  I really liked this company because even though it was salad dressing that they were sampling, they didn’t provide a salad to try it.  Nope.  They provided french fries.  They are my people.

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It was about this time that my mom gave up on trying any more food.  She’s an amateur.

The vendors have fun booths with lots of ideas and item numbers of their products.  We starred all of the things that we tasted and liked this day.  The product numbers match up with the numbers on their website which is where mom goes to place her order, so the whole process works really well.

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There was another vendor who was sampling a different type of flat bread.  We really liked their display which was just a piece of tile on top of glass blocks with a heat source underneath it.  We thought that was really clever.  They found me peculiar for liking their display even more than the food.  I’m all about making a good impression.

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Having filled up on lots of heavy soups, sauces, fried foods (Theresa even ate duck while singing rubber duckie), we were ready for something lighter.  That’s when we ran into the final booth of the show!

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That’s right!  The Angus Beef Booth.  He had ribeye on hand for us to try.

2013-10-23 00.34.28It was amazing, then we glanced over to see the stuffed pork loin that the Sysco chef had prepared in his demonstration.  We all loosened our belts to give it a try!  Just as we guessed, it was delicious.  The Sysco chef obviously needs his own restaurant, so we can eat at it more often.  Either that or he needs to teach my mom how to make it!  Luckily, Sysco will have some more food shows for us to attend, so I’ll put in a request for future shows!  He was the same chef who had prepared for us a steak sandwich and hamburger in the spring show to sample.

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On our way out, we had to stop by the main entrance for Theresa to claim her prize!  Lots of fun Sysco goodies like a coffee mug and pouch, plus a $50 gift certificate for steak.  Here’s hoping she invites me along on her steak date and not my goofy brother (her husband).  A girl can dream, right?

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How about you?  Ever have to eat copious amounts of food for your job?  It’s a tough thing, but someone has to do it.

Post by Allison

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