Traverse City, Michigan
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Mon Amis, how do you like our fancy French Restaurant? CHEZ SWARMPardon Moi, if you are not familiar, read up on CHEZ SWARM in earlier post. Our best cooks and recipes for this year have been presented and tested.
All you hot and hungry heli hooligans cleaned us out. Our cupboards are like Ole Mother Hubbard's, they are bare. Voila, the food!!! It is ALL GONE before the stroke of midnight.
Myself Chef Dilarotor want to thank all of those folks that prepared and delivered regional delights to share with everyone. Our FRIDAY NIGHT HELI POTLUCK is growing and becoming more fun every year just like IRCHA. No sanction, no sponsors, no associations, just guys that love helicopters, heli pilots, heli friends, heli everything. Hell Yes. This thing is done for the fun, frivolity, and love of the hobby.
Just to give you an idea of what all was consumed, I'll do my best to remember.
The RUMBALL production line was set up across the road in the afternoon by many OLD SWARMERS, PAST SWARMERS and new SWARMERS. These folks work very hard to assemble and prepare the trademark treat keeping if cleanly, safe and fun. I didn't get a final count but I saw the tray with #500 go up into the refer for storage.
Chef TIMBERS and myself "sliced and diced" (Love that guy Ron Popeil) three big bags of potatoes for the deep fried chips. This was the maiden flight for TIMBER'S new double deep fryer. Success, I think we will call it the TREX 1400 2D. We shared several PM's coming up with a batter mix for the onion rings that Tim prepared after the potato chips. Thanks to Mr Bill Jackson we even discovered that our fryer makes kickass deep friend crabcakes. Big shout out to Mr & Mrs Jackson for providing the crab balls, that stuff is seriously expensive, but Bill must be a heck of a refrigeration engineer, because he fixed a fishing buddies ice-house and was rewarded with a bushel of fresh crabs and you folks gobbled them up. We need a few more East Coast heli guys that know fishing guys to help us get a case of the crabs. Hum???? That doesn't sound right, must be my French accent/translation. Excuse Moi.
And how about that corn, 96 ears gone, sans butter, we will definately try to double that effort for next year.
Our night flying friends and contributors from Western NY arrived with some beautifull "White Hots" sausages and a very very special pan of dinosaur beans, that was one expensive mess of beans, so if you missed getting a taste of that, it sucks to be you. Not only are these guys long distance drivers, good cooks, but they make a mean night flyer too, that heli with the fireworks coming off of it in flight was one of their creations. Thanks so much to PLAYFAIR and gang from NY. Some of you party first timers, did you make it over to the beginner build/setup/ trim flying area by the campers? That crew really stepped up and passed if forward all week helping newbies get their helis going. But even better, those guys are some mean cooks. About half way into the soiree, this tall gent arrived with a giant warm kettle of the tastiest JAMBALAYA I have ever had. You could go to IRCHA and eat that 3 times a day all week long and still not have enough. Who would-a-thunk-it, some guys from Central Indiana could make something that spicey and as tasty as anything I ever sampled in 20 years of sailing between Japan,Indonesia/Sinapore/Korea.
As for my keep it simple selection this year, 120 beer-steamed or grilled hotdogs with chili and sauerkraut only survived the first hour. Guess I will have to kick it up a notch BAM!!!! as Emeril says, next year 200-250 hotdogs. I better get a bigger van or bring less helicopters.
Long time ago I lived in Vero Beach FL, home of Indian River Citrus, some of the best grape fruits and oranges in the world. The only problem is you can't buy the very best of those. I would get that kind of fruit delivered to my ship in our stores order in Japan. See all that very best fruit is loaded into special fruit containers on the bottom two decks of car carriers in Jacksonville,Tampa or Ft. Pierce FL. That way the ships don't return empty and in Japan the gift giving of select fruit is very big in the corporate world. So when Flying Ft.Doc showed up with those oranges fresh from Florida, what a treat. He cut those wedges and put them out and if you got one you sampled a real taste treat. A big shout out to Doc.
Finally the other big SWARM treat dating from the beginning is the efforts of "Coach" Mike Sherman assisted by "JetBlue" Dave Lewis deep frying the 120 lbs of fresh chicken wings you all feasted on. These guys do it safely, accurately while maintaining the taste standards rivaling that of Harlan Sanders & KFC. Both of thes guys took time off from building their new homes, that just so happen to have flying sites associated with them and will be sporting major workshops or hangers. Our GO-TO-GANG of here's what we need guys Greg, Carlos,John RayRay,my Michigan buds and Ube(keeper of the rumball secret) kept the fires burning and the food, gas, charcoal and music coming just like the firing crews working the big guns below decks. Without these guys it would've turned into a flustercluck. Thanks to all that helped,contributed, moved a table or grabbed some trash when we asked. To all the pilots that got in a night flight, thanks also. We will be working on fixing our little hiccup to make sure that never happens and ruins a good thing. No fault assigned, stuff happens and we've all seen it other places. For Friday the 13th the party gods favored us and we will do it better or different.
Promise to have lots of water and sodas and the fixings for your pleasure next year. Some other thoughts, a big welcome to all the first timers, rumball virgins and especially to our Aussie friends coming out to join us, hope that kangaroo shows up. Promise we won't grill it for next year if we find it. More and better lights also for the folks out on the edge. From all the staff at the 2010 CHEZ SWARM potluck, we loved doing it and will do it again. We are working on a new name. Tell your friends you were walking along the flight line in the dark, saw a tiki lamp and damn, all of a sudden a party broke out and we didn't even need to throw a V-Bar in the middle of it.
Check back soon, should be some really great photos and videos coming down the road. IRCHA 2011 only 360 days away.
BTW, I just remembered how thirsty you folks are. Some how a our ice-cold 20 gallon container of barley-pop was empty by midnight. 10 gallons of mystery coke and 10 gallons of super tea evaporated like 30% nitro on the flight line. Also 4 blue slender empty bottles suitable for candles were found sans contents next morning, thanks to the contributor for those. Maybe we will dress up our tables with those. I guess the operative word here is PARCHED!!!!1