Friday, May 1, 2009

Field Trip - Pancake Breakfast

Are you hungry? Are you ready for this week's field trip?

The Burlington, Illinois Volunteer Fire Department hosts an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and you're invited!

The fire department is made up of local volunteers and this is a fund-raising effort. It's $5.00 for adults which I think is a good deal.

When you enter the building the locker room is to the right. Their gear is stored here.

What's a firehouse without some chairs for relaxing?

A look inside the firehouse kitchen shows that everyone is hard at work.

Two of the guys are flipping pancakes. I love the fact that someone got him into an apron.

You pay the lady at the table just outside the kitchen door. I asked her how many people they serve. It was apparent they don't keep track.

"Lots," she said. "Lots and lots."

The main action is inside the garage area. The lines are long but just inside the door you can see the first of the food. Hey, how did that New York Yankees fan get in there? Everybody knows this is Chicago Cubs territory!

Everybody brought their Nesco roasters. Do you know how large those things are? Big. The first pan holds the scrambled eggs. The second keeps the pancakes warm.

Shield your eyes if you don't like the site of meat. Northern Illinois is known for their pork production. Here's a Nesco roaster filled with pork sausage, both links and patties. OH YEAH!!!

I didn't get a picture of the trough of bacon, but trust me, there was another roaster filled with crispy bacon.

Debbie makes toast as fast as she can.

The line never slowed down. We arrived at about 10:15 and it had been going strong since 7:30 a.m., that's when the farmers show up. The breakfast ends at 12 noon. That's 4 1/2 hours of eating!

The Farmer digs in. Juice and coffee are included.

My pancakes were buried in pork. When the guy went to serve me some bacon, it all stuck together..... I had to take the whole lot of it! I swear, that's the truth.

The sausage was absolutely delicious. I don't know which brand it was but it was very good.

There were lots of people eating and having a good time.

Who says we don't have fashion sense out here on the prairie? Tommy Hilfiger was spotted.

Video of the crowd at the firebarn

With everybody inside the barn, the equipment must be parked outside.

Here are their vintage trucks. I bet these look great in a parade.

Since this is a field trip we can't just eat and enjoy ourselves, we must learn something. Burlington is about 10 miles from our place and we have a separate fire department but out here they all employ the same technology.

We don't have city water or fire hydrants, we're all on wells. What that means is there's no water for the department to tap into except for our wells. In our house we can barely muster up enough water pressure to provide a decent shower, there's certainly not enough to fight a major fire. That's why our fire departments have these trucks.

This is a water truck and it's what they bring to the scene of a fire. A department many have two or three water trucks and that's all the water power they might have to fight the fire. These volunteers do an amazing job for our small communities. I'm reminded of the comments of some Americans living abroad who sorely miss that American "can do" spirit. Our volunteer fire departments is the embodiment of this spirit. I thank each and every one of them....some of whom are our friends and neighbors.

Thanks for coming along to the pancake breakfast. I hope you enjoyed yourself and learned a little something too.

Hey - there's lots of bacon still in the roaster...... have seconds!!


Heidi said...

mmmmmmmmmmm bacon... We have the water pumper trucks too.. :) what a great trip - thanks for taking me along!!

Molly said...

Ooohhh, bacon? Sausage? Both, thank you very much.

I didn't know about water pumper trucks. I do know about volunteer fire departments, though, my grandfather was one. Yay firemen!

Susan said...

Great trip and some of the best food you can find!!

Vee said...

Americana at its finest. Looks like an amazing breakfast was served. If I hadn't known better, I might've thought that I was in my own town's fire station...they all look alike. We don't have a need for all those big tankers, thankfully. I think we have one. You didn't do so well with product placement on that bottle of syrup. ;>

Going back to watch the video now...

Thanks for the fun field trip!

Vee said...

Loud pancake eaters!

belladella said...

Oh, I so want some bacon. And everything else you showed there. Love it! Hope you have a great weekend!

Lisa said...

mmmmm...that is one great looking breakfast! We have a pancake day in our city that the local Kiwanis club puts on, but it's nothing like that! Its strictly pancakes & sausage....maybe someone should show them your plate :)

I am at work and am now hungry as can be.

The vintage firetruck is beautiful.

Domestic Diva said...

we just had a pancake breakfast here last weekend on saturday at the local catholic church, and then on sunday they held a all you can eat pork chop bbq at the local fire hall :) yum, yum!

however, I hadn't eaten before reading your post this morning, and now i think my stomach may be trying to digest itself :D Pass the bacon!!!

Anonymous said...

Always did love a good pancake breakfast cooked by someone other than me! Great fire equipment photos btw!

The Blue Ridge Gal

Jody Blue said...

I love the photo of the guy cooking in his apron, seem like when you tie on an apron your hands automatically go to your hips. Its an "I mean business, lets get some thing done areound here" attitude! It all looked so good! Thanks

LDF said...

Oh yeah, my kinda field trip! Breakfast! And yummy bacon! And vintage fire trucks! Thank you!

Steph said...

I remember going to Kiwanis pancake breakfasts in town all the time when I was young. The volunteer fire dept near here likes to have a fish fry!

lifeinredshoes said...

One of the perks of living in a small town, looks like fun.

Sarah Fielke said...

Looks like such fun, a little too far to come from Australia though! Thanks for a fun post

Liz in PA said...

Thank You Suzanne.....that was an
ALL AMERICAN TRIP and I am so thankful for ALL the VOLUNTEERS in all the VFD in every town in our country.
The many Fire Dept. People do so many jobs with a smile. All they ask is for ALL to donate.

I've always said if every household in every township/community would just donate $10.00....or more, the Volunteers would be so happy.
They would only have to put on maybe one or two fund raisers a year, instead of so many.
Bingo seems popular in my area.

The Ambulance crew alone is to be praised - they are on constant call for many.
The Fire Dept. Volunteers put in many long hours too.

All the Volunteers have to have Clearance to hold their positions.
They sacrifice many personal hours to get certified, and the schooling never stops.


Liz in PA

TheCrankyProfessor said...