The New Job

Gas StationHello and welcome to the blog!    It’s been an exciting few days.  The new job has started… well, at least the training.  Until now I’ve not spoken much about the kind of work that’s going to be taking place but it will be a lot of fun and will bring in a livable wage.

The new role will be working in a gas station which also has a pizza franchise.  Monday evening was spent training (food safety, etc.) with various computer based courses.  Tuesday night we made a variety of bread products:  cheese bread, garlic bread, breadsticks, a dessert pizza, and other tasty, carb-rich goodies.  For someone who avoids too much starch, Tuesday was a walk on the wild side with the blood sugars.  😀


What was left was ours to take home. Serena and Jesse were two very happy kitties tonight.

Wednesday was the favorite training session.  We cooked basically everything on the menu including every kind of pizza and all the hot case items… including broasted chicken.  Broasted chicken is very popular in the Midwest and I’m assuming in many other places.  Some folks are not familiar with this awesome method of preparation so I thought it would be fun to share a little non-proprietary information.

BroasterBroasting is a cooking method developed in the early 1950s by L.A.M. Phelan.  It is marketed by Phelan’s company “Broaster” located in Beloit, Wisconsin.  (about 90 miles straight east of Dubuque, Iowa.)  The equipment you see here is sold to institutions, sit-down restaurants, and other eateries such as small town supper clubs and taverns.  A used machine can cost about 5000 bucks… A new one might set one back $20,000.

Broasting combines pressure cooking with deep frying.  The new broaster machines are sophisticated, computer controlled, self-adjusting devices that make it very easy and safe to precisely cook amazing chicken (and  other items) from tiny to large batches.

The chicken that is used is a special recipe.  The poultry is lightly breaded and then placed in the machine.  Because of the pressure and hot oil, the chicken seals very quickly, locking in the juices while absorbing much less oil than the Colonel’s “chicken in a bucket”.  Because of the pressure cooking aspect, the chicken also cooks as much as 60% faster compared to regular deep frying.  While no fried chicken (with skin) is completely healthy, broasting does not add as much fat as regular deep frying and one can work it into a calorie controlled meal.  Yum.  😀

Minis in a Row

Each employee made a mini tonight (Mine is the taco pizza that’s fourth from the right)

Being a “foodie”, I’d happily work in the kitchen… but would probably gain a lot of tonnage!  Instead, my role will be mostly working in the convenience store itself… a little better fit with the 7+ years of experience in that type of work.  I also get to float and occasionally help out with the pizza and chicken as needed.

The best aspect of this job is that the business is family owned… aka a “Ma and Pa” type place where you work directly with the owners.  They pay well and are pretty cool folks.  My new bosses are also people who enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities.  One couldn’t ask for a better fit for a job!


For now, the feet are aching and it’s time to hit the sack.  Jesse and Serena are already zonked out after enjoying their portion of broasted chicken.  The next camping outing will likely happen in early April but due to heavy snow up north, a call to the DNR is needed before going fishing to make sure the streams are suitable.  On the future outing to Decorah, the plan is to go hiking in the “boonies” to locate another cool waterfall.

Have a good rest of the week!  Take care and thank you for visiting.  Safe travels!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
Jones County, Iowa


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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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