Thursday, August 20, 2009

random thought process thursday

Today we filled a massive, last minute order for Cirque du Soleil's Denver opening night party. I have never been to Cirque du Soleil. I've seen some of their shows on Bravo, and the clowns freak me out. I don't like clowns. Not Bozo, not Ronald McDonald, not Red Buttons, not the creepy clowns of Cirque. No clowns. Something about them makes my skin crawl.
The acrobats and aerialists are amazing though. The costumes are very sparkly.

Got through an entire day without touching the snack bin at work. The snack bin is where the reject truffles & confections go. I kept telling myself: I am not the snack bin's bitch. I am not the snack bin's bitch....
Took Puppy to the park this evening. Some of the downed trees still have green, vibrant looking leaves. My favorite trails are still mostly closed. Puppy doesn't care as long as she's at the park.
The water level of the creek has dropped to its low summertime levels. Someone has been building piles of stones in the shallow water. They look both organic and unexpected. I made one myself this evening.
Ready for the canicular days of summer to be over. Love the chill in the air when I let Puppy out at 5am. I like that darkness comes a bit earlier. It's easier to slow down and go to sleep when it's actually dark out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let them eat....something other than cake

The bagpiper came out of the woods, through a meadow of tall grass and wildflowers. He lost his footing on the hill, went down on one knee, and kept playing. He got a standing ovation from the wedding guests.
The officiants asked everyone to take a moment of silent reflection and in their own way to bless Leah & John's marriage. They called in the friends and family who couldn't make the trip, and the family and friends who'd passed away. I missed the rest of the ceremony - I was working.

Leah used to work with us at the kitchen. She decided to skip the traditional cake and go with a dessert buffet. More brides should do this. Three kinds of truffles, two kinds of barque, two kinds of chocolate bars, tiny brownies, tiny blondies, lemon curd tartlets with blueberries, pecan pralines, tiny lemon chess tarts, tiny coconut cream pies, three kinds of hard candies, and a smores bar. The guests loved it, praise flowed freely, and Chef and I ran our butts off keeping the table stocked.

The folks from Aspen Specialty Foods & Catering loved it too, and it was mutual. We kept trading food back and forth in the prep area. Craig, Sandy and their 16 year old assistant were super nice, super professional, and super talented. We sent them home with leftover goodies, they sent us home with tapenade and red pepper hummus.

The host's son, Connor, who is about 9 or so was very enthusiastic. He kept coming to check on our progress, beg for samples, tell us how excited he was about dessert, ask if he could help. I did give him a job - protecting the tables while we were setting up. He was thrilled. He sampled everything - every appetizer, every hot dish, every cold dish, every side, every condiment, every dessert. He made Chef a smore. He caught the bouquet. Yes, he did.

Chef has a Garman GPS system he calls Nanny McVee (for v-chip). She has an English accent and sounds rather put out. It was handy to have as we drove on twisty mountain roads up to Evergreen, but it's rather odd to be told to 'turn left' or 'turn right' when the road is merely curving.

I got home a bit after midnight; tired, sore and overall very pleased. I love being praised, and I really love it when Chef introduces me to people. "This is Kate, my sous chef".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday in the Gardens, with Najah & the Dinosaurs

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw. ~Henry David Thoreau

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. ~Douglas William JerroldGardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Melted Thoughts and Pie

Why does my computer reject my camera? Tonight none of the usual measures worked, and I ended up putting the memory card in my sister's camera. Vexing. The usb cords are not interchangeable.

My friend Najah got an e-vite to a 70th birthday party that came with attached pdf instructions. Potluck 5:30 to 7, Honoring Ceremony 7 to 8, Drum Circle 8-?. Rules for the Honoring Ceremony: Come before X, say 3 words that reflect your experience of X.
Uh huh. I wondered aloud if the guests were supposed to bow when it was their turn to "come before X", if they were supposed to back away & give a final bow after they said their 3 words. Megalomaniac, presumptuous & self important come to mind. The invitation also stipulated that $70 donations be made to X's favorite charity in her name. Miss Manners would be appalled.

The book signing for Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies was today, and was a great success. Mollie (my friend & the author) told me that non-fiction signings are considered a success if four books are bought and signed. We sold 16 books, over 50% of the amount we had . Mollie told me that many of the reporters, interviewers and readers she's spoken to think she is Mrs. Rowe, and that these are her recipes. Clearly, none of these folks read the introduction.

The tiny sample pies were also a hit. The Coconut Cream Pie was far and away the most popular - I made a dozen tartlets for sale - they were all gone by the time the event was over. They are going on the regular menu. People who don't like cream pie love this pie. A customer from Kentucky who said he has never found a coconut cream pie to match his mama's loved this pie. His eyes rolled back in his head and he made happy noises. He bought a book just for this recipe.

Friends I haven't seen for a while came to the shop. It was great.
To the left - Mollie, her husband Eric,
and their daughters - Tess (in yellow)
and Emma (in green). To the right, my friend Bev. Sean came with her triplets. The girls were toddlers when I met Sean in pastry school. Now they're are getting ready for first grade. Ginger came by, with delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies.
The heat is getting on my nerves. It was 84.7 degrees in the kitchen yesterday. It may not sound like much, but a chocolate kitchen should be 66-68 degrees. I miss winter. It's easier to cope with ice on the inside of the windows than it is to cope with sweltering heat.
I think we should put chocolate cream tartlets on the menu.
Wondering if Mollie & company are up for a day trip. Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park - elk wandering around, Bear Lake, Lily Lake. Or maybe Manitou Springs, with Garden of the Gods and Caverns of the Winds. Maybe Mount Evans, although that drive seems about as long as either Estes or Manitou.
Have spent the last few minutes staring blankly at the screen. Should probably call it a night and get some sleep. I owe Puppy an early morning walk. Neither of us likes the heat.