Michigan ~ Day 27

Feast day of St. Elizabeth of Portugal today!!! Two St. Elizabeths in two days. I didn’t know about St. Elizabeth of Portugal. Hungary, yes, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary was St. Elizabeth of Portugal’s great aunt; the latter was named after the former. It’s interesting to note the similarities and the differences in their stories.

I can’t remember when craisins became a comfort food for me, but here I am, lying half-off/half-on my bed, listening to Adele, typing and eating craisins in between sentences. I have also just now broken open the chocolate that Mother sent with me. It sat in the car until I moved into the cabin, so it melted down in the wrapper.

Ladies and gents, I do not recommend allowing spontaneous tempering to occur in your car via Michigan summer weather. The resulting chocolate has a powdery mouthfeel, it melts under the lightest touch, and is covered in fat bloom. Tsk, tsk, tsk, unintentional experiment fail…

Devil in my alarm clock today, yo. I set it to 0445 for temp-taking and then re-set it to whatever it ought to be for wake-up; today, it was supposed to be 0645 for Mass, but the hands were well past 0445 and nowhere near 0645 and still going off every five minutes, so I turned it off altogether. I woke up with a jolt at 0740. At first, I thought, Well. The intent was there, and almost went back to sleep, but something made me kick the covers back and hope I was making one of what Marc Barnes would call an Outrageous Act of the Will; I made it to 8am Mass.

Today, Father said, “Jesus reminds us that it is often the prayers of others that bring about a change in ourselves.” As I threw work clothes on and hunted for keys, I kept seeing the typed words, “I can’t make myself subdue.” I’m sure Mama’s prayers have something to do with it all. Between the prayers of Mama and Mum and others, Marc Barnes, and Brede, I made it to Mass. I’m sure I appeared more than slightly disheveled… heck, on my way in, I was tying a finger cot into a makeshift hair-tie (which I’m still wearing, haha). Hey, tying my hair up in a jiffy makes my just-out-of-bed self totally presentable.

When I got back to the farm, I had about 15 minutes to check email and whatnot before my shift started. I was greeted by a near-page-long email from Jason. He vaguely remembers Mackinac Island; he’d been there as a small child. He tells me that Mantra goes well; he seemed to think it important to note that the tandoor hasn’t quite burned off all of his “tough Hungarian/Armenian” arm hair – yet. And he’s brewed an ale with curry leaf. Oh, Jason. I think I blogged last week or something about how I’ve wondered how he’s doing, and now it seems that for the rest of the summer, I can expect to hear more from him than from anyone else of the old crew.

Lunch service was more than slightly hectic, and yet sales-wise, we still didn’t beat Tuesday. It felt busier, but in retrospect, it’s simply that we got slammed in two big waves. The ticket holder on my end was full, and I was starting to overlap tickets. They just all came in at the same time… it was maddening. And they weren’t small, either; there were multiple parties of five, six, seven people. Some tickets didn’t get out until 20 minutes later, which is outrageous… We had six servers, and it seemed that only Lexy and Josie were really on top of things. I honestly don’t know how Scott answers everyone so patiently, if slightly sarcastic; if it had been Jared, he would have said something like, “Take it outside; no talking in the kitchen,” and I would have been so very glad of it.

Thank God for Patrick!!! He busted out dishes and backup prep “like a BOSS,” and was just so amiable over all; he’s one of those people with the kind of attitude that makes you ashamed for even just wanting to complain about anything, even legitimate things, like the heat from a flattop and a stove and two ovens and ridiculous weather that makes you have to wipe your face every thirty seconds, or people taking food that don’t match their tickets… Patrick and Kelly, man. One of the most angelic couples I have ever encountered. Heaven bless them.

Near the end of lunch service, Mrs. Smith and fam showed up!! It was very well-timed; it broke most of my tension and I was able to take a break and say hi to them, catch up a bit, be mothered… I hope to catch them at Mass this weekend in Boyne.

I used the slicer for the first time today. I do need to blog about this. I can think of at least a dozen culinary people right off the top of my head who will appreciate this, which means I’ll probably be writing a bunch of postcards just to tell them: It’s an older slicer, meaning no safety features [aside from the plug]. This thing is wicked. When you take it apart to clean it, the blade is fully exposed, and even when it’s taken apart like that, it can still be turned on, says Scott. I am not foolish enough to test it; it’s got to be the most wicked piece of equipment I’ve worked with in a kitchen. Cleaning it takes a ridiculous amount of time because of the lack of safety features. Seriously, I gotta tell Brad. And Jason…

Oh, and the slicer stays in the shed, which is also the dry storage area. You have to go into the shed to use the slicer, use it and clean it and deal with the claustrophobia of being shut up in a small place with a wicked blade… Oh, and please imagine me also having a blowtorch with me in the closet and periodically pausing in my slicing to use it on bluebottles. Yes, this is a new experience, and a new joy for me which Scott has introduced. Dear HappySlip’s Auntie, electric-shock-ing bluebottles via tennis-racket-looking-thing is cool, but blowtorching bluebottles is even cooler.

Scott also took the time to show me what Jared never did… !!! How to properly make a towel go snap. BOOM.

Jimmy caught me picking parsley after the lunch rush and asked, “Well? Did you survive?” I know he meant it jokingly, but I was ever so slightly nettled. Jimmy’s a wonderfully nice person, but I was very tempted to explain that you don’t not survive a service; what are you going to do, throw your towel down and say you’re done and everybody can go home? No, you just keep going on, rather doggedly at times, perhaps, but you don’t stop. Well, ok, so walking out happens all the time in the industry. But this little girl doesn’t walk out.

But hey, speaking of out, I actually did get out right at 6 today; Scott said we were looking pretty good on prep for tomorrow’s dance. I’m a little sad to not be dancing, but maybe with over a hundred people to feed and another terribly hot day tomorrow, I’ll be glad to hide in the kitchen and not worry about what to wear… Haha, not likely. But I take extreme comfort in knowing that another night out at the Legs Inn is inevitable, and we work square dancing in anyway… do-si-do-ing and swinging each other around at completely random times…

Immediately after getting off, I answered Jason’s email… and completely forgot to tell him about the slicer! Oh well, next time. I can’t forget now; I’ve blogged about it, right? I stopped in the tasting room to chit chat with Benjamin for a bit – if I keep typing ‘Benjamin,’ maybe I’ll finally remember to actually call him that, because it’s what he prefers – then headed back to the cabin with the intention of figuring out what to make for dinner… and found Chris practically done making food enough for everyone. Three sides of baked fish, and sauteed veg and potatoes, all from the farm. Not having to cook meant I was free to read Mother’s latest blog post, call the fam, play some guitar, and blog while eating craisins and chocolate. Win.

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