Michigan ~ Day 46

Can I just say, CREEPY??? That’s not a sentence. It’s completely wrong in every way and insulting to the English language, and I do apologize. But Scott and I were messing with the coconut curry sauce and he asked if I thought it needed more acid. “Should we put some more lemon juice?” he began. “To…” he paused, as if searching for words. And then we both finished, at the same time and at the same pace, “Brighten it up a bit?”

I apologize for the language, but the making of what Scott called “b@$%@rdized white gazpacho” was highly enjoyable. The stick blender was making very I-want-to-cringe-and-hide-under-a-table-feeling-inducing noises. “Hey, if a piece of plastic or metal flies off, at least it’ll be easy to find in this stuff. Or, you know, if it’s lodged in your abdomen, then it’ll be really easy to find.” Yeah. Thanks, Scott. So it was that when Jill asked later what we were making, I could not answer for laughing. Anyway, our white gazpacho has no grapes and no bread, hence the ‘b@$%@rdization’ of it, but it really is for perfectly legit reasons; we don’t grow grapes here, and at our dinners, we especially like to highlight what is grown here. Among other reasons. But for that. Period. Done. Boom. Yay.

Scott wanted Kelly 90% on cafe stuff, Chris 100% on dinner stuff, and I was to be the all around person. Kelly managed perfectly and did not need any help working the line at all today, so I could focus on prep for the dinner. Scott made me grill the trout. Torture. He seemed very concerned that I was stressed, but truly I wasn’t as stressed as I may have appeared. There are certain things and certain times that I prefer to keep to myself during and not talk; I’ve noticed that people perceive silence on my part as stress, and I have great difficulty convincing them otherwise. “What are you stressed about?? Don’t tell me you’re just ‘focused.'” Scott will shoot at me. Bah. Do I really talk that much?!

I should mention that I do highly appreciate that Scott trusts me to break down proteins. For the pork skewers for the dinner reception, he had me break down the pork loin, and today he had me break down and portion the trout. I love the practice I’m getting here. Not quite at the scale that I would like, but still, it’s something.

So, the dinner. Our first course was white gazpacho, garnished with olive oil and toasted almonds. Here we go again with making it happen =) I learned today that if you peel all the cucumbers, put them in a huge bucket, and stab at it with a large serrated knife, they get chopped up pretty quickly and effectively enough to make things a little easier for the stick blender. Add vinegar and salt and sugar, and it would be perfect for me, but then Scott likes to add sour cream, which I object to =) Haha. Oh well. Scott and I made the soup, and apparently it takes three people – Scott, Chris, and myself – to toast almonds…

Second course was our best, I think, next to dessert. Rice paper wrapping, basil, cilantro, shredded zucchini, shredded red cabbage, fine julienned red and yellow bell peppers, chicken, coconut curry sauce… I hope I’m not missing anything, because I want to make that again when I get home. I’ll tweak the sauce, because I disagreed with it being thickened with a cornstarch slurry, but the mix of fresh veggies and aromatics was delightful and very refreshing.

Our third course consisted of roasted red and purple potatoes, grilled zucchini and patty pan squash, and grilled trout. Some may have disagreed with the lack of sauce or finishing garnish, but I love it best when the true flavors of foods are allowed to shine forth (with the help of some fat, salt, and cayenne, of course). I can claim this course to be mostly mine =) The veggies and trout were cut, marinated, and grilled by yours truly. The potatoes were already quartered and par-cooked, but I did have a hand in finishing them in the oven.

Dessert belonged to Kelly and Chris and Scott. Scott and Kelly made the almond ice cream, Scott made the cherry wine syrup, and Chris halved, grilled, sliced, sugared, and torched the peaches. It made me miss our roasted lavender pears a lot.

Hah, hah, hah, Chris reminded me to give Jimmy a hard time anytime he ended up in the kitchen or the tasting room, because he was supposed to be sitting down and enjoying the dinner for a change. Of course, he couldn’t do it. He was constantly in the back, checking on us, although I do think we effectively managed to keep him far away from dishes until well after the dinner. Poor Scott… Marci had all of us – Scott, Kelly, Chris, and myself – come out and be applauded by the guests. He put up a bit of a fight… Lol.

Chris and I officially declared ourselves pumpkins at 2235, and now I am completely ready to crash. GOODNIGHT.

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