Michigan ~ Day 52

Right off the bat, I got to break down 35 chickens today. Scott wanted skin-on legs and thighs together, B/S breasts with tenders separate, wings, drumettes, and everything else saved for stock.

Now, when Bradley taught me to think of it like a person, and then the anatomy and breakdown make sense, I caught on right away and accepted the concept without question. You take out the collar bone, dislocate and cut at the thigh, knee, shoulder, and elbow joints respectively, cut off the hands, and then either take the back off and go from there or just take the breasts off and leave the carcass in one piece. So maybe that thought process only works with my specific MCI crowd? because when I showed Kelly how to break down a chicken and Scott overheard how I was explaining – “Think of it like a person. So, collarbone off first-” “Oh, yeah, because I start all my victims off that way.” Never mind, Scott.

Poor Scott. He got all excited that we broke $1000 today, showed the slip to me and Kelly, and did not get the reaction he wanted. He had forgotten that we’d already broken $1000 on a normal not-the-week-of-the-4th day of service two weeks ago, and somehow Kelly and I did remember this subconsciously and thus did not quite equal his level of initial excitement. Then he looked at the calendar where we record the end of day numbers and realized why we weren’t super excited.

The only break Kelly and I had today was lunch outside at a little past 3. Our charred corn tomato salsa is soooo good, I’ll have to make some for the fam when I get home.

There were to be three hors d’oeuvres and Scott hadn’t figured out a third one. Between the two of us, we came up with crostinis with a quenelle of grilled veg and herbed goat cheese on top. It was crunch time, going on 5pm whem Scott started asking for input, and my first thought was olive tapenade, but of course the olives wouldn’t be from the farm, so we went with grilled veg. Scott was hesitant about the veg and cheese being mixed together – he was thinking cheese on the crostini and a mound of grilled veg – but he let me test it and approved the sample and let me run with it on the condition that I could do a hundred quenelles in half an hour. No problemo. We also had beef heart, pickled ginger, and I guess something else in wonton cups, which Kelly worked on mostly. I’m not sure I ever figured out what the third hors d’oeuvres was. Haha. Oh well.

We had quite the crew tonight! I think that boosted my spirits, on top of getting to break down chickens first thing. Oh, yeah, did I mention that that put me in a super good mood for the rest of the day that Scott was bewildered [but not really]? Anyway, Lexy was back, so FoH included Lexy, Josie, Emily, Jake, Benjamin, Jimmy, Marci, and Victoria. BoH grew to include Jake and Chris, aside from Scott, Kelly, and myself.

Our first course was summer squash soup, garnished with arugula pesto and nasturtium petals. We set out an exact number of bowls and I didn’t get a chance to taste it, but we had more than two gallons left over, and I imagine it will be on the lunch menu, so maybe I’ll have it for lunch tomorrow, sans pesto. The nasturtiums looked so pretty scattered on top.

The first course was cleared a little too quickly; we weren’t half done plating salads and all the bowls were back in the dish area already. That was probably the only hitch, though. We tried two different platings. Scott had a vision, but he didn’t like it too much, so between the two of us, we switched things up a bit and shingled sliced cucumbers from 3 o’clock to 7, fanned out a cherry tomato along the inner edge of the cukes, put a scoop of israeli couscous and feta at 10 o’clock, and finished with a chiffonade of mint and a lemon sumac vinaigrette. Bah, I didn’t get to try any of that either, but I’m sure it was delicious. Ok, so I was popping extra cherry tomoatoes into my mouth occasionally, but that was the only component that I did taste.

Kelly and Jake had julienned a ton of zucchini and yellow squash on the mandolin for our main course. Scott sauteed the threads in butter with basil chiffonade. A mound of that went smack dab in the center of the plate, a leg and a thigh of roasted chicken at 6, garnished with parsley. Josie was laughing at me; I was so protective of the chicken. I’d rubbed them with infused oil, coarse mix, and thyme. We had them roasting for at least two hours, so they were falling off the bone and so tender.

I didn’t have any hand in the dessert, so I’m not really sure what was in it besides yogurt and blueberries and pound cake and lavender sugar layered in mason jars. Scott had me piping orange blossom cream into wonton cups for last bites, which we garnished with more nasturtiums.

Overall, I’d say I was the least stressed at this dinner out of all big events we’ve done so far. It was sold out, we had 66 guests, and everybody seemed happy. We made $60+ each in tips, and as I’ve said, we had a pretty big crew.

Josie’s such a darling, she didn’t want to sleep at home with the thunderstorms that were going on, so Emily and I decided to go home with her tonight and sleep over. I’m here now =) We’re watching the olympics. None of us have to be at work before 1030 tomorrow, so I guess we’ll be staying up. Good times.

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