Double update since Wednesday felt like the day that would never end (thus I put off writing until a time when I felt more inspired… I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth the wait).
The morning started off peculiar. The night before I had gotten the memo that it would be a noon day. What I did not receive was a follow-up message retracting that announcement. So when I showed up at 11:45 thinking I was early, I was, in fact, unintentionally late. I guess I was not the only one confused because no one seemed to notice, or if they did, they did not say anything to that effect. Still, it made me feel added pressure to make sure I finished my work on time. (We have in the past chastised the Pantry Boys for coming in late and ending up unprepared for service… not a desirable situation.)
And boy did I have my work cut out for me! I whipped up a batch of an old favorite – the pork and truffle mousse. I like it for both its flavor profile and its relative simplicity to make. Plus, I had had the foresight to soak the livers in milk overnight, a small but critical step. After that was finally in the oven, I got to work on a smoked salmon terrine. The twist was that I had been told to expect a photographer from a local well-known foodie website who would come in between 3 and 5pm to photograph one of our charcuterie boards. Because of the late start, it was nearly 2pm when I started the salmon. The heat was on. (The last thing I wanted was to have to drop everything just to make the board…) I pushed hard and managed to complete the terrine from start to finish in one hour and forty minutes. PR!
The photographer ended up coming by closer to 6pm, and though Chef had left earlier in the afternoon, his last words to me were to make it a kickass board and throw “everything” on it. I think he will be pleased to see my work, and I’m so excited that my plating skills are going to be on display on such a popular website! Not gonna lie, I feel almost famous. Here’s a sneak peek:
Late Night was busier than dinner service, or so it felt. We had a lot of tickets coming in for dishes on the hot line, so I jumped in and lent Sous Chef J a hand. I got to make two orders of the caramelized gnocchi with lamb ragu! The first time around my sauce broke and Sous Chef J had to help me bring it back together. Thankfully the second time was better and I was just grateful for the practice.
I didn’t sleep well that night and as Sassy Stage wisely acknowledged, everyone seemed to be in a bad mood today (Thursday) for one reason or another. The heat was getting to us and you could feel the tension as everyone became increasingly irritable with the warm afternoon setting in.
Today’s family meal was worth mentioning because it was amazing and horrible at the same time. Pizza Guy J made chicken noodle soup, which tasted fantastic and I would eat a giant bowl of it… if it weren’t JULY. So freaking hot.
When I saw he had made soup, I joked about eating it in the walk-in. I’m not ashamed to say that I did end up taking a 5 minute break to eat my soup in the cool comfort of the refrigerator. Sous Chef J had made some sort of onion salsa, a Chilean condiment, and it added the perfect kick of spice and flavor to the soup. I was happy.
Service fluctuated today. It seemed a lot of people came by after work for Happy Hour, perhaps in celebration of the upcoming three day weekend (for normal people, that is). Dinner was slower, likely because most of the locals were already heading out of town for their vacations. We are closed tomorrow as well, though it is a bit difficult to plan for Saturday’s service; there’s no telling whether we’ll be dead or slammed or somewhere in between.
I’m excited to get my day started early tomorrow. Prep followed by service, except I get to do what I really love: spend time with Honey Bunny and make people (most importantly, our friends!) happy through food. Yes, we’re throwing a July 4th BBQ. Wish us luck!
Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th!