We had a fairly decent turn-out last night for the chicken dumpling menu. Things have been a little slow this spring, which benefits the Wednesday night diners because Kevin has extra time to spend on his creations for the prix-fixe. This week was no exception... Dinner began with a salad topped with poached shrimp, plated by our new salad cook (or "garde manger", as our ad on Craig's List was worded), Shuron Douglas. Shuron is taking the spot that Megan held for the past two plus years - and she is now down the street as an assistant manager at the new UpHi hot spot, Uncle Charlie's Bistro, slated to open officially on Monday. (Although we hear there will be a soft opening this weekend.) Shuron worked with us back at the Kennedyville Inn, so he is no stranger to Kevin or to the world Kevin presides over...
The aforementioned chicken dumpling caused some curiosity among the patrons who received the email regarding last night's menu, because they just couldn't be sure what kind of "dumpling" could be coming. I think most thought of the homey "chicken and dumplings" made by our Amish grandmothers. Of course that is not what Kevin was thinking - he was thinking "apple dumpling", sub chicken. He used a new-to-him pastry, that proved to be somewhat challenging and didn't obey him the way he would have liked, but it tasted very good, and the chicken with it's mushroom gravy was well regarded by those who partook. (Partook?? sometimes I think I've been reading the "100 years ago" reprints of articles in the Kent County News a little too avidly...)
Dessert following the main was a slice of our classic angel food cake, perfectly light after the hearty dinner. I figured, in order to make this picture of the lemon glazed cake even slightly interesting, I had to get a little arty...
Otherwise, this is what you get:
This morning I am trying a new recipe for a rhubarb custard pie. Here is how it turned out:
We'll cut into it later. I have a few doubts, since it boiled while it was baking. Not sure I've ever had a custard pie come to a boil in the oven...we'll see if it is fit for you to eat before we put it on the dessert list. Oh, the hardships we must face in the line of duty to our guests!
Anyway, back to staffing. We're having a bit of a wave of change in the kitchen, starting with Megan's departure this past Thursday. At the end of our "Against All Odds" Saturday night last week, Kev the sous-chef gave his notice. He has always been up front with us about his dreams for his future, and they don't involve the restaurant business. Rather, he is studying to enter the health care industry, and he got a foot in that door by accepting a new job working with the Humane Society. It is a day job, which is attractive, and outside work, which is a plus as well. Oh, and did I mention benefits? Kev has been on our night line since June of 2008, working at BT longer than any other of the kitchen crew, except of course for Chef Kevin. Our loss is the Humane Society's gain, and I am sure he will do well there. What we will probably miss most about Kev's departure is the fact that he closes for us two nights a week! I hate to say it, but frankly that is the most important thing - besides being reliable, quiet and hard working - that Kev does for us! He keeps us sane! well, almost sane...
We're also going to see Rodrigo move on, toward the end of the summer. He is going to join his sister Maria in Anaheim, and I am sure will be snatched up by some restaurant out there.
This kind of mass exodus seems to happen every couple years, and we are not daunted by it. In fact, in some ways, it is a way of "freshening" the kitchen, getting new people with new ideas. We put our ad on Craig's List and hope for the best to come forward. If we don't get the best, we manage to make do with what we do get and adjust our menu around it. Kevin will be having an interesting summer, that is certain.
I'll leave you now with a spring flower photo, taken from our yard. Don't remember what they are, but they sure are yellow against all that green!