My answer to the perennial post-Christmas question is "Four days off in a row - how bad can that be?!". That about sums it up.
That, and chocolate of course...merry merry indeed!
And now it is all about New Year's Eve. Kevin came back into the kitchen on Boxing Day to get a head start on all he and his crew have to do to get ready for this special dining event. I wanted to get a post up yesterday, to begin documenting their progress, but when the Dining Room computer started to get wonky on Thursday night, I had a feeling that Friday was not going to start out well. It began at lunch when the main card reader (for credit cards) stopped reading cards. Then Thursday night it went out altogether. I unplugged it and moved it to a new port and the thing just went black, which led to everything snowballing into computer hell. Both computers went down. I rebooted, nothing, rebooted, got the back office going, then nothing again. Lisa ended up going home with half of her checks still open. Friday morning I was able to get the back office up enough to close her checks, but the dining room and bar systems were still not functioning. You know what that means. Delaware Business Systems to the rescue. At 8:30 on the button I put in my call for a tech and around 9 I finally got one to look at our system remotely. He said, okay, give me ten minutes and I'll call you back. Again, you know what that means - 2 hours later he calls me back to say he is not meeting with much success:
The DR computer we are using is a loaner, which we've had since July, waiting for our original computer to come back to work. The tech tells me that another tech is on his way to our place with our repaired computer and should be there before lunch - it's around 11 AM now. I'm not sure why our computer was suddenly ready to come out of the shop; I guess I should just consider it fortunate. Or as Kevin queried, is it really our old computer that they brought back?
Anyway, in the meantime, we needed a back up plan if we were going to work lunch without a POS system in place. As I have written before in these pages, we are seriously computer dependent, and to go back to dupes and calculators is not my idea of a good time. We got our order pads ready, with plenty of scratch paper, the knuckle buster came out for the credit cards and everyone got on the same page, as lunch service began.
Thank the lord we were really slow. This never would work. When I dropped the hand written checks to the customers for payment, I said "Welcome back to 1975". It was not fun. And finally, at 1:40, I said no more. We closed 15 minutes early, which we never do for lunch. I don't know how we would have managed had it been a typical busy Friday lunch, but I doubt it would have been pretty. It was a little after 2 when the tech got us back up and running, ready for dinner service at least.
So, back to New Year's Eve. Here's Kevin's 5 page prep list, beginning with a few light chores on Thursday and Friday, and leading up to double columns on Monday the 31st. The kitchen crew will be putting in a few extra hours this week, including working on Sunday and Monday, their usual days off.
While I am dealing with the computer, Kevin is dealing with the fact that his candy thermometer broke in the syrup he was making for the salted nut brittle. Since I am tethered to the DBS guy, he has to go out and try to find a replacement. None to be found for sale anywhere. Finally he gets the bright idea to stop and ask Herb at Herb's Soup and Such if he has one, and yes, they do - at home. Kevin retrieves it from their kitchen (!) and makes it back to finish the brittle, only about a half hour later. Thanks Herb and Christine, for being such fine neighbors!
This is the foie gras that will go in the duck sausage. Thank goodness we are not in California, for what is New Year's Eve without some form of foie gras, eh?
...and tie up with string! Nice. I can't wait to smell that thing roasting. Hopefully there will be leftovers...
I'll be back tomorrow with some more updates to the path to New Year's Eve.