Much to my dismay, I sailed through the green light at 213 this morning. I slowed way down, hoping to catch the red, but to no avail. Sure enough, the light on the answering machine at work is blinking when I step into the Office, and our two day girls are stranded. In Ocean City, of all places. The poor, poor things. They must be so miserable.
Luckily the Calvary has responded to our pleas, and the two night time fellows are (once again) coming to our rescue. We probably should have read the riot act to Cherelle and Tiffany on Wednesday, about the perils of going to a beach town three hours away on the Fourth of July, but we did not heed our instincts. Next time, we will.
Meanwhile, the Fourth was preceded by a very busy Third, and our Wednesday menu succeeded in wiping out the sour memories of the one last week. (One guest referred to the "brain cheese" we had served, which was spot-on the trouble with that menu.)
Kevin has been referring to the dish he chose as a starter for this week's Wednesday menu as "Cheese and Crackers". His version, he should add. This would mean croutons, house made mozzarella, grape tomato vinaigrette and pesto. A tasty, crunchy tapas.
The main was pasta again, but this time with a sweet Italian style sausage, zucchini, peppers and onions. Kind of like your street fair sandwich on a plate with linguine. Dessert was a slice of Blueberry Crumb cake, but we got way too busy for me to get any more photos. We were short a busser - the Fourth of July starts early on the Eastern Shore - and everyone had to step up to the plate and pick up the slack.
I've got a few more pictures.
My lunch crew got hold of the camera the other day, and couldn't resist some acting out. Aren't they a cute bunch? And good workers to boot!
Our pre-Fourth lunch special was a New Jersey Thumann's dog mounded with Kevin's chili. It looked appropriate to the season, and we know those Thumann dogs are really good.
This is another lunch special, beef tips over potato salad, which made a nice hot-day lunch for a few people.
Another noon time special was the green bean salad with an Italian sausage, dressed in cheese and the tomato vinaigrette. Sort of a yin-yang plate, with your healthy green vegetable paired with the almost healthy pork filled casing. Appeases your inner nutritionist at least!
Got our first bushel of Redman Farms sweet corn, and it raised all sorts of attention in the kitchen. Those who have worked through a summer here know that the first bushel is basically a sign of things to come, probably until October. Newer staff members, like Tiffany, remark that they love shucking corn. Ha! Kevin says "This isn't sitting on the back porch, shucking a dozen ears for supper, with a beer in one hand." This is a couple bushels a week, shucked and cleaned of silk and cut off the cob. Mandrell handled the first bushel of 2013 all by himself, although he would have liked a little help from Tiffany...
That bushel translated into a fish tub of corn. Minus the three ears we ate - and it was a good beginning to the season, being tender and sweet but not too sweet.
The bonus by-product of fresh corn is the corn stock Kevin makes from the cobs, which is then used to make all sorts of soups and sauces, all very vegetarian. I think the first time a newbie cook sees a big stock pot of simmering corn cobs on the stove, they must sort of wonder what kind of kitchen they have found themselves in...
Had to take a picture of these very strange looking mushrooms that popped up beneath a tree out front, during our season of Seattle last week. Anyone know what they are? Sort of like birthday candles, on one hand. On the other, something more phallic, in a candy corn kind of way.
And finally, our Brooks Tavern Heroes of the Month. Heck, of the Year! Two of the best employees ever found anywhere:
Antwan Cruz and Rayvon Shepherd. Night time dish washers extraordinaire. And even more importantly, fill-ins as needed. We might not get an answer right away, when we make our desperate calls for help, but we know they'll get the message and one or the other will come to our rescue. Maybe this is what makes it so easy for the two girls to drop us from their radar, because they know we will call in the ever reliable reserves. Antwan has been working here for exactly one year, starting on July third of last year. He never - all right, very rarely - says no, he can't work. Rayvon, who has been on the schedule since March of 2012, is also cross-trained on the salads, so he is stepping in to replace Cherelle today on that station. We are truly indebted to these two hard working young men, who regularly help out in our hours of need in the kitchen.
There's always a bright side, right?