This has been a very interesting week. So Far. Kevin tells me this morning to not even bother slowing down at that green light, since my theory regarding gliding through it is a little hit or miss. After landing at Tuesday's red light at its very start, it made no apparent difference in the day. Tuesday morning there was a message on the tape from Tif, made while she's being pulled over by the cops the night before. Since she is driving on a suspended license, we know this cannot be good. Next is the text from Cherelle, who also will be absent this Tuesday, due to a home invasion that occurred early Tuesday morning and which she was still dealing with and reeling from. The final calamity is the rain canceling day camp for Ashley's little girl, leaving her with no child care and consequently no one to watch her while Mommy comes to work.
And so, once more, we are extremely grateful that we have a back-up plan. We start with the texts and phone calls, and get Antwan in for Tif and Rayvon in for Cherelle. Ashley has her own numbers to call, and she gets Jenn in to cover her lunch shift. All is well. The main downside is that Rayvon can't actually make desserts, but Kevin doesn't mind putting together the first peach upside-down cake of the summer:
Wednesday is a new day. Tiffany makes it in - they only kept her for a few hours, and now she is riding a bike - and so does Cherelle, a little unnerved by her experience but ready to absent herself from the reality of life and get down to work. Mandrell is the one we have to do without this time - he calls out sick. Kevin moves his station onto the line and is ready for the change in his daily plans without a sound. He is the owner-operator. He knows the territory, as well he should by now, don't ya think??
I'll be sure to document when we have one of those weeks that we are fully staffed... They actually do happen.
Last night's menu was delicious. We sold out before we normally do, leaving a couple of tables disappointed. Luckily there are other choices to be had, albeit not quite the same "deal". The first course of the prix-fixe was a roulade of mozzarella, roasted red pepper and Thai basil. The Thai basil, which adds a wonderful anise-like flavor, is from our home garden, where we have one new plant and several (many) volunteer plants from last year's growth. I love this basil, better for some unknown reason than "regular" basil.
It was so good - I actually got a free sample after service - I think it might be a small plate special tonight.
The entree paired linguine with roasted peppers, onions, tomato and Black Bottom Farm pork belly. I don't suppose you would order this dish if you didn't like pork belly, and I did witness one or two people who trimmed away the fat on the pork. That seems futile to me. Plus it is so delicious. But, it is fat. It made for a very sumptuous plate of summertime pasta. Here's my favorite picture of the dish:
Dessert was bread pudding with caramel sauce, another dining room favorite. I probably cut the portion a little too large - as usual - but it was a sweet end to the Wednesday menu.
That cucumber plant of ours has been quite productive this summer, resulting in some serious pickle mania in the BT kitchen. Yesterday we made a batch of my sister Marty's blue ribbon winning bread and butter pickles. Cucumber, onion, green (or in this case, red) pepper together with celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric. We let them sit overnight in the salt brine, which doesn't seem to do them any harm and makes life a lot easier for us. This is the third or fourth batch of pickles our plant has provided for us, and I think we are done! We had so many cucumbers, I even was able to pick a few little ones to try my hand at cornichons. They are currently curing in our basement; I'll let you know how that turns out.
In other news - there's always other news, isn't there? - I have been fighting an ongoing battle with our ice cream freezer recently. It has needed defrosting just about every week lately, rather than the usual every several months, and it has been driving me crazy. No sooner do I get it all nice and frost-free, than there is a half inch of ice on the inside, growing thicker practically before your eyes. Eventually I remembered to ask the Morton Brothers guy to take a look at it while he was here on another mission, and he said the gaskets looked fine and turned down the temperature, thinking maybe the humidity was making the machine work too hard. Well, finally, I fixed it. I needed only one important tool - duct tape.
I figured out the problem the last time I defrosted it. Usually I take all the ice cream out and let the machine warm up just enough to allow me to scrape the ice out and shovel it out into the nearby sink, then I wipe it clean and turn it back on. This time I forgot about it, and came upon a puddle of melted ice on the floor when I finally came back down to reality. I realized it had come out the drain, but the inside drain plug was intact, so...that meant air was leaking in the same way the water was leaking out. I had lost the outside plug a while back and this was where the problem began. Easy enough to fix that - duct tape to the rescue:
A week later and the interior looks as fresh and clean as though it had just been defrosted!
This is important because? Because of the importance of duct tape for mechanical repair!
The only additional food picture I have is of food we are eating lately. Kevin and I have been making a lot of rice for breakfast these days - something about the usual pasta meal has lost its charm for Kevin, and of course what Kevin eats, I eat. This is our current favorite breakfast rice meal:
A warm flour tortilla, cilantro lime rice, jack cheese and avocado. Add a few slices of cowgirl candy for veg and you are good to go for the day.
My last story of the day - and one I got a lot of mileage out of last night - is brutally funny and couldn't have happened during a better week. Last night, as I was in the office changing into my work clothes just before service, Kevin knocks at the door and I turn the knob to let him in. He knocks again, as he turns the knob on his end and nothing happens. I turn my knob and nothing happens. Uh oh. I am actually locked in the office. At quarter to five on Wednesday night. Yeah Dad!!! This is great! I won't be able to work! I'll have to stay in here with the computer, the liquor and the phone for company. All is right with the world.
Well, that feeling was short lived. It took some effort - and I did actually google the problem to see if there was a method that would help me remove the offending door knob - but between the guys on the outside and me on the inside, we got the knob off and the door open. Took about a half hour of prying and twisting. Destroyed the knob of course.
Once again, duct tape proves its value by keeping the door open until we can get a new knob...
It has certainly been a fun week. And it's only Thursday!