Tuesday, November 23, 2010

sales people gone wild, The State Department, stuffing


Thanksgiving has been well under way for us catering types, beginning with the baking and packaging of free stuff for loyal clients. Boxes and boxes of mini carrot cake muffins, specialized flavors of Laduree-style macaroons, red velvet whoopee pies all await delivery today. One of my favorite guys from the pastry shop was in the dispatch cooler dropping off yet another round of these treats, snarking that our sales people are like senators – they love to spend money and give away what isn’t theirs. That’s the kind of sentiment you feel after filling 2,000 whoopee pies.

So on to senators.. I had to make an ‘emergency’ run to the State Department yesterday to prepare hors deouvres, 2 first courses, and 2 entrees in 20 minutes as a second round of tasting food for an upcoming dinner. We had the menu pretty well hammered out after a large tasting with the chief of protocol here, but then it turns out a certain government VIP who used to be a senator was at the dinner last year and wanted to weigh in on the menu at the last minute. That is not how it usually works. Usually the chief of protocol or social secretary make the calls on the main menu and then we may provide special meals for folks as needed, but of course there are always exceptions when the higher-ups get involved. I have the wrong phone with me – when I get to the other phone I will try to post a picture of the view from the top of the State Department building. It’s stunning.

In the meantime, even the delivery truck exhaust fumes couldn’t compete with the buttery brioche aromas around here the last few days. We’ve been baking loaf after loaf of brioche, sourdough, cornbread for mass production of stuffing and dressing. 


This year we are making a dozen different types, plus of course a number of orders with painful directions and personalizations. ‘please use only light half & half, low sodium chicken stock,’ as though we use canned chicken stock. ‘Make creamy with some lumps, just like Nana used to make,’ so I try to explain in Spanish, what I think the client is looking for… and that ‘Nana’ is a way of calling your abuela.

¡Feliz Thanksgiving Everyone!

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