Aaah, the busy season. Pick-ups and deliveries manage to hit the loading dock at once. Here the flamingoes await a tall enough van, rocking in the gusty air, while the oyster shuckers show up with 4000 oysters and clams, and in the other bay my delivery of 25 cases of prosecco are about to be unloaded.
For most the holiday season may not conjure up images of pink flamingoes, but the folks at the Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) party tomorrow night are going to ring in the holiday season with a ‘pink flamingo’ dessert buffet. These feathered confections were molded out of rice krispie treat mix, decorated with hot pink fondant, anchored by 25 pounds of sugar, and have been waiting in an office for special, handle-with-care transport, along with a number of gumdrop trees which will adorn yet another of the many buffets at this event for 4500 people.
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!
One of the many perils of working at a large catering company is the brownie bones. We can’t be serving lopsided brownies to people so we have to trim sheet after sheet of brownies into perfect rectangles, leaving behind all of those rough edges which wind up in big buckets in the pastry cooler. That is bad enough, but this morning’s brownie batch has a salty caramel topping all over it. !!!!! So some brownie bones are helping me get through processing November menus. Guess I’ll be hitting the gym after all.
Testing from my Verizon wench widget… with a pic as well. This is the feral cat we caught in the kitchen the other day. Dammit, now we have to go back to catching the mice!Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone
Hi there, taking a quick break to test my new blog!Today’s kitchen misadventures have included a $12,000 miscalculation on liquor inventory, crank calls from some guy telling me my Morroccan colleague is Taliban, and pears at the State Department not stuffed with the appropriate chocolate. Oh, and white chocolate, salty almonds and rice krispies work together. well! And I don’t usually even care for white chocolate. Uber-admin, can you hear me now?
Savory morsels and biting commentary on the way.