Friday, May 28, 2010

Here come the fudgies!!

The season officially begins this weekend. The season that some locals hate, but others love. I live in a tourist/seasonal living area. Memorial Weekend brings them in and Labor Day takes them home. We all have our fun nick names for them, but "fudgies" is by far the oldest term I know. Did you know that in the Upper Penninsula they call us "trolls"? Trolls: People under the bridge. I thought that was aweseme.

Anyhow, I have been busy at the restaurant preparing for this very weekend. I've made hummus, tuscan bean dip, quatro de leche cake, chocolate capri cakes, strawberry rhubarb cobbler, brandy truffles, house dressing, and of course chopping and prepping whatever else comes my way. Yesterday I had to prep and clean 2 pounds of kale -- not the most fun job in the world, but at least I am not sorting peas!

It's going to be a zoo this weekend, but I am really excited for the rush of it all! In exchange for the 2 busiest nights I will have so far in my short career as a cook -- I am getting 2 days off!! Sunday and Monday I am going to hang out with friends, family, and my BF. I am really looking forward to the next several days. It's going to be great!

Welcome to summer in northern Michigan -- enjoy your stay!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's just a virus

But it's so disabling! My laptop has 5 to 6 viruses on it and has been at the "doctor" for a few days now. I really hope it's ok, I miss it so!

In the mean time, I've been reading my email and such on my phone -- but not replying. It's so cumbersome to pull out the mini keyboard and type a long sentance. Nothing like hen pecking an entire paragraph.

I've finally resolved to use the pc we have hooked to our TV. I honestly don't like working on this darn thing since I have to sit one foot from the screen. The "wireless" keyboard and mouse are so sensitive they don't work right more than a foot from the computer. It's completely annoying. BUT, if I didn't start replying to emails -- my friends would start to wonder what happened to me!

Yes, I am here -- just a little slow to respond these days. I hope to have her back by Friday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A little rusty

I am so grateful to be back to work for the season! The past few weeks have flown by, the first week back at work and then on a mini vacation to Raleigh, NC. Now it's time to get back to it and I feel so refreshed -- even though it was just for the weekend!

My first few days back I spent cleaning and organizing. They bought a new work station for the bakery area (my domain these days) that has a refridgerated unit in the bottom of the unit. What I had before was just a stainless steel countertop, which was ok, but this new work station -- well, it's the bomb. I also now have my own microwave and plenty of plating counter space. We did pretty well for our first weekend open and I was able to get out of there by 9:45 both Friday and Saturday. I am so excited that I am not scheduled to close!

I also made baked wonton wrappers, helped "design" a plating for a new dessert, and made mignardise for the weekend. We sold 8 of the new desserts our first night! I was so proud that I helped design it! YAY!

Monday (May 2nd) was my first major bake day. I tested 3 organic mixes that we are going to sell in the store. First I made cranberry bran muffins with "no sugar added". I am guessing that means besides the cranberries. I thought they were very tasty, while others thought they needed more sweetness. Secondly, I made corn muffins. I did not like these at all. The texture was all wrong and didn't taste like corn meal at all. Last, but not least, I made the chocolate cake. Besides the fact that I didn't butter the pans enough and they stuck to the pan -- the chocolate cake was SO divine and chocolatey!! I don't even like cake that much and I still thought it was excellent!

Later that day I attempted to make the mignardise, that week it was dark chocolate with a roasted almond inside. Well, I am not sure what my deal was, but I could not get the chocolate to temper correctly and they ended up turning color. I was so frustrated and felt bad for wasting all the chocolate -- and almonds! Not to mention I already was frustrated from the cake sticking incident. Lucky for me, Lady Chef is really cool and said -- "that's ok, you will go on vacation and come back all refreshed and everything will be back to normal."

Fast forward to this past Monday. I did more cleaning and organizing, mainly our freezers which totally needed it. We ended up pulling out some pasta, dumplings, and mini quiches to make for our employee meal. This is one of the awesome benefits I get working there -- she feeds us every night!

Tuesday night I ended up being the only one working besides Lady Chef. There were only 7 reservations, so you'd think it would not be that bad. However, when you have to prep and work 2 stations plus wash dishes, it becomes a bit of a challenge. I didn't get out until 10:20 and I was exhausted! It was a good night though, we make a great team. She was right -- I am getting right back into it.