Monday, February 7, 2011

I Want Off This Roller Coaster!

As a manager, one learns to always temper one criticism with two positive statements.  Let me just say that this weekend was fabulous!  I didn't weave much, but I cleaned my house from top to bottom, rearranged furniture and set my house up for GULP, the dinner group I belong to, to have a Victorian Christmas dinner.  I baked most of Saturday morning, making the Buche de Noel and its accompanying mushrooms.  I must confess that it was the best, by far, Buche de Noel I've ever made.  I have made a lot, one Christmas making fifteen in one day.  I believe those were red velvet and white chocolate, with crushed peppermint, and perfectly yummy, but made to be sliced out of view.  This one took center stage, after an amazing dinner of:
Flaming Rum Punch
Bleu Cheese-Jalapeno Cheese Puffs
Beef Consomme with Parmesan Toast & Champagne
Cider-Honey Glazed Salmon on Wilted Spinach
Beet & Beet Green Aspic on Baby Greens
Roast Goose with Oyster Stuffing
A Theatrical Reading

And then, dessert.  But I have to show you the mushrooms first.  I piped them, popped them in a 250 degree oven and went to the store.  When I came back, they were perfectly dry!  I stuck them all together, stems to caps, with some melted chocolate, then used the rest of the melted chocolate to make chocolate buttercream.  The cake is just a chocolate jelly roll cake, filled with mocha cream frosting.  I love this cake recipe!  It's from Susan G. Purdy's The Perfect Cake.  Not a crack!  Not a break!  Whew!  
And then, I started decorating it.  Well, I made all these mushrooms, and I didn't want them to go to waste!  But when I stood back to admire it, I realized it was about 10 too many mushrooms!  But there they were, stuck to the plate with frosting, and there they stayed.  Until they were all eaten, that is.
I did manage to get a few picks in on the baby blanket, but I'm having trouble with the tension on this bamboo warp, and I'm wondering if it's the yarn?  Because I'll be weaving along, and suddenly a thread will be sagging down.  And then some more around it will sag and catch the shuttle.  And then, there are mistakes, and unweaving and unhappiness.  I still haven't unwoven this part, and I am sad to say I probably won't get back to it until next weekend.
Next weekend, which I almost lost today!  The man who said he would take over making the okra, starting with the new order of 2300 for Williams-Sonoma has been avoiding me for the last four weeks.  He won't answer my emails or voice mails, and I was only foolishly hoping that it meant he was too busy stuffing okra in jars.  Until Thursday, when he copied me on an email saying that stuffing okra in jars is a lot harder than he thought.  And it costs too much.  And it comes from too far away and he can't find enough, and on and on.  
  So, I called our produce company, found some from Guatemala for $37 a case--two and a half times what it cost in season--and was anticipating the worst.  Which came this morning, when Josh told me we'd have to make it.  I ordered jars, ordered okra, made peanut butter and fumed.  This guy had six weeks to decide whether or not to make it, and waits until six days before it has to be shipped!
  We got workers scheduled, and I resigned myself to a week of okra unpleasantness and then...  Josh called me at 4 this afternoon to tell me that when Sam, the owner of the hotel, found out the okra came from Guatemala, he said no way!  We can't make it!  
Have a great week!


LA said...

....and the economy of Guatemala just tanked!!! LOL The little mushrooms are works of art!!! Sounds like they were a big hit! As for the bamboo, I was just reading about that today in the Jan/Feb 2005 issue of Handwoven. I'll look that up again and email you.

Bonnie said...

At this time of night, all I can say is "oh, my".

Anonymous said...

As a cocktail waitress in my post-college days I once accidentally spilled an entire bowl of flaming rum punch in the laps of several customers. (The flames quickly subsided, and somehow I still ended up with a tip.) I'm sure that your rum punch behaved, and that your fabulous Buche de Noel will long be remembered!! ~Marta

Life Looms Large said...

Amazing Buche de Noel!!! I am in awe, especially of the stories of making multiple versions in a day. Yipes.

I some day just hope to be brave and talented enough to make one.

Sorry about the weird tension problems with the bamboo warp. I know about tension problems, as a fairly recent beginner....but not about problems with bamboo that would cause it to act like that. Let us know if you come up with a way to resolve it!!! (And don't you wish unweaving was as easy as unknitting? I do !!)

Have fun!