Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Hear Sleigh Bells!

Or is it just ringing in my ears?

  I'm feeling particularly smug because I finished everything and got all the packages in the mail yesterday.  Everyone will get their gifts on time, and I can relax and enjoy the rest of the season.  Well, except for those pesky guests at the farm who also want to enjoy the season!
  I finished beading the scarf by toiling at wee hours in the morning.  I felt about halfway through that I'd done too much, but I forged ahead because I didn't want to un-bead.  Overall, I like the way it turned out, but the next two scarves will be slightly different.  And because they didn't get done in time to be Christmas gifts, their future homes have changed.  Can't be a spoiler, so you'll just have to wait and see.
  But it's so nice to have the pressure of the deadline gone, and to be able to focus on other things.   Last night, all the Chefs, dining room managers and sommeliers were treated to dinner at Town House in Chilhowie, VA, a small but beautiful restaurant that is getting a lot of well-deserved praise and press.   I wish I would have taken pictures, but we all said that halfway through dinner.  Everything was delightful, well thought-out and delicious.  Well, except this slimy oyster-tasting stuff on a spinach leaf that was an appetizer.  I was definitely in the minority on that one, but I thought it was gross.  It was a texture thing.
   Dessert was amazing, but I really don't like their platings. Stuff is just kind of piled in a bowl or on a plate.  You've seen my stuff enough to know that I like architectural platings, with nothing on the plate that doesn't belong and clean, finished lines.  The first time I ate one of Karen Urie Shields' desserts, I was horrified by the big pile of stuff on the plate.  But as I dug into the pile, each new spoonful revealed another surprising taste and texture.  That's how it was last night.  The first was a bowl of off-white and brown shards of stuff, hiding something freezing cold and chocolate-y, with a pungent smoke flavor in the shards and some sour cream.  The next dessert was parsnips ice cream, um... and um... okay, it was seven glasses of wine, two beers and a shot of sake into the dinner!  I might not remember the second dessert that well!  But all agreed the first was much better and very exciting to eat.  We had a discussion about her platings and mine, and how I could meet in the middle somewhere because of how pleasant the surprise of uncovering new flavors and textures was.  We will see.  I'm not sure I can loosen up that much!
  Tomorrow, it's back to making others happy for the holidays!  I think my Christmas will probably happen next Wednesday, because on Tuesday, it's new sewer line day!  Woohoo!  Can't wait!
  I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing holiday weekend!  Give big hugs, eat lots of deliciousness and raise a glass to all those people making others' holidays bright this weekend!


LA said...

What a great idea....having dinner out with your co-workers! It gives you all a chance to see how others do IT and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! The scarves are WONDERFUL!!!!! The beading just adds that little something special!

Bonnie said...

The scarves are beautiful. I agree with you on the oyster thing. It is a slimy texture- that I don't like also.

Theresa said...

Maggie, it's always good to grow but I think you also need to stay who you are as far as culinary architecture! At home stuff is slopped into bowls and heaped on plates, when I got out, I like my food "showcased and presented"
unless of course it's the local diner....
Beautiful scarves BTW and I hope Leo, Weftie and Bella are all on the mend
with their respective upsets. Have a wonderful holiday whenever you can get to it. And remember, good plumbing should not be taken for granted! :)