Good lord, I’m a busy beaver these days. Mostly entirely preoccupied with just getting the day-to-day done – occasionally without funds, a usable car (currently one runs but cannot be operated at nighttime), and/or phone minutes (oops! but u can always text! 3605003287) and in addition today we had five clients to feed through the Conch Shell Deli (the site desperately needs a few blog updates but I haven’t made the time yet!). Now that it’s mostly sunshine and light (with a little rain here and there) I feel about a hundred percent better. I’m even going to bed without drinking myself down. Most nights. w00t
Back to food: today’s featured menu: cabbage rolls with organic beef and brown sugar, garlic mashed potatoes with shallot gravy, winter fruit salad with lemon poppyseed dressing, sour cream Guinness stout cake with chocolate ganache, a mixed-berry pavlova, and lemonade with fresh-squeezed, tart, rich lemon goodness!
All items had to be made free of dairy, wheat, and onion for one set of clients. Generally I try to prepare all the food identically as long as I think substitutions or amendments will turn out beutifully – and in the case of cabbage rolls, my recipe contains no wheat, dairy, or onion anyway. I did make separate versions of both the gravy and the mashed potatoes (don’t worry, both were loaded with full-fat goodness) because I kind of cry a little inside if I mash up potatoes and don’t get to immediately whip in butter and sour cream. In the case of dessert, I made the mixed-berry pavlova for the clients with dietary restrictions, because if you are going to make a sour cream Guinness cake without dairy nor wheat, well best luck to you (and seriously, shoot me a recipe) but I didn’t have time to fool with that this week.
So in short, today I learned a bit more about gravy (traditional butter-flour roux, and gluten/dairy-free) which ended up being lovely. Before today I’d been uncertain and kind of irritated at the prospect of gravy. But today, I think I did rather well, and came up with a good system. In fact, two of my clients – whose fare I respect in their own right – directly asked for the recipe. BOOM
I’m finding it’s rather wonderful to cook with children, as long as (like in all things kiddo-related) they are willing participants. Today Phoenix (our newest partner) assiduously peeled potatoes, scissored romaine, cut and squeezed lemons, whipped ganache, roasted and then peeled resultant garlic, and oversaw the emulsion process (a dispersed phase within a continuous phase, Chris!) for the lemon poppyseed dressing. Nels ran about outside and kept the spring-break-kids from shooting our chickens with their various weaponry (no, really), and every now and then I’d see his lovely blonde head skateboarding – barefoot – by my window. Nels also didn’t set anything on fire or break bones (his or anyone else’s) for which I am very grateful, as he was mightily unobserved for much of our day. AND he counted up the earned cash and asked Ralph how much to give him for grocery expenses (one lovely client paid using two dollar bills, half-dollar pieces, and golden dollar coins, which went over with the kids a hundred and fifty percent, and for a solid hour and a half kept Goblin Nels stacking and organizing and dispersing).
Tomorrow we’re making banana cake and off on our way to feed the downtown Aberdonians. We’re also expecting company for the weekend (fingers crossed). It’s a bright (near) future. Let’s see if I can hold my shit together.
In other news, my daughter is lovely. She is the embodiment of the word.
Don’t you think?