Ahh, as always, life has moved on. No more friends in the kitchen (lying, cheating, stealing will do a person in), another busy tourist season, and successes learned, have turned my restaurant employment into, once again, a job worth my while.
But with the extra days off (we have another cook), the appointment of pastry chef, and my own garden, my own kitchen has been a pleasure in recent months.
I had the worst oven anyone could own, and when two burner's finally bit the dust, I just told my husband that's it. New stove. A trip to Fred's Appliances in Coeur d'Alene. And lo and behold, it turned out that in two weeks after that trip, Fred's was having their giant parking lot sale in Spokane. Well, even if it meant rising at 4am, I wanted a decent stove and so off we journeyed. I didn't get my ding and dent, but I did buy, at a very reasonable price, a GE duel range, 30" stand alone (which is huge for my kitchen) and I am so happy! I'm still getting used to the very accurate oven, working with high-powered gas burners, compared to 18 yrs of electric burners, and just the overall workings of this baking/convection two-oven marvel. Indeed, I'm just now figuring out the bread temperatures, an important point to know since I bake all our own bread.
I also have my garden to contend with these days. The cutworms have been deadly to my black Tuscan kale and Swiss Chard so it's now warfare. Thankfully, Garden's Alive provides me with a pretty much organic defense, but all the rain has made this an ongoing war.... It's extra work, but I mean to prevail.
So, with my own garden produce coming on strong, I have been making endless creations with spinach, lettuce, fresh herbs, baby turnips, beets, and carrots, some peppers, summer squash, and even some early, renegade potatoes. It's all so delicious! From the first chives in spring, well into October (and even later with global warming) my garden just keeps on giving....
I did make myself, way back in April, the most marvelous birthday cake ever. After buying myself Sherry Yard's Desserts By the Yard, I made the chocolate twelve layer Dobos torte that she had once made for an Academy Awards dinner. Oh! Wow! Oh! That was incredible! One of my best birthday cakes. But that is what I do every year for my birthday - I challenge myself to make a dessert in which I do not fully understand the process but, of course, by the end, I'm "in the know." It's so gratifying, especially when it turns out so perfectly.
Ah, it's so good to be writing about food again. I can't wait to upload some photos to support more of my incredible experiences with food.