Disappointment

This weekend was the IA sheep and wool festival.  I had signed up for a class and was all set to go.  I intended to pick up hand cards for the lovely angora I received (remember this?) and perhaps some dyes.  I’ve been counting down the days.

But earlier this week we got a little heads up to check the website.  It could be the case that the fairgrounds would be under water due to all the flooding in IA.  We were told to keep checking back.  I checked the forecast there and noticed that they were indeed going to receive more rain in the next 3 days.  So I remained optimistic that perhaps the forecasts would be incorrect and the rivers would not swell to the point that they did.  First I read that the road to the fairgrounds had flooded, but my optimism barely waned.  In the end, last evening, I received a call from one of the planners indicating that they would have to cancel as the fairgrounds were under water.  And I was so sad.  Then I remembered that my silly sheep and wool festival cancellation is nothing compared to the people losing homes and crops to all this water.  I am very selfish.

On that note, anyone know how I can get to Estes Park, CO this weekend?  😉

Nick guest blogs again.

Shells:

It has been awhile since we have heard from Nick. I figured a bit of background on this post might be wise. When I started dating J, he introduced me to the yogurt making process and to Lebnah, which has become one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Bug is crazy over it too, and gets quite excited when I make yogurt as she knows what is coming. So for the past year, I have been attempting to get Nick to try it, as I know his tastes and I just knew he would love it. But he just wasn’t convinced. A year later he finally gets himself on a little health kick and decides to give it a try. Here we see the results of that. (Oh, and I must add, he is doing a shortened version, using plain yogurt rather than making his own yogurt)

ETA:  J would like me to inform you all that this is a traditional Lebanese dish.  I cannot figure out how I managed to forget to add that.  He very much enjoyed Nick’s post as it showed an American perspective on a traditional dish.

Nick:

Here’s a play by play on the Lebnah… Or as I jokingly call it Lebahaha…

Get a 2lb container of Stonyfield Farms organic yogurt (low fat) and a package of cheesecloth…

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Get a bowl that’s larger than the amount of yogurt you have… Open up the cheese cloth and cut it so you have two layers lining the bowl overhanging by a good amount.

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Plop the yogurt into the cheesecloth lined bowl. Rinse out the yogurt container for later.

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Bunch up the cheesecloth and tie the top to make a hanging “ball”….
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Now tie the other end to a cabinet handle so the ball dangles above the rim of the bowl that is sitting on your counter.Photobucket

Now let it hang and drain overnight.
The next morning you’ll have a bowl with this lovely yellow liquid (whey, lots of protein, but I’m not sure how it could be used) and the “yogurt” will be about a third of its original size and the consistency of cream cheese.

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Cut it out of the cheesecloth “package” and plop it back in the yogurt container with a teaspoon of kosher salt mixed in.

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As G. Love and Spacial Sauce once said, Stick it in the fridge…

Toast up some pita triangles in the oven (10 mins at 300 deg should do it).

But 1st brush them with olive oil and crack some pepper on them…

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When you are ready to eat spoon some out on a flat plate and spread it out with the back of your spoon. Drizzle with good olive oil…

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mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

Escapades

Last evening I had a work event to go to with recently retired coworker.  I was to be her date.  I was quite excited about this and eager to wear this dress. That dress still looks absolutely fantastic and flatters in all the correct ways.  Actually, I have noticed that this designer does that for me in general.

I got to the event looking nice and looked around for recently retired coworker but could not find her.  I stopped to chat with another coworker.  I was standing by the soda bar when one of the waitstaff dropped a soda which immediately became shaken and unsealed, causing it to spin around in circles spraying soda in a 4 person radius.  It was quite extreme and I am sure that my eyes about popped out of my head at the thought of all that soda on my favorite dress ever!  Luckily, I’ve worked in catering and knew to immediately ask for a dry cleaning voucher.  She offered me a free drink but I insisted on the voucher.  They did take care of that with some expediency which was good.  I have a few other things to take to the cleaners anyhow so now is the perfect time to do so.

But it really got me thinking about all my time as a caterer and the wealth of stories I have of those times.  I thought I should probably try to document a few of them as far as I can remember them.  No, this will not be a week off type theme, but I will try to add them in as I get a chance.

I started catering when I went off to college as a work study program.  I was rather a nervous new college student but usually up for just about any adventure even if it scared me.

Now, the catering manager at the time was a woman who was…how shall we say…difficult and demanding to the extreme at that moment in her life.  I think she was always trying to prove something and therefore nothing anyone did was quite good enough.  If we weren’t fast enough or if we didn’t do things just as we were told to, she could get into quite a tirade.  We knew it and tried to avoid it as much as possible.  Compounding this was the fact that due to understaffing and lack of time there just wasn’t good training for the young students so we always felt that we were winging it somewhat.

It was my first fancier china reception, it took place in a nice lounge in the student center.  I and a group of students were working with the difficult manager.  This company did on average 14 events a day, and I know that it was a busy time of year.  We were, as usual, running behind.  This reception had hot food in chaffing dishes with the lit sterno’s underneath.  We had been setting the buffet up against the wall and had already lit the sterno’s and added the hot water to the chaffer pans when manager decided to check in on us.  She got a bit perturbed because we were running behind and also because we did not pull the buffet away from the wall in order to make it a double sided buffet.  We were asked to pick up the chaffers and the sterno’s and move the buffet.  That would have been fine, as the sternos were always set on upside down bread and butter plates, which perfectly housed the sterno making it stable.

There was only one problem.  Someone had used saucers instead of bread and butter plates, so rather than nestling comfortably on the bottom of the plate, the sterno was unsteady and could tip over.  I picked up the saucer and the lit sterno went flying.  It hit the carpet spreading flammable gel in a large arc, immediately starting the lounge on fire.  I was horrified but everyone else seemed in shock and no one was moving!  I decided to stomp it out to smother it.  Now the goo is stuck to my shoe and my shoe is on fire!  So I grab some extra linens to smother it, and the linens caught on fire.  In the end I grabbed a chaffing dish lid and covered the whole thing up smothering the flames.

Well, as is always the case with catering, the show must go on.  We quickly moved the buffet to a new position, covering the burns with the buffet tables.  Soon after I asked to be excused as I was shaking so hard and not really in the mood to try to circulate a cocktail tray full of food.  Manager was having none of this until one of the headwaiters stepped in and told her that she would most certainly take my spot if I could be left in the servery to calm down.  I happily folded napkins and polished silverware for the rest of my shift.

This experience, though extreme, was in the end a very fortunate event.  I went on to work my way up the ladder within the same company eventually becoming the manager myself.  I worked with countless new and inexperienced students who always managed to do something which they thought horrifying and embarrassing.  And I could always assure them that they should laugh over whatever it was, because no matter what they did, no matter how many trays they dropped, no matter how many glasses they broke, they had never burned the lounge like I did.  Whatever their current failure, mine was always worse!  It went a long way to creating student workers who were dedicated to their job and willing to learn.

The weekend

I think I’ll just go with a generic weekend summary today. I’ve a couple things to post but nothing earth shattering.

Bugs father called me recently and asked me if I was pregnant. My reaction was along the lines of “WHAT?!?!? NO WAY!!! Where did you hear that?

Apparently her dad had put her in a shirt that didn’t fit. He told her that they had to stop wearing it. She informed him that she intended to take it home because Mommy could use it for the new baby.

Um….she must know something I don’t know!

This weekend we went to the “scariest movie I never saw.” We went to see “The Strangers.” J had thought it would be a fantasy type thriller and I thought I could handle that. We did not expect it to be a horror film.

Initially he saw my reaction and said “It is just a movie….it’s just a movie!” Then he started realizing JUST how scary it was, pretty soon he is hanging onto my hand and saying “I am sorry sweetie, I didn’t expect it to be like this!”

Now by that time I’d had my eyes closed for awhile. I had no intention of watching a scary movie that would stick with me. I could tell by the music that it was a very effective scary movie, as well as the audience reaction. Actually, it is rather amusing to listen to everyone in the theater scream, including the guys, and repeatedly, when you are not actually watching the movie and aren’t that scared. Meanwhile J is still saying “Sweetie, sweetie, don’t open your eyes, just try to sleep or something.” How funny. I don’t think he will try to put me through that again.

I worked quite bit on my Kauni this weekend. I am bored of the current colors and am hoping for new ones to line up soon. I also worked a bit on the pomatamus sock and figured that I’d give a full repeat picture for posterity’s sake.

Francies are done

I absolutely adore these socks.  With the ribbing they cannot help but fit properly.  They are interesting in their construction and they were a great deal of fun to make.

I used jojoland melody yarn, which is supposed to have soft even color changes.  I am not sure what happened with the left sock, but I managed to run from red into blue in constructing the heel and then I ended up with a band of color change over the top of the foot.  Oddly, I am totally OK with that!

You’ve seen the tree like bottoms in another post so I didn’t take a picture of that.  I finished them at work today and I haven’t taken them off since.  I just adore this pattern!

Pomatamus mess

I picked out some Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock in color childsplay for my pomatamus knit along. I was so excited to use this bright summery yarn for the project, I thought it would look just plain fantastic!

I was not that lucky.

Yellow on one side

Pink on the other.

Not really the effect I was going for. And that color wasn’t moving! It was fully intending to pool like that for the leg of the sock. I looked up some pom projects on ravelry and it seemed like anyone using that colorway had the same issue. I think it has something to do with the fact that the pom sock has a 72 stitch leg rather than the typical 60-64.

I went back to the drawing board, I pulled out all my available sock yarns and photographed them. I asked some knitting peeps and decided on chameleon colorworks glacier moraine color.

Yep, that’ll do!