The last two days have been unbelievably hectic, more so than I would have ever imagined possible. Three days ago if someone has asked me how many people we could cook for in a single catering event I would have eagerly told them close to 30. Friday brought about a rude awakening though. As it turns out, cooking a rice and quinoa salad for 25 people is not as easy as it looks. For starters, the sheer measure of ingredients required by far was more than any of our kitchen appliances could accommodate. Repeat that quantity for a rice & lentil salad as well as a curry pasta salad and I’m sure one can’t even comprehend what their kitchen would look like in the middle of the cooking process. I am happy to say that some things are easier to prepare in large quantities, such a mushroom & leek Quiche. Things that can be combined, put in a tapsie and stuck in the oven are a piece of cake. To say the least it was certainly a rude awakening to how things work on a larger scale.
Of course there were other bumps in the road as well, I only wish I could say that the aforementioned was all of our problems. I had planned on making some pumpkin & ginger muffins from a recipe that had looked absolutely divine in the picture and sounded even better in the ingredients list. On my list of new recipes were also some elaborately decorated gingerbread cookies that I was sure I was going to ace from an artistic stand point. Both I’m sorry to report were completely disastrous! The muffins came out like foul-tasting solidified glue that smelled worse than they looked believe it or not, I was ashamed to let anyone else in the kitchen even try them. Not only was I ashamed, but I was baffled! How could a recipe that looked so amazing go so horribly wrong?! I’m a good baker, I pride myself in what I produce (even when it doesn’t always look pretty, the taste has never been off). There was nothing to be proud of. As for the cookies, it was one thing after another. I couldn’t get the dough to stop sticking to my cutters. The cookies cracked, broke, and stuck together in the oven. I didn’t have food colouring for the icing. I couldn’t even get the consistency right for the icing, and even when I got it close to perfect, it clogged my icing nozzle repeatedly. I can not begin to describe the frustration I was experiencing as I squeezed harder on the bad and the icing just started oozing out of the top and down my hand, cold, sticky and coating my fingers creating an amazing mess.
I’d be lying if all I did was complain, yesterday has its charms as well. It was satisfying completing all that work and having 80% of it succeed. We came out with an amazing Quiche and some pretty incredible cookies. Most importantly we had fun, even if the kitchen looked like a bomb sight by the time we were done. I swear when I cook alone I am always spotless, when Mel joins the mix though all bets are off.
Today was an experience of a different kind. We were over eager to set up this morning and arrived at the venue three hours before the event even began. It only took us 10 minutes to set up shop. The day started out well, went to slow, and then picked back up again. I found it flattering that most people who purchased one of our items came back for seconds (and in some cases thirds). Many people came back to compliment us personally, and everyone had good things to say. I was certainly smiling throughout the entire event even despite the fact that I had a nine-hour, persistent headache that was desperately trying to get me to quit (the headache that is). As of now, I smell like a giant cigarette that has just been smoked and sitting in an over sized ashtray with 200 other previously smoked cigarettes. Just to give you an idea. Aside from the foul smell and lung damage, I am exhausted and thrilled with todays turn out. Hopefully tomorrow we will see a few friendly faces and meet some more people along the way. As for now, I just want to say a giant thank you to Troo Foods today who were so helpful with us in letting us share their stall, telling people about us when we weren’t paying attention, and genuinely wanted us to do well. They were amazing to work with and I look forward to spending another million smoke-filled hours with them tomorrow. As for me now, I plan on going to bed and sleeping more heavily than a hippo in a comma might.
Good night & sweet dreams