My assistant, Melanie, is stuck in Chicago, due to the massive storm that hit there earlier this week. She had time to go to the Williams-Sonoma store to take pictures of our product there. Now, people have been emailing me photos of the stuff in West Town Mall here in Knoxville, and that's really nice, but somehow, a mall in Chicago makes me feel much more... important?
The okra was last seen on this blog in September, when we finished the 6850th jar. I just found out two days ago that the man who was supposed to take over the okra re-orders thinks it's "too time consuming," and okra in February is "too costly," so he wants to back out. Which means, of course, that we'll be back to making it soon. I've spent most of this week filling the first re-order for peanut butter, but haven't made much headway with Melanie in Chicago and Dustin on paternity leave. I think it'll be difficult to convince anyone to help me fill jars with okra again, but on my side is the fact that February is very slow at the hotel, and cooks will need hours enough to overlook the unpleasantness that is pickling okra.
Today, I'm off work to clean and rearrange my house so that I can host GULP tomorrow. GULP is the dinner group I belong to, you may remember, and the number has swelled to 17 for tomorrow night's feast. The dining room will poke well into the living room, and I'll have to borrow chairs, but I have enough plates--from Williams-Sonoma!--and enough flatware. I'll be pilfering pine boughs from the townhouses behind my house, buying all the white candles I can find around town and bringing back the Christmas tree for one last hurrah before it becomes just another tree in a pot. The theme is Victorian Christmas, inspired by one member's reading of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. There'll be dramatic readings, lots of red and green and lots of festive feasting. I'll report more afterwards!