Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Still Here!

I am still out here, still making desserts, still being crafty, and not just with looms, but work has been extra crazy!  Another pastry cook gave notice--is it something I said?--and we've been interviewing, working, baking and just generally trying to hold things together.  It's gotten so crazy, I've had to put my piano lessons on hold until after the first of the year.  I'm sincerely hoping it'll have calmed down by then at work so that I can actually practice more than a half hour a week!
  But I did take time to take a long vacation.  My sister came to visit, and she, Bella, Mom and I took off for Asheville.  It was hot there, too, but it was the weekend of Belle Cher festival.  I thought it was more of a music festival than it was.  It was really just a big street fair, but it was fun, anyway.  We stayed in a B & B in the town of Black Mountain, a big house that had at one time been a post stop on the pony express, and where Ernest Hemingway stayed once.
  It did us all good to get away from house obligations and to do lists.  Bella had a great time, even getting used to riding in the car.  She was very well behaved, and the women who ran the Doggie Jail at Belle Cher fell in love with her.  They don't allow dogs in town during the festival, and the B & B didn't allow her to be left alone, so she went everywhere we did.
  When we went to the yarn store three times--Sorry, Liz!--she waited outside with Liz, but other than that, Bella had her first vacation/road trip.  She even accompanied us to my birthday dinner, at a German restaurant in Black Mountain.  She's right behind me, in case you were looking for her.  It was a good dinner, but what was better, and what I didn't get pictures of was our lunch at Twelve Bones Barbecue in Asheville.  If you go to Asheville, promise me you'll go there!  It was absolutely amazing.
  

When we got back to Knoxville, Matt and Dana came to stay the night with me.  I bought a new barbecue grill for my own birthday gift, but it was Matt who got to break it in.  He and Dana made way too much food, as usual, and we enjoyed it all.  Leo particularly enjoyed the corn tassels as Matt waved them in his face.
 
It was a fabulous birthday, one of my best yet!  The family joke is that on the 30th, and days surrounding it, I am the Princess of Practically Everything, and this week was no exception.  I had a fabulous time!  I hope everyone else did, too!

  And then it was back to the grind stone for me.  Work welcomed me back with a more-than-full hotel, full of guests wanting special treatment.  That includes the family that owns the hotel, celebrating a big anniversary.  Most of the family is gluten free, following the current trend, and I had to come up with a gluten free special dessert for their celebration.  Here is a blue cheese semifreddo on Spanish almonds with port reduction and caramelized figs.  It's been voted onto the dinner menu, so I'll be making it tomorrow night.  The figs are local, tiny and delicious, and the bleu cheese is made from milk from our sheep.
  One day off this week, so I'd better get to the laundry!