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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Christmas in May

The biz is almost five years old.  When we moved in the kitchen had one big prep table, a hobart mixer, a walk in cooler, a walk in freezer, a double stack oven set, and a range stove, and some shelving.  A $1,500 investment in some pots and pans and sheet pans and spatulas and tongs and another $850 at Ross for some platters and fancy spoons and we were in the cooking business... with no one to cook for.

The ovens were big and powerful, but highly erratic.  Burning edges and corners, and leaving the entire bottom rack raw no matter how long something was in there.  But we learned its quirks well, and found we had to open the doors and stir often, or pick just five pieces of bacon at a time from a sheet pan, and to rotate pans from top to bottom and spin them frequently. 

These pieces of restaurant refuse served a solid 42,000 catered guests and cooked the ingredients for at least another 38,000 sandwich shop customers.  We hated the ovens, but were always grateful for their service... only once did they break down for a big event, but good restaurant friends let us use their ovens... and that is a story for another time.

Well the bottom oven died the other day, leaving us with one very old and inefficient oven and one very old and expensive oven to fix.  So we bit the bullet and bought these bad boys from Blodgett Corp in Burlington Vermont.  With a little help from eight strapping young Whitman Baseball Players they were installed in no time.

I am no tech geek, or gear geek, or car afficionado, or anything approaching a stuff guy... but don't they look beautiful?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Palmares is a cycling term that means a list of great accomplishments.  Here is our version of palmares.

We donate one private dinner for eight guests for the ywca fundraiser auction.  (We also donate countless gift certificates to other groups, and dedicate sales to the Ronald McDonald House from our sandwich shop.)  The last two years the dinner has been at Longshadows, in their Chihuly Room. 

I can't think of enough adjectives to describe the wonderful dinner we had tonight: suberb, excellent, outstanding, delicious, exquisite, the list goes on. We were awed by each course. It was truly a fabulous meal and we had a superb time wining, dining and visiting with our friends. As a guest treated to your excellent (I'm already repeating myself) culinary cuisine, I thank you.  Again, kudos to you for a memorable evening and thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to give of yourself and your incredible talents.  -  Michelle


Monday, May 23, 2011

busy busy

I finally figured out how to link my phone to the computer, yes I know how dumb that sounds.  But the picture shortage is no longer a problem.  Here are some shots from the past few weeks.

As a general rule... we don't make desserts (except for brownies, cobblers, bread pudding, and cookies).  But we donated dessert for an auction, and Lori (Brian our cook's wife) loves to make cupcakes.  So she made these Spring/Easter inspired fondant covered cupcakes.  They were awesome.

Who says there is no good seafood in Walla Walla?  These Penn Cove Mussels were harvested on the 18th and served on the 20th.  We blanched them, topped them with some garlicky bread crumbs, broiled them and served them with a saffron aioli. 

A phad thai noodle inspired salad.  Too many ingredients to list. 

We call these "shrimp scallop lollipops".  Seared on a flat top and then brushed with lemon garlic butter before going to the guests.  They never ever last more than a few moments.

Sliders made with Lostine Cattle Company ground beef.  Super clean tasting.  Caramelized onions, fresh thyme, goat cheese, mayo.  We served 800 on Saturday at Leonetti (from 10am to 2:45pm... that is like 170 and hour?) and another 200 on Sunday.

A fruit platter for a nurses appetizer reception.  Tangerine syrup is the dipping sauce. 

Blanched asparagus with tarragon mayo and Tim's Chips, and a Japanese noodle salad (its the cousin to the phad thai noodle salad).

And this is what the sandwich shop looked like all week... the graduating Whitties getting their last fill of Graze - a place to eat.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

boom boom

Since we last checked in... dinner for a church, dinner at Dunham Cellars, lunch for a Republican Congress member and supporters, lunch for Earth Day Volunteers, lunch for Veterans Administration Volunteers, dinner at Dunham Cellars (again), dinner at Dunham Cellars (and again), appetizers for Whitman Alumni at Dunham Cellars (again... again), wine lunch at Reynvaan Vineyards, dinner at Dunham Cellars (and seriously again), apps Friday Night for spring release weekend at Mannina Cellars, L' Ecole Winery, Reininger Winery, and a two day event at Leonetti for over 1,000 guests.

Its been busy here.  Wedding season kicks off this week with our first wedding of the season, May 14th at Areus.... and then it gets busier.  (Lord help us.)

Pictures to come once my phone decides to start communicating with the computer again.