The Weekly Newsletter
Menus and Stories for February 21 - 26, 2005

Deb's Polenta Triangles
One of the very best parts of my job is getting to have lunch here and never getting tired of it. And one of the main reasons for that is the constant stream of creativity coming from our kitchen.

Deb has been making these Polenta Triangles off and on for some time now, adapting and improving them each time. This version has roasted vegetables baked right in and has a blend of cheeses and fresh herbs. Ask one of the shopsters to warms yours and, with a "Try Two" plate you can choose any of the day's other salads as your accompaniment. And if that is not sufficient, go for the "Try Three" or, heck, the "A Little of Each." (That, to tell you the truth, is what I often do.)

Savory Scones
Kris, too, is doing nicely, keeping the top of our deli case stocked with muffins and scones, coffee cakes and - for later - pies, tortes, tarts, and cakes.

You might just want to start coming here for coffee and a pastry in the mornings. The sun pours in, we keep the music low, and you can dream about what you want for lunch (we can't keep the oven's aromas inside our kitchen - sorry.)

Italian wraps
How about these?

Martha whipped them up this past week. Tucked in some spicy salami, some mozzarella, some marinated vegetables. Yum!

We've started making a fairly traditional chicken salad for those of you who like traditional chicken salad sandwiches. Don't worry, we're still offereing a couple of our standards too, but they don't fit on sandwiches so well, so we thought you'd like this.

We're also offering more vegetarian options in general. For those of you who order our lunches for your offices on a regular basis, just ask and we'll be happy to make Asian Tofu Wraps or Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches or Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Pesto Sandwiches. (We need some advance notice on these special ones.) As we come into the season of more local produce we can expand those offerings even more.

The nightly dinners for the week (Call 252-1500 to order)
Dinners-to-go are available Monday through Friday.

Monday February 21 Chicken and Apricot Tagine
Tuesday February 22 Beef-stuffed Peppers and Potato Cakes
Wednesday February 23 Chicken with Cormeal Dumplings and Leek Sauce
Thursday February 24 Elsie’s Deviled Beef Bones
Friday February 25 Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Here's how it works:
Just call us in the morning and we'll take your order for that night's meal. Then come back between 4:30 and 6:00 to pick up your dinner - all ready in a heatable container. Simple, yes?

Laurey's (yum!) Catering and Gourmet to Go

The Casserole of the Week
Casseroles are made each Wednesday.
Call to order on Tuesday if you can.
Orders will be ready on Wednesday between 4:30 and 6:00.

Order a full pan for 9 (or so) or a half pan for 4 or 5.

Wednesday, February 23
Lasagna Bianca (that is, all white)
with or without chicken – you tell us.

Half with chicken: 16.50
Half without chicken: 14.25

Full with chicken: 33.00
Full without chicken: 28.50

Richard's Grilled Chicken
(Richard is our grill master, you know). A daily lunch option, here in the shop, is "Chicken of the Day with a side." This picture shows his Chipotle-rubbed Chicken, though I happen to know that on the same day we also offered Baked and Fried Chicken and at least three Chicken salads.

Martha arranging the Baked and Fried
We say "baked and fried" though we really should be saying "fried and baked" but that does not have the same ring to it, does it? At any rate, we bread and then fry these breasts, sealing in the moisture and giving the crust a terrific crispiness. And then we bake them, which finishes the whole thing off in a healthier way, you know.

I'm fond of this with a serving of our Tri-colored Cole Slaw and maybe some little green beans too.

A "Southern Antipasto" tasting
Karen has been meeting with brides galore these days. The other day we set up a tasting for one lovely gal who joined her father and mother to sample our foods. I must say, Karen's spread, put together just at lunchtime here in the shop, caught everyone's attention. The finale for their meal was Strawberry Shortcake. Wow.

The three sat and sampled everything as the rest of our seats filled with our lunch visitors. Yesterday's chill was forgotten here in the shop, sun streaming in, aromas floating around.

We're looking forward to the wedding. And we are booking a number of parties for our Garden Room too and that's a fun thing to think about. Got one in mind? Give us a shout and we'll tell you what we can do.

A Note from Laurey
February 19, 2005

My glassblowing is coming along. I am here at my desk with five glass pieces sitting right next to me. Frankly, it amazes me to realize that I made them. One piece, the very first thing I ever made, is a twist of glass, pinched and odd and wobbly. It isn’t good for much of anything at all, but I vividly remember making it. Sam, who’s studio I was in at the time, said, “You’re going to want that some day,” as he clipped off my very first creation. A day or so later, when I went back to his studio and was given my twist, I WAS pleased that he’d kept it, though when I looked at his vases and sconces and statues, my little blob of a twist seemed really stupid. Hopelessly far from a real piece of usable glass.

But here, next to my twist, are four other pieces. I made three of them in one session last week, getting markedly better each time. The first piece is a little heart-shaped thing. I’d meant to make a vase for Valentine’s Day, but I was missing a crucial piece of equipment, as I described last week, and so I couldn’t get my bubble inflated enough to make anything more than this little piece that could, I suppose accommodate one tiny flower for a few hours. It’s better than nothing, though, and I admit that it does have a bit of character about it.

The second attempt that day produced a nicer piece. It’s another little vase but it is bigger than the first. It has a certain grace, a certain hint of style. It’s nothing to go berserk about, but I still like it, which is saying something.

The third piece is pretty good. It’s another vase, but it has fullness and a bit more height. I opened up the top and shaped the bottom and it is vaguely apple-like in a Delicious sort of way. It stands up with no wobble, and is a significant step ahead of its two cousins. The three, standing together, make a nice family unit.

This week I had a shorter time in the studio due to other commitments. At the beginning of my time there, my haste and my lack of being present to my project resulted in my first piece turning into a formless, shapeless bore of a bowl. Its not worth talking about really. But the second piece was much nicer. As work thoughts or pet thoughts or bank balance thoughts entered my head I shooed them away, urging them to be gone. “Leave me alone,” I muttered to them, “I need to concentrate.”

My last piece that day turned out to be a sweet little vase that has a good sense of itself. It is graceful yet sweet, simple and pleasing. For a time it seemed that it was going the way of its earlier cousins, but I kept teasing with it and, remarkably, my hands took over and turned an off center thing into this lovely vase. If I had a small bouquet, it would fit perfectly.

I’d like to be able to do glass more, but I am delighted to be finding great satisfaction in these regular, though short visits to the hot shop. I like the drifting away from worry, the slide into the focus on the glass. And when I get back to work I am happy in a different way. The concentration is good for me, making me appreciate the aesthetic in my shop, our food, my life. Who could have imagined that?

Recent creations

Contact Info:
Laurey's (yum!) Catering
Gourmet-to-Go (and to stay!)
67 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801


Monday - Friday 10:00 - 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 pm

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