The Weekly Newsletter
Menus and Stories for September 26 - 30, 2005

"Hand Pies"

Good morning to you all.

I had a terrific time this week and thought I'd share a part of it with you in today's newsletter.

This past Friday I had the great pleasure of hosting a group of students from a local school for a morning's worth of cooking. The day before they had visited two of our local farms and our intention was to cook some of the things they had picked. (We had planned this whole thing for last year, but that all got washed out in the hurricane residue. This year the weather held - for us - and we had a grand time. At least I sure did!)

Here are some of the apple turnovers in process.

Maria Sophia's Masterpiece

And then we made pizzas.

The children had picked the fennel, the peppers, the basil for the pesto. I whipped up some dough, got everything all set up, and off they went. How long DOES it take to bake little pizzas? We had a contest. Which takes longer? Apple pies or pizzas? (The pizzas took less (9 minutes), but I had forgotten to notice that the ovens had been full of cookies when it was time to bake the apple pies (which took 13 1/2 minutes), but had been empty - and hotter - before the pizzas went in.)

Pizzas for everyone!

All lined up and ready to bake.

Dinners to go

Dinners come with a freshly-made green salad, salad dressing of the day,
and made-right-here bread of the day. We take reservations until noon or so.

Please order by phone (252-1500), by FAX (252-02002) or stop in to speak to one of us in person.

Monday September 26 Chicken stuffed with Fresh Figs 10.25
Tuesday September 27 Grilled Flank Steak with Marinated Italian Onions 11.75
Wednesday September 28 BBQ Baby Back Ribs 10.25
Thursday September 29 Roasted Salmon with Carrots and Fennel 12.50
Friday September 30 Caribbean Pork w/Plantain and Sweet Potato Hash 11.75

Our website

Casserole of the Week

We make a special casserole each week on Wednesday. Please give us a call by the end of the day on Tuesday and we’ll fix yours for you. Come by between 4:30 and 6:00. Get a half (for 4 appetites) or a full sized pan (for 9 or so.)

Wednesday, September 28
Shepherd’s Pie
The traditional one – with a mashed potato top
Full 38.50
Half 19.25

Maria's - ready to go

Alex's looked so good!

"And this is what I do for work"

A Note from Laurey

Hi there,

First of all – I KNOW you’ve been wondering about the final part of the story about last week’s wedding cake. (The quick version is that a bride had consulted with a psychic before her wedding, and the psychic had predicted a disaster with the wedding cake. We made the wedding cake.)

(Whew!!) I had attended a seminar over the weekend and found my thoughts going to that cake more than once. I am normally very good about leaving work behind when I go away, and I WAS completely caught up in the seminar, but my idea of what kind of problem I was going to have to solve when I came home was not far beneath the surface.

I was tremendously relieved to come back to work on Tuesday and find that the cake had been just perfect! Everyone ate it. Everyone loved it. They thought it tasted great and commented on how beautiful it was (Karen added some fresh sunflowers to my decorations.)

I write this on Saturday. Yesterday was one of the best days at work. To start with, we were very busy, with a dinner for 120 going out in the late afternoon. We had lunch deliveries all over the place, a popular dinner to go, and the hopes of full tables for lunch.

We also had one cook out attending an out of town wedding and one cook out helping some friends with their own party. This left us with two cooks which is really not enough on a day like yesterday. I decided to come in early and help. I also had to get ready for Susan Shillcock’s class from Isaac Dickson Elementary School. 24 children were showing up at 9:00 for hands-on cooking and I had a bit of preparation to do for them.

I woke up early, excited about the day and just came in to work, figuring that an extra hour wouldn’t hurt anything. Richard was already here, his day well underway. Kris showed up a short time later and the three of us worked quickly and quietly in the dark of the morning. I took charge of the deli case, Kris worked on cookies and apple pies and cornbread and who know what else, while Richard dug in to the heartier requirements on the day’s list.

At 7:30 I switched over to class prep, set up The Garden Room, organized a low-to-the-ground hand-washing station, and small-group portions of the ingredients needed for the pies and tarts. The kids were going to make apple pies and then pizzas. And then I was going to let them taste some okra, pickled and fried.

The day before I had joined them at Flying Cloud Farm and had been with them when they first encountered okra. Jordan a tiny little child who is blind, was the most excited, running her fingers over the fat little fellow she had just picked.

“It’s VERY soft!” she exclaimed. “May I eat it?”

“Sure!” I said, watching as she peeled it open as if it was a tiny banana. Her enthusiasm was contagious and in another minute everyone had their own fresh-picked okra. Everyone was munching, happy. They could have been eating popsicles.

Yesterday, as the pizzas baked, and after the little apple pies had been devoured, I pulled out a crate of okra.

“Remember these?” I asked.

I reminded them that I had promised to let them taste pickled okra and fried okra. I gave a pickle to one adult and then to another, oohing and ahhing all the time. When I finally gave in to the hoped-for pleadings, the kids chomped them right down, enjoying them before they even had a chance to be squeamish. Likewise, they snapped up the fried okra, even though it had gotten cold by the time I offered it to them.

“In some places,” I had said, “people LIKE to eat okra this way. You might go to a restaurant sometime and eat it hot, but EVERYONE gets to have it that way. THIS way is a bit more unusual.”

That was the end of the okra, with many of the kids asking for seconds.

After the class left I turned into a cook, helping finish the salads for the evening’s party. That dinner featured local ingredients: peppers from Full Sun Farms, cheese from our friends at Spinning Spider, mint from our garden right here and lettuce from Flying Cloud Farm (which had been washed by Miss Susan’s kids in a sweet completion of a day’s cycle.)

After Deb pulled the stuffed peppers from the oven and Richard garnished the butternut squash, I went with Jon and helped set everything up at the party. Noticing, all of a sudden, that I was tired (!) I scooted on home where I sat with my dog and watched the leaves start to fall in the yard. The cats ate their supper and then I did too: Vermont Cheddar on Raisin Crisps, the last of the treats from the seminar.

Hot shower. Crossword puzzle. Sleep. Perfect.

Introducing Molly

Twelve years ago she was in Miss Susan's class. Now she's part of our operation.

Pretty cool, eh?

Contact Info:

"Gourmet Comfort Food"
Eat In - Take Out - Catering
67 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801


Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 - 4:00 pm

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