The Weekly Newsletter
Menus and Stories for December 19 - 24, 2005

Our tree

At the last minute last week we decided to enter the downtown window decorating contest.

We already had our windows filled with Maple-syrup Bears and Snowmen and I thought it'd be fun to make a diorama featuring them gazing up and around at a decoration-laden Christmas tree. The dream was fun. The actual tree - well, sort of missed the dream.

Think about it: glass does not bend, so there the glass bears stand, all lined up, staring straight ahead. The decoration-laden tree looks a bit bare (my fault for a) not starting sooner to make decorations and b) not buying more tiny decorations when I was at the store madly trying to find things to fill in the gap left in the spaces created by the lack of home made deocrations!!!)

We "made" the tree by tying the branches together with twist-ties, stuck it in an old bucket that Karen filled with sand. We strung some packing garland around it and - there you go!

(I don't think we won - but I think we should have.)

Last chance: order by the end of the day on Wednesday

Special Christmas Dinner to Go - 2005

Christmas is on Sunday this year. That’s great news around here,
since it means that our staff all get to go home to be with their families.
The only downside is that this means we’ll be making our special dinner on Friday instead of on Christmas Eve as we usually do. But wait! These dinners will keep just fine if you want to hold yours until Saturday night or even Sunday.
(We’ll give you instructions for reheating – don’t worry.)

Here’s what we’d like to suggest to you:

At the start:
Wild Alaskan Salmon Mousse with Pumpernickel Crostini

The Salad:
Organic Hearts of Romaine
with Toasted Almond Slivers, Dried Cherries, Maytag Blue Cheese Crumbles
and a Sherry Vinaigrette

The Main Event:
Individual Beef Wellingtons
(made with a Mushroom Paté)
Individual Portobello Wellingtons

Potatoes au Gratin

Roasted Baby Winter Vegetables
with Sun-dried Tomato Slivers

Roasted Onion Bread with Dilled Butter

The Dessert:
Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes with Vanilla Crème Anglaise

The price per person is 27.50 for the Beef or 23.50 if you’d like the Portobello option.

Please place you order with us by December 21 at the very latest. Dinners will be ready for you to pick up on Friday, December 23 between 4:30 and 6:00 when we close.

Call 828-252-1500 to place your order

Feridie's Peanuts

I haven't had time or room to mention these snacky babes.
Roasted peanuts from Vriginia are tossed with toffee or made into peanut brittle or are salted and tucked into a cute cloth bag - shell and all.
One would take up uite a bit of space if you are trying to fill up one of those fat new stockings, or you might like to tuck a bag under the tree for afternoon nibbling before dinner is ready. I recommend 'em!

Dinners to go (Free dinner drawing*)

* Every time you order a dinner to go you are eligible to enter our drawing. Just drop a card in our drawing jar (a business card works or fill out one of the cards that we have right here) and, at the end of the month, we'll pull one card which will be good for two free dinners-to-go. Inaugurated last month, our first winner was delighted! Maybe you'll win next month.

Order a lot? Enter a lot!
Good luck!!

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.

Here's this week's menu:

Monday December 19 Cranberry-glazed Chicken 9.75
Tuesday December 20 Spinach Enchiladas with Butternut Bisque 9.50
Wednesday December 21 Moroccan Spiced Beef and Apricot Kebobs
Thursday December 22 Baked Dijon Lamb and New Potatoes 12.25
Friday December 23 Special Christmas Dinner to Go – see inside

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, December 21
Chicken Pot Pie
Full: 32.00
Half: 16.00

Don't forget - we'll be closed for the next week. Take this fine opportunity to stock up. (This particular casserole freezes perfectly.)

Jo's Toffee

Oh I love this so much. See, I'm not really a big fan of chocolate - weird as that may be. (It tends to give me a headache.)

However, there are times when I crave it (go figure!) and this, this toffee, is generally where I turn. The truth is that I am VERY fond of toffee and caramel and such. And, cover it with some milk chocolate and I get very happy.

This toffee, in this cute box, is the perfect solution. (Mostly toffee, less chocolate so, for me, the head twings are manageable.)

Perhaps you know someone like this. If so, here's what you do..

A happy face!

This is Ann. She is one of the shopsters these days, but is soon going to go off to pursue her studies in geography and political science. She's taking a semester to go to California for the winter to study maps and agriculture and other things. (I hear she'll be back - which makes me very happy, since she is unfailingly chipper and one of a team of excellent folks.)

We're going to have some shifting in the shop in the new year, but people leave to follow their dreams and its hard to feel badly about that. Virginia is leaving to study nursing. Collier is going to go work in Montana as trail crew and environmental educator in the wilds there. Molly is going to wander around for awhile before starting college next fall. It is a time of transition. Mariah will stay and Katherine will start soon. We'll find a couple more folks to fill in the voids. Of course we'll still have Adam and Andrew. Anchors, solid and wonderful..

Stocking Stuffers

Chocolates galore!

Colt's Bolts.
Truffle Babies.
Bumble Bees.

The time is now.

A Note From Laurey

December 18, 2005

Whewf! Couldn’t get to my computer until just now – Sunday morning. I STARTED yesterday but my normal routine is a thing of the past and Saturday mornings, once quite times of contemplation, are now filled with gift baskets, phone calls, inquiries, customer planning sessions, and, yes, guest stints in the kitchen.

Yesterday was a wild day here. This is the big weekend for parties, after all, and we had a full day on the books. Emily came in (on her day off) to help me organize a huge pile of gift baskets that needed to get made and delivered on Monday. I first took care of a number of late orders that had come in on Friday. The kitchen seemed to be humming along. Martha came in (on her day off) to help. She had a dog training session in the afternoon but she went right to work on stuffing Portobellos and making tarts and salads and all manner of foods. Richard (who comes in well before dawn these days – THANK you Richard) was here, humming and cooking – filling the case, grilling, roasting, poaching, smoking, and tossing about twenty different things. Kether, the tidiest cook I’ve ever met, had pans of vegetables roasting and was tucking them into to-go pans for assorted parties. Deb (who got laid low by the croup earlier this week) had the crab cakes and sauces and the dips and the soups going.

I headed back to the office to get going on billing and menus (we are already talking to brides and planners). But at this time of year it is the norm for my intercom to buzz, saying that someone is here and would like to say hello or to get a gift or to talk about a party. I left the newsletter for later.

After helping with the gift basket requests, I headed back to the office but then, all of a sudden, the shop was FULL. A friend of mine is teaching at a local massage school and the whole class decided to come here for lunch. (Nice!) 17 all of a sudden, on a Saturday, is a big deal, so I jumped into the fray and helped serve folks.

And then, after they were all served, I glanced into the kitchen. Richard had stopped humming, Martha had gone to her dog class, Kether and Deb, heads down, were chopping away. But it looked a bit tense.

“Are you in the weeds?” I asked Richard.

He looked up.


Knowing the newsletter could wait, I hopped back to the office, took off my nice shirt, put on my hat and apron, washed my hands, and jumped into the kitchen frenzy. Fun! I had time to make some spinach lasagnas for one client, some avocado dipping sauce for another, some Chipotle aioli for another, and got to skewer some chicken and then finish off some tarts before it was time to get ready to go be “party-babe.”

The newsletter would have to wait.

Three crews showed up to take the three served parties. Customers streamed in to pick up their other orders. And the shop was still bustling. I got to go with one of the crews to a lovely barn to the east of here and had the great pleasure of getting to build the buffets, direct the staff, and then – miracle of miracles – leave! (That is the best, for me.)

I had planned to drop in on a new glassblower’s open house and then to come back to work to finish the newsletter, but once I sat down in my car I changed my mind, deciding, instead, to head home – after a stop at the grocery store for dinner ingredients. The dog and cats were thrilled (well, maybe not…) and so was I.

And now, Sunday morning, I get to stop for a moment, to write this note. Later on today I am going to finish up some gifts here and go to a party and then, tonight, maybe go to hear some music. Or maybe not. Tonight is a long way from now and who knows what I’ll feel like by then. I have a big week coming up, with more served parties and many more gift baskets and much much more food and office work. I might just go home early again.

Hope your day is lovely and that you get time to enjoy this week. Whewf!!!

Waiting for Santa

Skipper is the black fellow, barely visible on the right, Sam is the grey sweetie pie, and Tye is the wonder dog at their feet. It's hard to get all three in one spot. Sam is usually hissing at Tye. Tye is usually bounding after Skipper. And Skipper is usually trying to annoy Sam and avoid Tye. But here, for a moment, they all posed - sort of.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Contact Info:

Laurey's "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

"Don't Postpone Joy!"(tm)

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