30 August 2008

Holy Pie

The pie-off was INTENSE. 49 entries, 8 categories, and over 125 onlookers. You know I got a blue ribbon baby! My pie, Rosemary's Baby, was, if I do say so myself, very attractive. She had style, she had grace, so on and so fourth. The crust was just the way I dream it, flaky, tender and sparkly. The insides... not as dreamy. I made the pie much to late in the day for it to have time to set up before the judging. It was soupy inside. By the time we enjoyed the leftovers for staff meal it was PERFECT. But at 4 pm, not so much. So I was a little disappointed. But I did get a ribbon for "Best Pairing with Pie" which is to say I bribed the judges with spanish dessert wine. I feel pretty good about it! Its kind of the only award that doesn't actually refer to the pie itself, but I don't want to sound like an asshole and complain- I got a ribbon! I never win anything, so this is good. Most people get ribbons for things like "sports!" and "talent!" and I got one for "dessert wine knowledge!"- maybe not even just dessert wine knowledge so much as "actually brought a pairing!" But hey- like I said, I'm very excited and proud. 
Last night all we had for staff meal was pie. Which usually would be a dream for me but I was kind of over it by that point. By the way- did I mention the worst staff meal I have experienced yet? It happened on thursday and I think I was too upset to mention it at the time. We had crostini with a bunch of weird crap to put on it like bean sauce with floating ham chunks and chunky-rabbit-liver-something-in-a-bowl. We were like "Seriously? Bad appetizers for lunch? Is this IT?" and then they made a salad with tuna that made my mouth itch. "Thanks for the poisonous canapes, you MONSTERS!" Love you guys!

Pie Hole

You guys! I'm entering a pie-off this afternoon! Dave Briggs brought in the tiny article about the contest LAST NIGHT and said if I didn't do it I was a pansy who hates pie. Well we all know that I am a pansy who loves pie, so I decided at ten a.m. as I opened my eyes that I must enter to defend my family name. I'll be entering under the categories "berry" and "local"- so you can try and guess what I'm making. As it is ten thirty now and all my pie plates are at Pine State and I need to track down some rendered lard, I must go. I will update later!

29 August 2008

Peaches (not the band)

I got up very early yesterday to prepare a flat of peaches for crisps. They are so beautiful, I feel moved by them. I have been transitioning into fall the best I can. After a few irrational phone calls declaring my hatred for the season and burning my bathing suits in a pile on the street, I feel ready to accept it. Walking into the kitchen at work on Thursday night and smelling a boiling pot of chanterelles helped. Blanching these peaches made me feel ok about the good parts of end of summer. 
We went to DOC for dinner last night and tried the tasting menu- it was really great. The room is really interesting and the food was carefully prepared and very lovely. We had mutton that was tender and delicious- I thought mutton was supposed to be gamey and horrible...

27 August 2008

A very special evening.

And it was. Today when I arrived at work I noticed that it was pita-bar staff meal. I like bars of all kinds- sandwich bar, hotdog bar, baked potato bar... Pita bar looked especially fun with hummus, flank steak and fresh pitas. Sadly I was full from a hot lunch date to Hotlips Pizza and the dry cleaners with Kevin. If I had known it was going to be a bar style staff meal I might not have had two pieces of pizza, but whatever. 

What's important here is that I had a star spangled evening. One in which I WAITED ON JOHN MALKOVICH. What did you do tonight? Probably not fuck up John Malkovich's order the way that I did! Ha ha! And I did... We chatted about padron peppers and pinot noir, and I got over being nervous very quickly. After spending a great deal of money on a bottle of wine he put ice cubes in it, but I think that that goes with the celebrity status. If I was a celebrity I would be ordering white wine spritzers left and right and never once feel ashamed the way I do now. He was well spoken and dressed very stylishly in seersucker and sneakers. Duh! 
Enough about that- but I could go on so if you want more details... call me. I reallllly want to go on.

I need to backtrack to saturday night (when I waited on a certain terrible portland band that I wish to forget, but P list celebrities nonetheless, to stick with tonight's famewhore theme). Dave Briggs made us a very special staff meal- corn dogs and tots. I also got a special treat: I was asking one of the cooks to make me a quail egg omelette with but one tiny egg because it would be so cute, and he thought I really wanted an omelette so he made me one with duck skin... and chicken eggs. It was not cute and served on a flower petal the way I suggested, but it was absolutely fantastic. Fluffy and fatty. I don't know how one person could be so lucky.

On saturday morning I went to see Sam at her job. She too is a waitress, but she is forced into working BRUNCH. Something I can't imagine- a fate worse than death. I was one of her few tables at this point though so I got spoiled rotten with attention. Attention and trout! This was served with a piece of speck seared onto the skin, atop corn and lobster mushroom hash. I am obviously still thinking about it.

Finally, Jacky has fleas. And... I waited on John Malkovich.

21 August 2008


I just read yet another thing that makes me feel humorless and full of shame. Todd Levin is the kind of funny that lets you know that even if you and your friends think you are funny on occasion, you are not.

I had a sad thought a minute ago when I was trying to fall asleep- I heard Jacky make this tiny groan sound, and I thought: what if Jacky is dying.
 aw, even as Jacky dies he sounds cute. 

I feel guilty for putting "Jacky" and "Die" in the same sentence since that's an impossible and imaginary horror movie idea. But I thought it, and it's true that even when he is choking on his own fur and spit it's precious. 

20 August 2008

Wasting time

I haven't been writing because I don't have my own computer right now, and haven't updated any staff meal photos. But! What a pointless way to procrastinate doing something I love. 
I am writing with out and visual aid. I know, BBOOOOORRRING!

Meals and staff meals have been very good lately- although I think I am sick of food. So much time devoted to planning meals, looking for new restaurants, trying to remember old restaurants... I want to sit in the middle of a farm and snack on snap peas (the season is over for this, however.) On saturday my friend Grey and I went to his family farm to obtain peaches and broccoli. However, it was too hot to pick anything and so we just floated around the pool and didn't wear sunblock. 
By 6 pm when I was due in for work it was 100 degrees and humid. It was a hideous evening, filled with crabby people and lots of running around wondering what I was doing with my life. However, it had a happy ending. The bar tender and sous chef teamed up for staff meal, preparing frozen mudslides and grilled ham and squash sandwiches. Jessika made a steak and shrimp salad with zucchini. 
We live to make fun of people who order frozen cocktails. It was a funny joke for us to have them... but might it be even funnier how much we loved them? Traaashy

As I was mopping the floor, my coworker Shane suggested we go skinny dipping in the Sandy River. Well don't mind if I do! Jessika, Shane, and my beloved ex-roommate Alani and I got in my car and sped off to the river. Led Zeppelin was blaring and heat lightning flashed in the distance. We were a regular team of water nymphs, splashing around in the cloudy moonlight. Train tracks run right over the river where we were swimming, and two trains went by, tooting their horns at our naked asses. 

Back to food. Some restaurants I have visited this week include Clyde Common, (where I will be eating and reporting on staff meal next friday) Nostrana, Thai Noon, Pine State Biscuits (my live-in-lover's place) and Fire on the Mountain for wangs. Clyde Common is where I usually end up after work with my friends, but on this night I was on a date with Kevin. We had a few cocktails and a bottle of Sancerre, lentils with smoked shrimp and avocado, pork rinds with lime, and some spaghettini with cherry tomatoes and orange gremolata. Delicious- I am very excited to see what happens at staff meal. I have heard that they take very good care of their employees at feedin' time. 
I try not to eat at Pine State too often because, well, you know. But my friends can't stay away, and so I end up eating fried chicken very frequently. This week Jessika had a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with sweet tea- I ended up eating half of it. It was the perfect breakfast! Maybe if I stop ordering McIsley's every time I won't feel so guilty before noon. 
Speaking of Pine State, I am attempting to be their dessert girl. I have dreams of starting a pie company, where I bake pies for small business or private orders. I make an exceptional pie, starting with a real lard and butter crust and using all local, seasonal fruit. This week is crisp week at Pine State. When I went down to Grey's I bought a flat of beautiful peaches and some giant blackberries from Jones Farm. The crumbles on top are made with brown sugar, toasted almonds and some other secret ingredients scattered around. I am hoping they will keep me around.

Once I get my computer up and running (once I buy a power cord for 80 dollars) I will post food photos including but not limited to: eggs benedict with heirloom tomatoes and thyme potato hash!!!

03 August 2008

So Soon?!#?$!

Saturday nights are hard. We are almost always slammed, and when we aren't we all become depressed and pitifull. So its kind of a win/win/lose/lose. Last night was very busy. I had to run around explaining to morons what "gin" was and then gently decline requests to floss their teeth for them. 
And then, we didn't get fed. I tried to throw some intimidating words and facial expressions toward the kitchen, but no one picked up what I was putting down. I really count on saturday night staff meal so I can spend my just-made money on booze and candy, not FOOD. But, last night we were forced to go out and buy burgers. We did so at my least favorite restaurant in Portland. I find myself there like three times a month and every time I think "It's nice how they give us an industry discount. But I fucking hate it here." The food is fine. The drinks are fine. Its the big booths and the red leather and the whole thing that I hate. 
I didn't want to drink, so I just had two. And today I have a hangover! I am getting on a plane in a few hours and I fear the headache that will be coming along for the ride. Fortunately I have some illegal codine to rock me to sleep in the upright position. 
I won't be enjoying the joys of staff meal this week cause I'll be on VACA! But I might put up some eating highlights from Maine.

02 August 2008


I am almost always hungry. And even when I am not, I can still be coaxed into eating by a simple mention of  cherry dip-cones or tacos.  This mentality helps me love staff meal, even on the days when other people thinks it's "gross." 
I ride my bike to work, and I'm fond of running through the doors of the restaurant, helmet still on, and shrieking, "WHAT'S FOR STAFF MEAL???" I find that it helps us all stay focused on what's important: getting through the shift so we can eat. 

There are a few qualifiers for a good staff meal.
#1. Dessert. I need it after every meal and staff meal is no time for shortcutting my needs*.
#2. Meat. A vegetarian staff meal is when the devil is beating his wife.
#3. Themes. I like there to be a theme that I can anticipate and provide helpful suggestions for, like Sandwich Bar Day. "You thinking dill or sweet pickles? My vote is for dill, incase you were wondering."

I might be everyone's favorite waitress. 

*This being said, s.m. dessert is a rare and cherished event that I experience infrequently.