Good morning and welcome to a new week! My little baking business, Banoffi & Such, has been busy – with more cakes coming up for this week. A fun, you-decide-something-fun-to-make order. So I’m having coffee surrounded by a pile of cookbooks and thinking about cake. Not a bad way to start the week, not at all.
- Being busy means I still have yet to make it to the Middlebury Farmer’s Market this summer, which is a sin. This weekend, for sure. Being able to go to the farmer’s market (any farmer’s market) was pretty high on the list of things I looked forward to once I was not tied to an Inn every Saturday morning.
- If you know me, and I think I’ve even talked about it here before, you know that I struggle to fully understand 3D printing. I’m kind of obsessed and exhausted by the whole idea. It stretches my brain to imagine how this even works and every time I read anything about it I leave with more questions than I started with. This week there was an announcement about a city in the Netherlands that is building the world’s first habitable 3D houses. Does that sentence make your brain hurt too?
- Got an idea for a main street business? Interested in living in Wilmington, VT? A second-home owner in Wilmington who won a chunk of money on Jeopardy is offering $20,000 for the best business proposal for a year round, downtown, store front type of business. I love the thought of reinvesting in your community in useful ways like this.
- I’ve done it! I’ve bought tickets to see Hamilton! And I didn’t have to remortgage the house to do it. I truly thought I would never see this show. I thought about trying to see it when I was in Chicago last year and the cheapest tickets I could find were re-seller tickets and they were upwards of $500 each. Nope. I’m sure this is a good show, but no show is worth that much. It’s just not, not to me anyway. I quietly gave up on the idea, or thought maybe I’d catch it in Nebraska in 2025. But no! Chicago 2018 is making it happen! Now I need to start obsessively listening to the soundtrack, because I think that’s what all the cool kids do.
- I’m going to end my musings with a little bit of Anthony Bourdain thinking. There have been a lot of wonderful things said about him this week and I don’t imagine I have anything more to offer in those conversations. The New York Times rounded up a list of the best things to read, watch and listen to about him. I went back and re-read the original New Yorker article he wrote that launched him into our consciousness. There was a time at The Shoreham Inn when his book Kitchen Confidential was all but required reading, we quoted it so often. Growing up I, and everyone I knew, got a summer job. And an evening/weekend job during the school year. And a second job when you had your first ‘real’ job. Life seems to have changed immeasurably in this regard and kids have to get internships and do other career or academic focused things with their summers. When I was young you worked. I needed to make X amount of money each summer to take back to college with me. I’ve always said those early jobs tended to fall into two categories, you either worked in a shop or you worked in food service. (Or, as I realized when I was running the other day, you were that extra-lucky species of kid who was a camp counselor or lifeguard. I didn’t know any of that kind of kid, though I was jealous of them.) And you stayed a shop or food service person as you grew up. Those skills, those abilities, translate into a lot about a person; what kinds of things they like to do, what kind of energy they prefer at work. I got my first waitressing job at 18 and unbeknownst to me at the time, I became a food service person. When I moved to London after college with a friend, a six-month work permit and no particular plan other than to find work, it took us 36 hours from arriving in the country to secure waitressing jobs. Which also meant we had secured food, money, a whole network of friends, an inside scoop to all the ins and outs of this great big city and as a bonus, I found a husband. Restaurant work is a funny beast. The long, hot hours. The fun and camaraderie. The sweat and panic. The keeping everyone happy. The organizational skills. The equality, the variety of people, the fast pace of service and the aftershock of service coming to an end. Anthony Bourdain embodied all of this and much more. He spoke to everyone, but maybe especially to those of us who have had a tiny toe in the food world, about the everyday grit and grime and greatness of putting food on plates for other people. Like I said, I have nothing new or eloquent to add to the discussion about him, but I’ll miss the fact of him.
Go forth into this good summer week, good luck with growing your gardens and finding 101 ways to enjoy the summer. And always be nice to your waitress.