Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It is done...

All the build up... all the planning... and the hustle and bustle ... and it is done

KWDS 11 was a fantastic event, smooth running and pleasant. While I spent most of my time in or around the kitchen I did get out to see some of the dancing, particularly the Masque. It was lovely and from the sounds everyone was making it was really enjoyed by all.

My concern though, was the food and the kitchen and what I have to say on that and that is "I dropped the ball, and it bounced!"

The food was good, filling and in most cases enough to more than enough.

I am going to use this space to talk through my problems first and then get on with the good stuff. Recipes will come in follow up posts.

We had our first hiccough with the first dinner some chicken legs were missed in the confusion that was the walk in and so in the end I think a few people went without. So what did we do... thinking we had cooked them all? Bought extra the next day for dinner... yup, we had those leftover too :/

Peas, mushrooms and pears, oh my!

First with not enough mushrooms and then too much. Part of it was calculation and part of it was shopping error. The trouble was not finding enough and then the pie tins I had were smaller than average, so we had leftover filling for pies. Which people gladly enough ate. We were a little light on the mushrooms and leaks as a side dish though but were trying to conserve for the pies. We also sent a non kitchen member out for mushrooms without giving a specific amount to purchase and so we had leftover mushrooms.

Peas, I really have no clue. We ended up buying peas in 3 different stores and I think we really needed only to buy them at two. I believe that after one of the purchases they did not get marked off the list and so extra ended up being bought.

Pears, I never want to see a pear again! OK maybe just not for a bit. Both composts contained pears and we had a pear dessert. They need to make a gadget for peeling and coring pears! Mostly my complaint on pears is that we had to work with tons of them, and I cut my finger.

Pies, If I ever want to do more than 1 pie or more than 1 recipe that has paste per day again... SLAP ME! Seriously, I know they have an awesome oven but someone just beat me if I ever get that bright idea again!

Not everyone will show up for every meal! This includes feast! This was sort of a surprise.

Scaling up pudding is not something you should do! I think I may have discovered a problem with the recipe as well but that will require some investigation.

Now the elephant in the room and where I feel I dropped the ball. My health is not something i particularly talk about a lot, at least not outside of private conversation but I am going to talk about it now. I am about to turn 41, I am overweight and I have chronic pain issues. None of these things were a factor in the dropping of the ball. A few years back when my mom died it threw my body into "shock". Traumatic events can trigger (especially in women) hormonal changes. Well, I was hit with a change I wasn't prepared for, I was hit with the beginning stage of "the CHANGE", perimenopause. This affects my body in many ways most of which are not anything I will discuss here. I will discuss here the mental change that has happened.

I have dealt with depression all my life, my own and my mother's. What I only had an outsiders view of until now was anxiety. It seems one of the common effects of perimenopause is anxiety. This is what hit me like a ton of bricks. Had it been about the food, the feast or the general state of the kitchen I would have understood, I could have dealt better but it wasn't. I had confidence in my crew, in the kitchen and we were progressing really well! This was different, a closed feeling like I was continually being squeezed by some sort of constrictor I could see. Clothes that fit fine felt too tight, I felt like I couldn't breathe and worst of all I couldn't function.

It took a bit to put my finger on what was going on, at first it seemed I was just suffering from exhaustion. I hadn't slept well the night before due to not being able to get comfortable with what I thought at the time was a sinus issue. So I woke up tired and slow going but we got out and to the store and back in good time. I started to eat my breakfast and that is when the tightening started. No feeling of dread or panic but just a tightening. Due to circumstances shortly after this began I broke down and thanks to good friends I was able to get dressed and try to move on. I took a seat outside the kitchen and did only what they would let me. I spent my day in conversation as I had most of the day before, but to me I was dropping the ball. It was the BIG day and I should have been more helpful, I should have been doing more, I should not have been sick, and this is when the ball bounced. The kitchen staff took over and I was only there as a consult. I don't even remember cutting or chopping or peeling or anything, and like a well oiled machine it moved on. Everything was on time, everything was going smooth. It bounced!

The food was good tasting and what was supposed to be hot was hot, what was supposed to be cold was cold. Service was on time and friendly :) Ideas were exchanged and a lot of love as well.

A week and 2 days later I can look back at the bouncing ball and not say "I did that" but WE did that. I could not have done it without the awesome team I had and maybe partially they couldn't have done it without me, but I am pretty sure they could have because they did.

1 comment:

  1. In my world for an event that size the person who oversees the kitchen and did all of the pre-event planning shouldn't need to actually do much, if anything on site in the kitchen on the day--if the planning has been done correctly then there are enough people working in the kitchen to do what needs to be done, and mechanisms are in place to make certain that they know what needs to be done when. Therefore it sounds to me not like you dropped the ball, but like you did with it exactly what you were meant to do--you got it ready, and you tossed it to the team, and they did what they were meant to do with it.

    That said, I understand why you would feel like you somehow didn't do "enough"--cooking is a hands-on joy, and if your hands aren't on you don't feel like you cooked. Then again, if you wanted *only* to cook, you would volunteer to be kitchen staff in someone else's kitchen instead of being the mastermind behind it all.

    Besides, by taking it easy on site it gave you the energy to make us difficult cases feel spoiled by doing little extra things for us, which is SO appreciated. Thank you again for making certain that, I, one of the fussiest and weirdest eaters on site, was well fed and happy all week.