Long Time No Chat
Where have I been you might ask?
Or perhaps not.
Summer is fading like a memory and fall is nipping and snapping at its heals. It's been the usual busy time of the year for me. I finally closed on buying the cooking school where I have been the last 5 years. This summer we had our usual run of kids cooking camp for 11 weeks. There were loads of new faces and quite a few old favorites. Some of my old favorites are now working for us and making us all smile with their cheeky sense of humor, constant and lovely bursting into song, the conversion of us all into Gleeks, and newly entertaining us with their blog. Another one of my students has started his cheeky, witty restaurant review blog, keep in mind this particular writer is all of oh, 14.
The real reason for radio silence though was losing my little girl.
(The Pooper age a few months)
Door greater extrodinaire, tail wagger, wooer, confidant, gardening companion, cooking critic, bed hog, winner of every heart that ever had the pleasure of her company and general all around grande dame of the hood. She has been faithfully by my side longer than I've had husband. Her kidneys finally failed at age 15 and we spent some serious time trying to nurse her back to health, but we finally realised that she was trying for us, but we instead needed to be strong for her.
We said goodbye on Friday August 13th, arguably the hardest day of my life.
I've spent a lot of time this summer driving Panther solo around back roads in Vermont, New Hampshire and Western MA trying to clear my head and get my cooking mojo back.
(Heron on Belgrade Stream)
Also this summer, Mom and SD finally moved to Maine permanantly so we have been exploring all the nooks and crannies to seek out the coolest little food spots. I've found butchers and bakers and sausage makers (oh my!) and I hope to have some time to report the great stuff they are producing and selling. As a matter of fact, soon husband and I are going up to hang out, visit a few places, take a final cruise across the lake on the boat for the season, and to test some recipes.
Yup, testing some recipes. Finally I'm cooking again. The weather has turned cooler, the days have grown shorter and I couldn't wait to get back in the kitchen. Over the last 2 weeks husband and I have made: 7 lbs chili, 4 qts putanesca sauce, 2 qts chicken stock, 1 qt chicken cacciatore and 3 qts of rabbit ragu all tucked away in the freezer for those nights when we don't open the door until 7 or 8 (ish) and it has already been dark since 4:30. For those days when "take out" means taking it out of the chest freezer in the garage and bringing it into the house to heat it up.
In the meantime, Sam, Heather and I have been revamping the recipes for our cooking parties and we have been dreaming up a few new ones for fall and winter. This means that recipe testing has been keeping us busy. Some recipes are our own and the hard part is converting them from our heads to some sort of cohesive, logical and tempting recipe that someone can pick up and execute without asking questions of the recipe writer. No easy task I assure you. I apologise for the radio silence and the lack of culinary love, but I think, I really do think, that the time has come to offer up some ideas again and I hope that those of you who have hung around, kept Amuse Bouche in your feed reader or tuned in periodically to see if I was still breathing should be rewarded for your wait. I hope it was worth checking back in. How was your summer?