The stove drama continues. The guy actually had two Montagues on eBay, so there is still one available. He sent his number so I can ask all the pertinent questions and see if it's what I really want to do. In the meantime I called one of my chef friends to check in and to see if he had advice about stoves, brands, convection or not. I think he reads the blog and is upset with me. He seemed rather cool on the phone, perhaps I'm being paranoid. So now I'm back to the original quandary about this particular stove. I'll call this afternoon.
We had a good night of service, although I was being pretty grumpy. It's hard for me to achieve a balance of discipline and good humor. My pendulum swings to one extreme or the other. Anyway we had good diners. Two tables drove two hours out of their way to dine with us (OK, one was a family friend). No one complained (that I heard about) that their shrimp had heads and we sold all our rabbit, which in summer is sometimes difficult as the Thumper factor increases.
The ham hock will come off the menu on the next reprint to be replaced by country-style spareribs. The quail is also a non-seller so I'll be coming up with another appetizer. My backyard blackberries are getting close. It's always a good selling point when the waiters can tell the customers, "The chef picked these this morning." That and mint are I all I have left. We have two cherry trees in the yard and if we're lucky we each get one or two cherries before the birds strip the tree. We used to have an apple tree in the back but our younger, more energetic dog snapped first one, then the other of the major limbs as she was "picking" apples. She would leap, grab an apple, wrest it from the tree, take a bite, look confused, as if realizing she didn't like apples, then leap and pick another. The tree was quite old and the trunk was hollow, so it was only a matter of time before it was coming down. The apples weren't very good anyway, best used for applesauce which is what I did with them a few years ago in a dish of pork shoulder confit.
This year I'm trying to get it together to can tomatoes. Every year I swear I am going to do this. One of the farmers we deal with grows a huge amount of tomatoes, which I would love to use for pasta sauces throughout the winter. Today I'm going to buy the jars, and tomorrow do a batch. I think the impediment has been the prospect of trying to do a big, end of season canning marathon, because by then I am completely exhausted from the summer, my crew is frazzled, and what could be a fun, community activity looms as a potential nightmare. So this year I'll try a batch a week through summer. The big problem is storage.
OK, I'm off to pick blackberries.