Spinning Plates in Ashfield
Notes from Nan: Damn Plates Keep Falling Off
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parat
Remember on Ed Sullivan the guy with the plates? He maneuvered tall poles with plates spinning wildly atop each one to frenetic music, usually, I believe, the Saber Dance. Somewhere in my reptilian brain I remember having made reference to the plate spinner before in one of these e-mails—so solidly ensconced is this man and his mission in my brain! See, you kids now, you have to depend on fools making further idiot of themselves on Reality TV for your entertainment—we had the plate man! And that was damn good entertainment for us!
Anyway, the plates spun neatly and practically without attention all summer long at Elmer’s (oh! This has to do with Elmer’s!) and I, the head plate-spinner nearly had naught to do but read a book and glance up there every now and again to make sure they hadn’t slowed their centrifugal chore. Much of this was due to one young woman, Gin Brooks who became what Rob continually called Employee of the Month, as she just stepped in and did anything that needed doing all summer long, giving many people long-needed days off from behind the counter and we appreciate that!
Then she went off to college and that, along with a few other motion-stopping events propelled me back into action with my plates.
Waitress Kelly went off to become a full-time, full-fledged nurse in New Hampshire and Molly who was our Monday – Wednesday cook all summer long decided to go off to school. That was bad enough, but then Mary, our longtime since-the-beginning cook decided that life was not quite interesting enough and so, accepted a job offer to cook at a frat house at U-Mass! Apparently the boys are nice ones, not at all the traditional yucky frat boys of other houses, movies and newspaper articles, and they hang out waiting to find out what she’s making for them every day. She will continue to cook at Elmer’s with Jim on Sunday mornings and that makes me happy—not only because we really need her, but because she and Jim are hilarious together at the grill and stove and, if we had a bigger kitchen, I’d invite you to go in and watch them. But since our kitchen is the size of your hallway closet, you can’t do that.
We’ve gotten along pretty well though, even with those exits: Kelly brought in two of her friends who are now waitressing—Meghan and Elissa and we like them a lot. Through a flat-out miracle we got Bonnie who started cooking breakfast yesterday morning (for us—she’s cooked for the rest of the world since about the time we were all watching Ed Sullivan) and her arrival has got those plates calmed down again. And then we found Tom, our new afternoon barista, direct from Double Edge Theater where he was last seen cavorting with Don Quixote. So that was all good and I nearly relaxed.
But then! Just when you think you can go back to reading your book, Little Donna Elwell ends up with a situation in which she needs to be gone for a few weeks and Miss Scarlett, I do not know NOTHING about handling no produce, DESPITE having been fired TWICE from the produce department at Whole Food Company in 1983!
But I’m gonna try. SO! If you think the produce is looking not quite as right as it usually does, that’s because you have me instead of Donna until September 19th. (Mark that date on your calendar.) I will be ordering and stacking produce, so we will still have it (so what ever you do, do NOT run off to somewheres else!) but I also didn’t want you to think that Elmer’s produce was on the decline. It is only on the dip, but will come back to right on September 19th. (Put that date on your calendar.) So we will still have produce, local produce, exotic produce like bananas and lemons and maybe even some things that Little Donna never even thought of! (Like, like lychee nuts and, and cherries and stuff!) So what ever you do, do not give up! And Donna will be back on September 19th. (Put that in your datebook.)
FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (09/12/08):
- Mutter Paneer and Chicken! A curry of peas, tomatoes, fresh paneer (a firm Indian Cheese made by Paul and Amy at Sidehill Farm!) and Sidehill Farm yogurt and chicken.
- Served with Brown Rice and Naan bread.
- Mutter Paneer! A curry of peas, tomatoes, fresh paneer (a firm Indian Cheese made by Paul and Amy at Sidehill Farm!) and Sidehill Farm yogurt.
- Served with Brown Rice and Naan bread.
Y’all see that “Naan Bread?” Apparently there’s another kind of Indian bread called “Paratah” and people from India always think my name is SO FUNNY!
And then, in Spanish Parati means, “For you!”
In Italian Parati means, “Wallpaper.” Now that really is kind of weird.
So as you know, there is no Farm Report again this week. Why? Because I’m in charge of it and I have no idea what I’m ordering! So it will be an adventure to come in and see what I order! I know I can’t wait to find out!