…was a little more stressful.
I was back on the pass i.e. taking food out, clearing tables etc. I like taking the food out, as it gives me a chance to stand around in the kitchen periodically, surrounded by all those lovely smells, but it got a bit stressful this evening because the plates were so extremely hot.
For some reason there was a shortage of tea towels, so I had to try to manage two plates with one towel. That wouldn’t have sounded daunting had I not actually tried to do it in a busy restaurant, but now that I’ve tried it I realise that there’s a significant risk that at some stage I’ll accidentally spill a plate of food onto somebody’s shoulder as I attempt to lower the other plate to the table. Um… 😦
At one stage I picked up two plates that were so hot that I could feel my fingers burning. (They’re now blistered, so I really do mean burning.) I’ve learned to press on through a fairly significant degree of pain–I am a woman, after all, and periods do have their uses–but there comes a point where when my fingers are burning instinct kicks in and I simply have to let go. I therefore had to stop half way to the table and rest the plates on another table to give my fingers a break. Unfortunately, that table was occupied. The occupants said they didn’t mind, but I can’t remember a waitress ever plonking two plates down at my own table en route to another, and I’m sure so they must have thought it was fairly odd.
The main problem is that if I have a significant overlap of tea towel onto the plate to protect myself then there’s a good chance that the tea towel is going to end up resting in somebody’s meal. Ugh. The secondary problem is that the chef–understandably–gets a bit grumpy if we don’t pick up the plates as soon as he says to take them, so there isn’t really time to try to adjust one’s grip.
The others don’t seem to have a problem with it, so perhaps I’ll learn how to do it with experience. In the meantime, though, I’ve been scouring catering websites in search of some kind of mini oven-glove. If anybody happens to know whether such a thing exists–the kind of thing that’s small enough not to look clunky, but large enough to protect my fingers–then please do let me know. I’ve not found anything yet.
There was a bit of a drama late in the evening when the chef realised that two birthday cakes hadn’t been sent out to their respective tables earlier in the evening. I happened to be in the vault (where that sort of thing is managed) polishing cutlery, so I witnessed the transformation of the chef from a stressed, slightly grumpy but still (to me, anyway) okay and actually mildly sexy sort of bloke into a raging monster, chucking cakes around and yelling at the poor woman in charge of the vault! Bizarrely–and it really was bizarre–he instructed me to follow out the waiter assigned to deliver one of the cakes and sing Happy Birthday to the unlucky recipient. Well, I think that’s what he meant… He called me by name, pointed to the male waiter carrying the cake, told me to follow him and said, “Sing!” By the grace of God, it happened that there was a female singer (not nearly as good as last night’s male cabaret–I was relieved that I didn’t have her job!) singing Happy Birthday for somebody else as we arrived, and so I didn’t have to do it. I was ready to do it, though, had it been required. Good grief…
I was quite relieved when 11pm (11.25pm, in fact) came round and I was told I could go. Poor wee Piglet became hysterical when I got home, and ran around the house for almost an hour tossing her camera case in the air and snarling, significantly pissing off the cat. I’d made bread rolls before I went out, and I’ve just baked them. They’e cooling in the kitchen as I write. I was going to make moulles mariniere for supper but I’d rather just sit back with some bread and hummous. I don’t like to think of the poor mussels sitting in the fridge and pondering their fate overnight, though, so I’ll prolly go and cook them when I’ve written this.
The good news is that I’m going to try to make some butter tomorrow. Hugh FW swears, in the book I bought y/day, that it’s only a matter of shaking some double cream around in a jam jar. I love butter and can’t resist the idea of giving it a go. Fingers crossed, please, y’all…