Saturday, May 20, 2006
The final count is seventeen participants and five staff for a total of 22 men, a very nice number to cook and care for. We've had as many as 36, total, and that many gets to be exhausting to do dishes and otherwise clean up for. Fortunately we have a big Hobart industrial dish washer that washes and sterilizes a load in just over three minutes and turns everything out so hot that it all dries itself in about two minutes. This has become "my" machine over the years and I love the thing. We've been doing this so long together that each of us knows his own tasks in the cooking/serving/clean up process without any great amount of discussion.
There's also a more or less fixed menu for these weekends. Saturday begins with a breakfast buffet of raisin oatmeal, yogurt, cold cereals, mellon chunks and juices, with plates of fresh pancakes brought to the tables.
On Sunday morning it's French toast instead of the pancakes.
The lunch buffet both days begins with home-made soups, for which Fritz has become very well known. Today's will be his herbed tomato soup that has just a touch of sour cream swirled in. I'm not sure about tomorrow's but among the choices will be pumpkin with black bean, butternut squash, or pureed vegetable. There are platters of sliced deli meats and cheeses along with three or four kinds of bread for making sandwiches and there 's always a big salad, like southwest taco salad, along with chips. Dessert is fresh fruit and cookies.
Saturday night is the big dinner which we serve banquet style with candles and flowers on the table. There's baked chicken in a rosemary cream sauce, veggies, mixed green salad, rice and some sort of baked dessert. For the vegetarians in the group, he makes a main course mujadra of lentils, rice, onion and whatever good dried fruits he has in stock--sultanas, and dried apricots most frequently.
I've just finished the breakfast cleanup, hung out the bath mats to dry and taken out a couple of bags of trash and kitchen garbage.We've got two free hours before we begin lunch. The sun is out and several hundred iris are just beginning to blossom. It should be a lovely weekend.
A proposito, did you know Bernstein personally???
No, I didn't know him personally although many in Boston did. He did his undergraduate degree work at Harvard. He came back and went into residence at Harvard to give lectures and lead a series of seminars. Always a dynamo of energy, he combined this with concerts and recordings with the Boston Symphony Orchestra of works that were the subject of many of the seminars.
When I was a kid, he was the conductor of the first symphony concert I ever attended in New York, and later I got to sit in on a couple of dress rehearsals he conducted with the New York Philharmonic.
Thom--I'll send you information on the Body Electric and the fall (October) dates when they'll be back here at Fritz's. If you could arrange a day or two off from work, it would be wonderful to have you up here with us.