In the Kitchen Week of April 6th- power outages and ingredient hunts April 09 2020
I'm so glad you all are enjoying the food and benefitting from this service, especially at this time. Welcome to our new customers as well!
We made and sold the most food this week as we ever have, including on a Thanksgiving. You all also bought out all of the frozen items except for 6 pints of quinoa. Wow!!!
We're working hard to make as much food as we can, and... we got another few curveballs this week. Which does seem to be more likely than not these days.
As as seems to happen only on big days, including one Thanksgiving four or five years ago, during our prime cooking time on Tuesday, the power went out!For a few hours. And I got an email from Xcel that same day talking about their reliability during this time. The irony!
We were joking, though, because fortunately the power went out only for some breakers in the kitchen. Including all of the lights in the dish area where Amy has been plugging along. Amy always used to prefer the lights lower at work, and she got it. That's a photo of Amy working away in the dark.
The convection ovens also went off during baking time, so some of the baked goods look a little different this week. They still taste great, and one cannot replicate the cooking effect of a convection oven with all that nice hot air circulation in a normal gas oven. Totally changed the baking approach!
(This is why I think you all love our roast potatoes. The commercial convection ovens get that nice browning in a way that isn't possible unless you have some fancier appliances at home.)
I love the tenacity of our team. Nobody got upset, we all just ask - ok, now how do we adjust? And we kept going.
The harissa soup and sauce were cooked without lights over the stove. And thank goodness for gas stoves!
This is definitely a theme with the whole coronavirus situation, at work and at home. We are feeling stronger effects of the initial (and some continued) hoarding as well as the restaurant industry contraction.
Though we, luckily, are already set up for this type of delivery context, all of the sudden many others have been joing us. So some packaging has been harder to find.
And so have ingredients. Distrubutors are working less hours because of the decrease in restaurant sales and local farms aren't quite in season yet.( So close!!) I'm having to start thinking of menus weeks ahead to ensure I can get the ingredients to make the large quantity you all are ordering - or any quantity, for that matter!
And get more creative with what we can make with less of certain items. It's also been uncertain if I will get what ingredients I order, so last minute trips to the grocery with fingers crossed are becoming part of my routine.
I had to come up with a lot of coconut milk after not receiving three cases on Tuesday morning. With a blend of coconut water, dehydrated coconut cream concentrate, and more regular coconut milk, it worked! We did have to use some coconut milk with gum, which I try hard not to do. About 1/3 of it. The no gum coconut milk was more rare even before hoarding, and that's how it was this week. I think the water added a nice touch.
Adjusting to a higher amount of deliveries and new protocols for pick ups at each site... it's been a lot! The higher demand, need for more creativity, and the decrease in my other non-essential activity outside of the kitchen have all served to push us into new systems and improvments that I've been intending to make for years. And ones I didn't realize we needed but will make our business better, stay at home orders or not.
I hope all you ahve been adjusting and weathering these changes adn uncertainity with as much ease and creativity as possible. It's certainly a huge opportunity for evolution and upgrades on so many levels of life, though the destruction that comes first is challenging.
Thanks for your orders and for your patience and support as we all figure this out together!