Tag Archives: bookstore cafes

One for all, and all for – – –

Jack guest posts (late – and briefly)

Poor Kelley, our master chef and proprietor of ‘The Second Story Cafe’, which resides upstairs in our bookstore, went down with the galloping cruds today. She managed to struggle through lunchtime, then we sent her home to bed with a stern warning to not show face until we open on Tuesday.
So we will be the resident cooks tomorrow – – –
– – – But, wait, tomorrow we inaugurate our series of musicals dinners, with Christian Dimick and Witold Wolny providing classical guitar music and the cafe serving Italian food starting at 6.00 pm. Yikes!! But then there’s breakfast from 8.30 am and lunch from 11.00 am – Heavens, jings and help ma boab!!! We’ve been dining on Kelley’s delectable offerings every morning and lunchtime since she started, without a care in the world as to how the food was produced, so now we need to remember how to do this stuff – pronto!
Tonight (after we raided the grocery store) Wendy prepared quiches and lasagna, while I set up the coffee and primed myself to produce a risotto tomorrow afternoon (not to mention bacon and eggs in the morning). Wendy’s also working on something called a “blueberry french toast casserole.”

Ho boy.
We’ve had a fair bit of unexpected emergencies this week involving a bleeding dog and a sick goat. These meant Kelley and her acolytes minded the bookstore as well as the cafe, so this is all just a fair exchange of labor IMHO.
Now – where is the rice? and the olive oil? and the – – – – –
Y’all come – if you dare.

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Uncategorized

“I Eyed her Risotto Speculatively…”

Wendy and I tend to share cooking duties, swapping back and forth as other responsibilities allow. Actually, when we first met I was mightily impressed with the lasagna she served, thinking this must be the pinnacle of a vast mountain of culinary expertise.

Alas, I subsequently discovered, too late, that said “pinnacle” was pretty much the whole mountain.

A further complication to our shared cooking duties is that I tend towards spicy food. I love Indian curries for instance, whereas Wendy runs from anything spicy as fast as she can, considering cinnamon hot. This often means that we have to find ways of producing two entirely different dishes simultaneously to suit our different preferences. Such are the fancy steps of the dance called marriage!

Just recently I contracted some kind of stomach bug and had a couple days when I wasn’t eating very much at all as it worked its way (pretty much literally) through my system. Wendy followed on by going down with the same thing a few days later–but we didn’t realize it until a critical moment.

At the point where I was feeling much better, and fairly hungry, it was my turn to cook. Being tight for time, I prepared a nice crock pot risotto, very non-spicy for Wendy with a spicy side-sauce for me. Setting the dishes out on one of our porch tables, we settled down to an amiable al fresco dining experience that would include sharing our stories of the day. It had been for both of us a stressful day in a stressful week; the Celtic festival was bearing down on us, Wendy was working hard on a critical juncture for her second book, and we were in the middle of plans to open our upstairs cafe for October, with a workman installing heat and air in the new dining room even as we sat down to dinner. Oh, and they’re about to start filming a movie in our town and some people were scouting locations in our shop. Difficult week.

Wendy took a few mouthfuls of risotto and paused, then sat very quietly as I wittered on – then she got up, went down to the far end of the porch, leaned over the rail, and puked. Coming back she sat quietly again, then got up and went to the rail again as I continued to eat – I was hungry after all! Besides, I knew she wasn’t dying. I’d had it the week before.

As Wendy’s greenish-grey pallor deepened, and she continued to sit VERY quietly, I eyed her risotto speculatively. When she got up a third time, I reached over and retrieved her plate. As she returned, with my fork I wordlessly indicated that I’d be happy to polish off hers as well. She signed that she would have no objection. And continued to sit quietly, waiting for the next wave.

We wondered afterwards how many people observed the whole pantomime and quite what they would make of it. But you know, around here, crazy is the new normal.

Wendy is fully recovered,  but she has gone off rice-based dishes for some reason. And yes, I am a heartless bastard. But the risotto was excellent.


Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, Scotland, writing