Monday, September 29, 2008

Day One

Today is the first day of the first class of the Chidwick School of Fine Woodworking. It has been a lot of work to get us to the point of welcoming students here, and we didn't get nearly as much in place as we'd hoped to accomplish before today, but we are here and it is what it is.

Of course, the main draw is the rocking chair itself and Andy as an instructor. He is really good at teaching sculptural woodworking. It is an intimidating process and most hobbyist woodworkers are scared to death of it, but Andy has a way of guiding students along so naturally that they are amazed at the end of two weeks to see that they have made a beautiful rocking chair--one that looks impossibly difficult for someone at their level.

So the big push has been to get the shop more presentable, more in line with what you would expect someone at the top of his craft to work in. But whereas Andy's big push ended at eight o'clock this morning when the first student showed up, mine had just begun. My job is to feed his classes, and to feed them well.

This morning's continental breakfast consisted of a blueberry coffee cake (which I made very late last night), applesauce donuts, bananas, grapes and orange slices, coffee and juice. Mid-morning, I served a snack (all store-bought items, so not too difficult). Then, at noon we all sat down outside at the picnic table for lasagna, bread sticks, steamed veggies, fruit salad, berry lemonade and Elli's pumpkin cake.

The kids and I cleared the table afterward and started on the dishes, then they got to their school work while I kept at the clean-up efforts. For the more difficult passages, they brought a chair into the kitchen and read aloud to me while I got busy making food for tomorrow. I have another coffee cake (apple and walnut) ready for the morning, and the beans that will accompany tomorrow's chicken are simmering on the stove. I know I've made other things too, because I've been standing in my little cave of a kitchen almost every minute of every hour since six o'clock this morning--but right now I can't think of what they might be.

I'm feeling very tired all of a sudden--that ultra drowsy, borderline narcoleptic, my-whole-body-is-so-happy-to-be-seated-but-I-really-wish-I-could-go-totally-horizontal type of tired. My fingers are struggling to find the keys as I type this. I must get back up and head back to the kitchen. I don't have a dessert to go with tomorrow's lunch yet.

This is going to be a strenuous week for me, with no breaks. Hopefully, I will get far enough ahead on food prep that I won't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen again like I have today. But, at the same time, it was a good day, too, a fun day, a challenge to conquer. And conquer, I have, but now I am tired. Going to bed in the wee hours of the morning and then getting back up again before the first streaks of dawn probably hasn't helped me any today. Must get us all to bed early tonight.


Oh, wait, it's not bedtime. Scratch that. Good day.


Mister Ed T said...

Thanks for the news. Who are the students, keds, adults, how many?

alison said...

I was thinking about you yesterday. This is sort of like the Homemaker Olympics/...I can't really think of an apt metaphor to describe the other part - your working conditions. I have helped make a meal in that kitchen. I get it, Sherry. Every night you should drape an imaginary ribbon around your neck and award yourself the gold or silver, at the VERY least.

Sheila said...

The gold. If you are going to imagine it, go all the way :) I know I've been seriously lax on my wonderfully funny meal advice (circa snail mail, 1993) but this is my latest hit: I got one of those frozen bags of chicken, poured half a bottle of teriyaki sauce on it, and let it sit for an hour. Then I BBQed all of it. After it's done and cooled off, I cut it into strips and made a big pot of rice. Steamed veggie of choice, can of pineapple, the kids love it for three days of dinner. (Cooked chicken freezes well, too) I'm always on the lookout for a meal that has a planned leftover that is different than the meal itself (meatloaf, then chili; roast chicken, then chicken soup) so if you have any winners, post them please!