Monday, January 4, 2010

Sweet Reflections

Goodbye, 2009! What a fabulous year you were! Full of special events, wonderful people, and a seasonal parade of delicious desserts. You started off full of promise, and didn't disappoint. Always busy, sometimes frantic, occasionally nervewracking, but so much fun. You were a year of many firsts - first Grange review, first off-site event, first print interview, the first time I've blogged - and tweeted! The first time a customer left a note for me on her credit card receipt to tell me how much she and her guests enjoyed their desserts. The first time I made a dessert featuring tomatoes - and one with duck fat, too! The first time I've gone on a field trip to an artisan food producer and then created a dessert in their honor using the fruits of their labor, a fantastic goat cheese. The first time I've been able to walk across the street from the kitchen to a farmer's market, bursting with amazingly fresh produce all summer long, just begging to come back to the pastry department with me.

I bid farewell to you, 2009, on New Year's Eve with two celebratory dishes - a warm Quince Tatin with Sparkling Wine Sabayon & Gelee, and a Dark Chocolate Chambord Mousse Cake with White Chocolate-Cranberry Bark & Raspberry Chambord Sauce. A sweet send-off, indeed, for a very sweet year!

Hello, 2010! This past year was great, but I have a feeling you might even be better! My assistant and I, unsure of each other at first, have now formed a strong partnership based on a mutual love of pastry AND having fun in the kitchen - a dynamite combination. We can handle anything you throw our way! I know now we can produce at least 700 banquet desserts in a week, because we've done it. A couple thousand mini desserts for an off-site event - is that all? A new dessert feature every week - no problem! I'm so looking forward to seeing what you bring us this year - more special events, bigger banquets, fun field trips, many happy guests, and undoubtedly more than a few surprises.

And since you're bringing gifts, I have one for you - in honor of your arrival I'm rolling out an updated menu this week with beautiful new desserts for a gorgeous new year. We'll really get this party started with Dine Downtown on Friday - ten days of Warm Apple-Cranberry Strudel with French Vanilla Ice Cream and Guinness Ginger Cake with Caramel-Braised Pears. Oh, so many desserts, so little time. Please don't go by too quickly, 2010 ... I want to savor every minute with you.