Well, it’s over. The dessert table was spectacular. OK, maybe it wasn’t exactly spectacular – I didn’t use fireworks. But I did light a lovely pillar candle at one end.
Sam came over as promised on Friday night. We worked steadily (her salsa and ambrosia, my scones and spongecake), blabbing pretty much constantly, ‘til around 3 in the morning. Not exactly the early night I’d hoped for, but very productive. Conversation ranged from creative processes to food to mental illnesses and coping with them, to … well, it was all over the place. I think it was the first time we’d had extended time together for like three years or so, since Duckie was born. Exhilarating, inspiring, and comforting all at the same time – that’s Sam. She’s blogging again, btw.
We finished the sauces and assembled the cakes on Saturday morning. She showed me how to temper the egg mixture in pastry cream, and the stuff came together magically – she used a different technique than JOC, and it was perfectly fine. (Asking for help + accepting the offer + letting go of the Plan = happy Andi and great desserts.)
I should also mention that using a thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs, then refrigerating a cake for an hour or before finishing the frosting does WONDERS for its cooperation. I usually hate frosting cakes. This time, it was actually fun, not to mention yummy, as I’d just finished the homemade cream cheese icing with an extravagant amount of freshy chopped orange zest.
More help showed up Saturday when we finally made it to the hall. We had to stall Heather for a half an hour or so before we were ready for the big reveal. She’d brought her entire liquor cabinet, so that had to be set up as well, along with the rest of the food. Still, if I needed an extra pair of hands to help transfer a cake or lug another box of supplies in from the car, they were always there. It was like running my own catering company for a couple of days. I even wore my semi-sexy khaki apron to keep the sauces and frosting off my party clothes.
Sam and I shared many joyful and high-spirited hugs and high-fives as the spread evolved.
In the end, the spread was artfully and elegantly arranged, the cakes were quite lovely, the scones were snapped up immediately, and the bride seemed pleased. The cheesecake, by the way, was worth every second of work. I think I may have had three slices, on top of sampling the other desserts and yummy food.
One guy there, I have no idea what his name was, but I’m fairly certain that my blood pressure would have shot through the roof had I spent more than five minutes in his presence, approached the dessert table with a plate in hand, saying, “Oh, yay! More junk food!”
“Excuse me, are you talking about the dessert table?” I inquired politely.
“Well, yeah,” he said.
I proceeded to enumerate all the non-junky qualities of the desserts presented, focusing mainly on the nutritive assets of each cake.
But what really got me teeth-gritting mad was how anyone could have called that table “junk” of any kind. I had set up sturdy cardboard boxes of varying heights turned upside down, then covered them and the rest of the table with these gorgeous plum-colored damask tablecloths that Judy passed down to me the week before (totally by luck.) The cakes went on top of that, the pillar candle with its own statuesque holder to hold it up, small plates of chocolate-chip orange scones and ghirardelli chocolates tucked into available spaces to add some flavor, ceramic crocks to hold the sauces for the cheesecake, and…
I mean, it was really nice. And he said, “junk food.” &^%er.
Practice on Friday afternoon was short, but sweet. Twenty minutes. I did unroll the mat, but I didn’t change out of work clothes – I was wearing good clothes for yoga anyway.
Somehow I managed a fifteen-minute practice Saturday night after we got home from the party. It was kinda fun – I knew I was entirely too full to do much, so I designed the very gentle poses as if I were about 7 months pregnant. Embarrassing, yes, but effective.
I had to answer my own question of what constitutes a practice. Ten minutes? Fifteen? State of mind? Breath?
I decided that the minimum (which could change, of course) was fifteen minutes, and should involve (if possible) the use of some kind of floor covering, just to make things a little special. I used a rug on Saturday night. And my happy bolster.
But I managed it.
Sunday was a Sara Ivanhoe tape with my yoga friend Pamela (who was, you might remember, staying with us for the weekend for some house-hunting.) It was lovely. Not too much, about 40 minutes of lunges, twists, standing poses, and abs. And since it wasn’t a challenging routine, I could really focus on posture, breath, support of the legs, subtle stretches that I didn’t get a chance to enjoy during faster Kest-style vinyasas, and a more correct form for the abdominal work. It was a great way to move back towards a deeper practice this week. Lovely.
The muscles in the middle of my back, especially on my right side, are very stiff today. I’m guessing it has to do with spending hours working at a countertop that’s just an inch too high, not to mention the several hours doing dishes to keep up with the next pastry project. I managed to get six or seven solid hours of sleep over the last two nights, and I think it gave those muscles a chance to be a little too still for a little too long.
I’ll do the third Kest video today – it’s got a lot of good twists to help get some blood flow back to that spot.
Work beckons. I’d like to tell it to f*&$ off. However *cough* there are bills to be paid.
P.S. Daffodils are trying to come up in my front yard. This is NUTS.