Friday, August 31, 2018

pics from a coworker

It's a form of Murphy's Law that everyone's cell-phone camera is better than mine. Coworker SY, whose birthday is also August 31, took the following pics of today's feast which, tragically, left everyone so stuffed that most people weren't able to eat all (or even part) of the panna cotta dessert. It's a compliment to the chef when the masses gorge themselves on the chef's food, but it's a minor tragedy when people prove to be so stuffed with the main course that they're unable to appreciate dessert. I learned my lesson: with something as rich as panna cotta, I'll serve only tiny amounts of it next time.

Here's the beginning of prep in the office. Note the carrot cake purchased to celebrate three August birthdays (two on the 31st, one on the 26th) and one goodbye (to a Canadian coworker). Note, too, the raisin bread—from the mediocre bakery—that went largely uneaten.

I had to use an entire table to set up my three gas ranges, of which only two are visible here. I had meatballs to heat up, as well as my homemade spaghetti sauce. Off to the side, the third burner was devoted to pasta-boiling, so that one was filled with water and kept on standby until about 15 minutes before lunch was to begin.

Meatballs, bubbling away in bottled sauce quickly snatched from the downstairs grocery:

The pasta ended up perfectly al dente; here I am scooping it out into a strainer. Someone asked why I didn't just pour the whole thing through the strainer. Well, just look at the setup: the water would have risen high enough to bathe the bottom of the noodles inside the strainer. What good is that?

Coworkers graciously bought drinks. You can also see the caprese:

My coworker took a pic of the plates she'd made for herself:

NB: everyone loved the garlic bread. The 70s-housewife method still works well.

Below, a closeup of the panna cotta:

Lastly, the carrot cake in all its glory:

There was an awkward moment when someone asked whether we should sing a birthday song. I growled "No," but I ended up outvoted, and the singing began—in all keys and cadences, like that moment in the Harry Potter books when the students sing the Hogwarts school song, each at his or her own pace and in his or her own style. It was a bit like that. Which is why I'd voted "No" to singing at all. That said, it's the thought that counts, or so they say, and assuming the discordant singing hadn't been deliberately malicious, I suppose it was uplifting in some sense that I still don't quite understand.

And that's the end of my coworker's pics. Stay tuned for my pics, which aren't as good.

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