Two days before Christmas, and I am burnt. Crispy even.
I've worked hard to barrel through the past month, and I'm tired. My feet hurt. And my carpel tunnel is really acting up from scooping so, so many cookies. I'm complaining a bit, but trust me, not about being busy. Being busy is actually pretty darn awesome. I'm just getting...older. ;)
But even with being tired, and not quite in the groove of the holiday season, today, I feel the love. Because hands down, I have the best staff in Frederick, possibly Maryland, and there's a good chance it extends beyond even that.
I had the pleasure of taking my girls to a little lunch on Monday to thank them for such a stellar year. For working hard and sticking with me even when times are tough. And for a few, daring to join an easily-distracted owner who sometimes forgets what she's talking about, right in the middle of a sentence.
If you haven't met the girls, well, what are you waiting for?? Here, let me introduce them:
Caroline: The yin to my yang, the Jack Sprat to my Jack Sprat's wife, Caroline and I are complete opposites. We're both women, and we both cook, but the similarity ends there. I'm big and loud, Caroline is tiny and controlled, and one heck of a good baker to boot. She teaches a well-thought out class and always has a sunny disposition and great attitude.
Kerry: My partner-in-kitchen crime, we sometimes pick a foul word of the day, then use it...frequently. But only with each other, and never around Caroline. :) Kerry adores food, and despite having terrible taste in it (we like almost none of the same flavors), is an excellent cook and is loaded with ambition. Her new catering/lunch delivery business will be kicking off soon, so stay-tuned for that. She makes me laugh, and what could be better than that?
Wendy: I've never, ever seen anyone eat indiscriminately and with such reckless abandon as Wendy. This is why she has a job at The Kitchen Studio. Because the bottom line here is that she loves to eat, asks smart questions, and washes a mean dish. She is pretty darn terrific to have around and with her new found love of foie gras, I like being around her just that much more.
Sharon: Quite possibly one of the smartest women I've ever met, you feel your IQ raise a few points just in speaking with her. I never feel dumb at the end of our conversations and can speak honestly and openly with her. I love her passion for food, travel, and her family. Really, I just like her, and the fact that she works her butt off certainly doesn't hurt.
Cathy: Hard-working, diligent, absolutely reliable, and willing to be the bad guy when I tell all of the birthday party kids that she likes to eat batter with uncooked eggs (which I'm not sure if she really does or not). A talented graphic designer with a real job in DC, Cathy makes birthday parties even more fun, as if that's possible!
Dotty: A newcomer to the TKS staff, Dotty is learning to keep me in line. Not only is she chipper and cute as a button, but she's organizing my mess and helping to pull together programs that will make The Kitchen Studio run better and help us to offer more to our students (brand new Kitchen Assistant program coming in January, along with our Shared-Use kitchen!). Plus, she's super creative and makes a mean pin cushion! Don't believe me? Check out her Etsy shop here.
And then, Keri-Ann: Our very newest addition, Keri-Ann is our brand new kid's cooking instructor, getting ready to lead kid's cooking birthday parties, and even a few summer camps. A foodie at heart, she gifted me with homemade bourbon balls and freshly made chicken basil sausage for the holidays. Add into that the fearlessness in eating foie and pate and snails, and you've got my kind of gal. I have a feeling I should probably keep Keri-Ann and Wendy separated, or there may be nothing left in the fridge!
You can say what you want about women, but I will tell you this: The Kitchen Studio staff is a drama-free zone. Now, hopefully I'm not dooming myself to days filled with picking and pecking and complaining, and I don't think I am. These ladies are all different, they're all mature, and they make a great team.
The best present I've received this year?
A loyal and wonderful staff that I love to work with in the kitchen.
So ladies, Merry Christmas.
And to my readers, Merry Christmas too. Why don't you stop in and see us sometime. :)