Monday, May 28, 2012

Moving on to 1980/1981

Moving on to 1980/1981

How and where to start? Perhaps I should start with my son Rodmond who turned 50 on May 20, 2012. We had a cookout here in Healdsburg with some family and friends. It was a fun evening. Oh boy, no wonder I am getting up in years. Rodmond is my son #4. He is thoughtful and very caring about his family.

Approaching the 1980's, I took on the Powder Ridge Ski Lodge in Connecticut, turning the short order Grill into a successful Soup and Meal in a Dish Restaurant. It became very popular with skiers and also with the locals. This was a seasonal operation for me and a lot of fun. Rodmond became a part time Bartender. In those days the legal drinking age in Connecticut was 18; I really do not know if that has changed over the years.

He also doubled as a spotter. I knew one of my bartenders was skimming from the top and of course that lowers your profit margin. Let me plug in that is one of the most common and annoying things that happens in the hospitality industry.

My children all had the privilege of skiing for free which, of course we took advantage of.  Heidi however, did not want to go and learn how to ski as she was worried that she would break her arm and could not play the piano which was/is her passion.

My commute to work was almost one hour each way which of course was hard on our home life. However, this was an operation I was proud of. The Bar on weekends was always packed with revelers. I hired a band at least 2 Saturdays a month and some nights the public got out of hand. On one of those Saturdays I went and stepped on a table with a whistle, blew the whistle and all went quiet. I told the guys and girls that if they did not behave I would shut everything down and no more music on Saturdays. Guess what? It worked. I hired a security guard as well. Mind you these were mostly 20 and 30-something guests.

After the season was over New York City beckoned again and I took on Chatfield’s Restaurant there to do a turn around. I hired a wonderful Chef named Christopher; I wonder where he is now! The restaurant became a favorite for models, media and stars. The restaurant was sold a couple of years later. During the first few months at Chatfield’s, Heidi ended up one evening doing the dishes for us since the evening dishwasher did not show. Heidi was all but 13 or 14. That evening the talent scout for the Ford Modeling agency had dinner in the restaurant. He noticed Heidi and wanted her to audition at the modeling agency. I declined because I felt she was too young. The agency found a similar type in Christie Brinkley. I wonder how different Heidi’s life would have been if I had permitted her to become a model.

This was also the year my Father came back to visit and while I worked in New York City, he stayed with my Children. He bought himself a car so he could chauffeur the kids around. I was so busy in New York that a friend offered me her apartment since she was going to live in India for a year. It was in one of those beautiful town houses of Madison Avenue. I stayed at the apartment 3 to 4 days a week depending on what went on in the restaurant.

My Father came to New York to stay with me a few days as he wanted to see more of the City. I took my Father and I believe Heidi, Kurt and I cannot recall who else to the New York symphony in Central Park. This was a highlight for my Father. You know it all is confusing now because the following year I moved with Heidi and Kurt to New York City living in a loft in Greenwich Village, which was another bad choice on my part.

However, I know that Heidi and Kurt both liked living in New York City. The problem was that, instead of sending them to public school I put them in a private school which ultimately I could not afford.

The choices we make hoping it all will come together are sometimes not the smartest. I call this learning the hard way.

The following recipe I introduced at Chatfield’s: I called it Hemmingway’s Shrimp. When I was on the Island of Majorca I met Ernest Hemmingway. He would come off his boat with his companion/wife; he would start the big grill on the end of the dock and grill those shrimp and we would peel them and eat them. Those shrimp were so good. Hence I put them on the restaurant menu. In the restaurant I made an orange dipping sauce.

I have to add that, after a few weeks, a lot of the restaurants in New York City put the shrimp on their menu.

Hemmingway Shrimp

6 large shrimp in shell per person

Put on the grill and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Put on a plate or bowl if more than one person is at the table ordered the shrimp.

Orange dipping Sauce

1 cup orange marmalade
¼ th cup orange liquor

Bring orange marmalade to boil, add the liquor and on very low heat simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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