Today it was back to the pudding cup grind. After spending three days as the second cook in the deli, I made the pilgrimage back to the “homeland” of the Governor’s Lodge around lunch time. It’s been a crazy few days since my last post—filled with stints in the rental shop, ticket selling, and engineering the ideal steak and cheese sub in the deli. I have an incredible respect for the rental shop cashiers. Some of the questions and issues that arise at that desk leave no rest for the weary. Yvette, Geoff, Meg, and Jim know it all. They can do anything short of selecting the upcoming Powerball numbers (however, if anyone had to guess, I would put my chips in their hands. That’s for sure!) Vouchers, rental questions, booking private lessons, handling guest concerns or problems, answering questions about tubing reservations – you name it, they know the answer. It’s really a one-stop-shop for everything you need. After the morning rush and they get you all of your rental equipment and tickets, they may just be the ones ringing you up at the register at lunch or clearing your tray after you are done your meal. There aren’t many resorts or businesses that are as cohesive as Loon Mountain. You never know who will be dishing up your soup, making your salad, or assembling your pudding cups, jello, or fruit cups.
The salads, like many other items in the Governor’s Lodge, are made fresh daily. For the past few days, those salads have been carefully put together by the Director of Marketing, Molly. And you can tell. Molly’s attention to detail and remarkable talent are generally reserved for photography, graphics, Loon Magazine, and any media involving Loon, but this week, her eye for detail and quality were evident in her colorful and, I don’t want to pump up her ego, but they were perfect. Sure, I made two Caesar salads to her one garden salad, but it wasn’t a race. My salads only had three ingredients: romaine, shredded parmesan cheese, and croutons. I did put considerable effort into the crouton placement, but she has 10 ingredients that she so artfully placed in that garden salad. For those lucky enough to enjoy such fine salad art – I’m sure you enjoyed it.
After the salad racks were filled, we moved on to pudding, jello, fruit cup and PARFAIT art. I had no idea how popular those blueberry parfaits are until today. They were flying off the shelves faster than the chicken fingers and fries. I considered today a graduation of sorts. My parfait skills have been limited to putting the granola in the lids, but today I was the parfait engineer. I’m not going to say it was as glamorous looking as Molly’s garden salad or Jackie’s dollops of whipped crème on the tops of the pudding and jello cups, but it was pretty good. It’s not all about looks all the time; it’s about quality and enjoyment. Even a plate of French fries that are all over the place tastes good when it comes down to it. Sure, we aim for the marketing perfection, but Molly was helping Marcy with the soup rush, so I had to do my best. In the middle of the parfait madness, Ashley from the Pavilion called; she needed more pretzels, STAT. I put down the blueberries and made some pretzels and put them in the oven. I went back to the blueberries and tried my darndest to create the parfait cup that would earn the seal of approval from Molly. All that effort paid off, I think Molly approved of the end result, but at the same time I completely forgot that there were still pretzels in the oven.
I opened the oven after a slight panic that revels leaving your cell phone on a bus or some moving object that you may not see again for a while, and the pretzels looked, well, crisp. They actually looked like chocolate covered pretzels, and Jackie, in her attempt to make me feel like they weren’t THAT bad (but not for human consumption), picked one up and tried to break off a piece. I have no idea if she was actually going to try it, but it didn’t break. They were SOLID. We actually joked that they could serve as hammers if Norm in building maintenance ever needed some extra hammers in his shop. As much as we hate to throw things away, these had to go. I made another batch and, sure enough, remembered to pull them out of the oven at perfect baking time. Jackie and Molly may disagree that it was ME that remembered to pull them out of the oven, but hey, I’m writing this, not them!
After a fun-filled few hours in the Governor’s Lodge fueled by excessive laughter, stellar parfaits, pudding cups, jello cups, salads, and soups, it was time to bid farewell for the day to Jackie and head back to my office to check e-mail and voicemail before our guests from the UK and Ireland departed – some for the day, some for the season. Four schools ended today, so our friends at Cannon and Waterville came to pick up their rental equipment at Loon, while Joe and his staff headed off to Cannon to pick up our equipment. It’s another aspect of Adam’s Picasso art; he’s in charge of arranging rental returns from these school groups and it’s always like a reunion of sorts when other mountains come to visit. Ironically, it was the sales teams from both Cannon and Waterville who came to pick up equipment. We all travel together extensively in the fall and spring, so it’s always nice to see them in the winter, especially on our own turf! We loaded up the trucks with skis, boots, poles and helmets and Julianne and Sherry from Cannon were first to head out. Greg and Larkin from Waterville hung out to gather up the equipment that was straggling in from the schools that started at Waterville and ended at Loon. After all the trucks were loaded and headed off to I-93, we headed down to the rental shop to help unload our equipment that Joe and his staff picked up at Cannon. I had to miss out on that part of the fun; I had to pick up some very important East Ridge Cross Country Trail Maps at True Colors in Plymouth before 5pm. I had to leave in time to get the shuttle to the employee parking lot and then head down the pike, so I couldn’t participate in the ski-pole sorting madness that I have come to really enjoy like a game of “Match” over the past six years.
I’m not going to lie; it was really nice being home before the sun went down. Thank you, True Colors, for closing at 5pm and a huge Thank You to our awesome Adventure Center for giving me a reason to get to Plymouth before 5pm. My not-so-little four legged pal and I went for a nice long walk after work and it was a nice “download” after a busy day.
Tomorrow’s forecast: HEAVY SNOW… Commander says 8-14 inches of the white stuff. Ask Adam what time it’s supposed to start. He’ll know the answer. If you’re at Loon on Friday, swing by the Governor’s Lodge and hopefully Molly will be there assembling salads that could put Wolfgang Puck to shame.
Yours in Pudding Cups and Parfaits,