Forgive me for my tardiness in blogging this week.
I was engaged in a 3 day “Win Back the Customer Sales Summit” at my real job.
It involved the coming together of our sales field reps and internal corporate teams to share thoughts and ideas to come up with a strategy to do what the summit title suggests.
Our coordinator had to take an emergency leave a week prior to this summit which left the coordination of the event details added to my proverbial plate.
It’s all the little details that seem meaningless to outsiders in their preparation that have the most disastrous effect if they aren’t taken care of.
I fret more over the coordination details than the sum of all the other parts which include, but by no means are limited to, my own presentation on consumer insights, supporting each colleague with sales and marketing data for their own presentations and supporting my boss, VP of Sales and Marketing, with anything and everything.
I was an event coordinator in the past so I know what happens when the gluten free bread doesn’t arrive with lunch, or breakfast isn’t included with the hotel bookings, or evening meal destinations aren’t preferred by all…hell breaks loose.
So given all of this, needless to say as I’m sitting in the boardroom waiting for my turn to present, the next person’s turn to make sure I’ve queued up their slides properly, and the arrival of the special order non-dairy sandwich with lunch, my stress level rises to the ultimate degree and remains there for the balance of the summit.
Our Thursday evening event was to take part in a cooking class at the Calphalon Centre in Toronto and then enjoy the personally prepared feast with our team.
When I walked into the professionally stocked kitchen and took in the view I could literally feel the stress drain from my body.
How cool is this?!?
In the midst of all the chaos of the summit, I was able to do something I love…cook!
Even though I cook a lot and think I’ve got my own methods down, to have a professional chef demonstrate their techniques was an incredible learning experience and not to mention a whole lot of fun.
I would recommend it to anyone…from those who love to cook, to those who love new experiences but don’t cook more than once in a blue moon.
That evening made the next and last day of the summit a breeze…it’s amazing how incorporating something you love into your day can make the not so great things a lot more bearable.
The dramatic drop in my stress level after stepping into that kitchen was the reassurance I needed that I’m on the right path for me…to cook and share recipes.
I want to do what I love to do.
I try not to let a blog go by without sharing a baby food recipe so let’s talk plums and pears…a perfect combination.
Try to choose plums that are nice and ripe.
Avoid those that are hard with little colour, or very soft and bruised and spotted.
Ripe plums are fragrant and well coloured and relax to light finger pressure.
When choosing pears make sure they are smooth and firm but not too hard, and have no bruises.
Plum Perfect Pear Puree
Age – 6 months +
- 5 plums
- 5 pears
- Peel, core and slice pears into 1cm. thick pieces.
- Peel plums using the boiling water method if they are really ripe, or use a regular peeler if they are not so ripe.
- To peel plums using the boiling water method, make an “x” shape cut with a knife on the bottom of the plum.Place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and leave for 1 minute or so. Take out of water with tongs and let stand for a few minutes. If the plums were ripe you should be able to peel the skins off easily beginning with the flap that is exposed from the “x” you cut in the skin earlier. If you’re still having trouble, don’t fret…just grab a regular peeler to finish the job.
- Slice the plums into 1cm. thick pieces and discard the pit.
- Add Pears alone to a large sauce pan with 1 tbsp. water.
- Cover and cook over medium/low heat, stirring often for 10 mins.
- Add the plums to the pears, cover and continue to cook for another 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer to a blender, food processor or bowl to use a hand blender to puree the fruit to a smooth consistency.
You can keep some in the fridge and transfer the rest to freezing trays.
The frozen puree will safely last up to 3 months and the refrigerated puree approx. 48 hrs.
Makes approx. 14 servings (1 serving is 2 tbsp.)
Maybe next year I’ll be coordinating a “Win Back the Homemade Baby Food Preparation Summit” rather than the customer sales one that I just did.