- We got to feed the new senator! Tina Smith celebrated her first public appearance in Duluth right down the street at Hoops Brewing, and we supplied the snacks! Jeremy and I threw together some adorable little “bites” – gravlax, ham and pimiento, and salmon pate all made appearances. We enjoyed a pint and watched as hundreds of folks piled into the taproom.
- Superbowl Madness! We are concocting specials, unique grab-n-go items, fantastic décor, and many an attempted sports pun this month in preparation for the big game (it’s in Minnesota this year, doncha know). Flo has been sending ADORABLE “Stadium Status” newsletters and postcards, and the shop is looking cute enough for ‘Ye. Annemarie is a closeted football fanatic (Go Seahawks), so it’s been pretty fun to watch her squirm as the rest of us in officeland struggle with the terminology.
- Budget Task Force has new members, and a bigger whiteboard. We’re rearing to go for 2018. We even created a wish list, with new ovens at the top. Jerry’s going to be BUSY this year, guaranteed.
- We sliced cheese on the electric slicer, and life will never be the same. We did this years ago, but the dulling effects and overwhelming prep list shut us down, but we now know that it’s a (nother) goal for 2018 to bring back the fresh-sliced cheese – it is delicious!
- Cookbook genesis: we are beginning in earnest to create a Smokehaus cookbook! We’ve amassed tons of recipes, images, stories, and artifacts over the past 20 years, and we’re ready to compile it into some kind of (gorgeous) semblance of order. Stay tuned!
EXTRA 7, Best Of 2017 (According to Mary, General Manager):
- New website pictures: with Flo’s styling, Stephen’s photography, and the collective editing of Smokehaus Team Creative, the website looks like a million dollars. Our food deserves it.
- Boot in the Barn: a dream come true feast at Hemlock Preserve, this event was smashing. We plan to sell the very special porchetta in upcoming holiday seasons (and for events), and now know the secret behind great limoncello (hint: it’s lemons and time).
- T.K.’s (and others’) experiments: from half-sour pickles with chile to cumin slaw to “Tickle Sauce,” there are some truly awesome new things coming down the pike at NWSH. As soon as we have the proper space and plans, customers can expect to jump on the pickle/tickle train, too. In the meantime, Nic’s romesco and Caesar salad may make appearances as soon as this winter.
- The big board: we’ve used it several times this year and every time it’s absolutely glorious.
- “Goodbye Horses” radio on Spotify.
- The Budget Task Force – we are starting to practice open book management and it’s awesome! We already have several ideas for business development, and the energy and ideas during these meetings are genuinely enjoyable.
- So many wonderful times at the Restaurant: I haven’t even begun to process the fact that I can’t eat those wings whenever I want, but instead I’m feeling grateful that we had our time together. From the wine list to the INCREDIBLE staff, the restaurant defines a lot about what made 2017 great.