This grueling month is drawing to a close. In August we have back to back to back 8 day silent retreats and they are all full! The kitchen staff is tired. The housekeeping staff is tired. Even Pauline – our normally unflappable registrar – was heard to raise her voice slightly. (I have been trying to fit in a literary joke in here – perhaps a T.S. Eliot reference – but “August is the gruelest month” just doesn’t set the right tone….)
In times like this, feedback is what keeps the kitchen going. We can always turn to “the Box”. The Box contains all our notes and cards from the past four years. We have purchased cards, hand made cards (sometimes lavishly illustrated) and simple (or elaborate) letters. Some are addressed to “chefs” or “cooks” or “kitchen angels”. Sometimes people have taken the time to learn some of our names or all of our names. Sometimes people have taken the time to mis-spell our names. The communications are as different as the variety of people who come here but they all say “thank you” and they all feed our souls. This gratitude makes it reasonable, possible, necessary to ensure the soup tastes just right, to garnish a platter, to cook a gluten and dairy-free dessert for one person out of forty, to come in early to cut chive blossoms, research pithy sayings for the menu boards or to post a requested recipe on the blog.
We get other communications as well. We’ve had smiles and hugs and furtive “thank you”s in the hallway from retreatants greatly daring to break silence. We’ve been applauded and sung to … in French, no less! Sometimes comments are funny … “Even if I lost my faith, I’d come back for the food.” Sometimes they are heart-rending – like the man who told Kate that the meals were so good that they made him cry. What do you do with a compliment like that?!? The only possible answer is to let it inspire you and strive to be worthy of it.
And so, Pat v. V., this recipe is for you. Thank you for your kind words and thank you for knowing about our little blog!
Patty’s Addictive Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Mix together …
1 ½ c graham wafer crumbs
1 c smooth peanut butter
1 ¾ c icing sugar
½ c melted margarine
Press into a parchment lined, 9 x 13 inch pan.
1 c chocolate chips
¾ c peanut butter
Spread over base.
Cool completely before cutting.
These are irresistible. Sometimes I have to request that Patty NOT make them! One of those might be all I need right now … and some sleep and maybe just a bit of Georgian Bay…
Dashing off to the kitchen now… thank you for reading and thank you for all your thank yous!