It happens often in North Carolina. The threat of impending snow. Most of the time the “blizzard” ends up being a light dusting of what looks like confectionary sugar (we are bakers, you know), or some icy roads. Residents who are from the north or Midwest often laugh at the “stock up on bread and milk,” chaos…we know better!
But yesterday, Mother Nature had enough of our mockery! She unleashed at least 10 inches of the thick, wet snow (you know, the kind that is AWESOME for making snowballs!), and forced most businesses, and all the schools (even our prestigious universities) to close. She began her fury at 8 a.m. and didn’t finish her final statement until midnight! For North Carolinians, this was truly an unbelievable event. In a state that has limited snow removal equipment, the roads were covered with major drifts of snow…but awwwww, the beauty of it all! The trees draped in crystal, white snow, colorful homes surrounded by a white, winter wonderland…the beauty was in abundance, and just something to sit with a cup of tea, looking out the window, and marvel at.
Needless to say, the Cake Lounge succumbed to closing…we all needed to be safe and sound in our homes with our families. But what did the 3 of us do?
Our CEO and owner, Kristen, attended to laundry. Fun right? It was actually a luxury for her to take time to do it, as she always has limited time with her busy schedule at the bakery and caring for her two sons. She found comfort in being able to take her time during the process…you might say she was even “present” in the activity…transferring loads, folding clothes, putting them away...all without a time constraint. What a wonderful thing!
Shawn, VP of Customer Service & our head Ball Master, took to the kitchen and cooked up a storm of his own…First up, homemade chicken salad for lunch. He started with a fresh baked rotisserie chicken, chopped finely, and added celery, dried cranberries, pecans and his special mayo concoction (which I was told I cannot share!). Dinner required a warm, cozy, comfort food to brave all the cold and snow. What better than a pot of steaming pasta fagioli?! He paired it with light red wine and warm chewy, and crusty bread…he was told he better bring in leftovers for lunch or don’t come back at all! Ha!
Christine, VP of Marketing/PR, baked cookies. Yes, baked. When you have a teen son who is constantly eating and requesting special recipes, you bake. And you bake because you are stuck at home, you still have electricity and you have all the ingredients of your famous Chocolate Mint Cookies (you are welcome…recipe is below. Wink, wink.). And you bake at home, because, Lord knows, you don’t bake at the bakery. That’s not your job…you leave the important baking to the “bakers” of the operation, Kristen and Shawn.
It killed us to not be at the bakery, sipping our morning coffee and going over what was on tap for the day and the rest of the week. We missed teasing each other, and finding ways to make sense of our lives and the world. We missed answering the phone and helping people at the last minute, because “OMG, I forgot to order a cake for my wife’s birthday cake!” We missed the beautiful women from the hair salon coming in for their daily coffee beverages (seriously, could they be any more beautiful??? Every. Single. One. Of. Them.). We missed the architect who passes through and always finds a way to make us belly laugh! We missed making double espressos for our Arts neighbors, and the Americano plus cake ball order for business owner, Dan. We missed seeing the excitement on a new customer’s face when they bite into a piece of our layer cake, and exclaim, “this is thee most delicious cake I have ever had!”
Snow days are good days to recharge, regroup, refocus…but 1 snow day is all us Cake Lounge staff needs. After group-texting each other all day yesterday, we are ready to brave those roads this afternoon, grab a cup of coffee, review what needs to be done, start baking and balling, and love every minute of it.
- 4 oz Ghiradelli 60% cocao chocolate chips
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (4 oz) soft salted butter (I never have unsalted butter in the house, so I’m fine with salted in most of my cookie recipes!)
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure only...trust me!)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag (10 oz) Andes Mint baking chips