Friday, July 23, 2010

How a kitchen changed my life

The cooks kitchen (or butler’s pantry)
at Glen Magna in Danvers

It is Friday. I had a couple of serious posts that I have been working on including an interior tour of the historical beauty of Glen Magna, questions and answers from the Designer Tea that I attended there on Wednesday, Floor Cloth Painting 101 ... instead, I am going to tell you a fun story (with a happy ending of course!) I will get to the more serious posts
after the weekend (it is summer after all!)

In my mid-twenties I worked full-time in the advertising world, but on the weekends I dressed in black and white and got to watch a lot of weddings. Isn’t that just what every single girl wants to do???
My cousin, Carol, hooked me up with my first job at Harvest Catering (“All you have to do is hand out hors d’oeuv
res on silver platters ... plus some really cute guys work with us) and I fell in love ... with the fancy parties, well dressed guests, fabulous food and all the rest of the finery. Not to mention, this was a cool group of people to work with ... they knew how to host an elegant bash – with much professional polish – yet the crew after parties were serious fun!

Most of our catering events took place at Glen Magna. I was charmed by its gracious history. Going back and forth to the kitchen to fill my silver platter turned out to be more fun than I thought. When my tray was piled high with shrimp cocktail, I quickly became “most popular hors d’eouvre girl and guests would pull me aside and make me promise to visit them first with each new trayful. Some of our parties were served buffet-style in the dining room. Guests would ooh and ahh over both the food and the wallpaper.

Halloween 1992 ... Harvest held a private party at Glen Magna as a thank you to the staff after putting in many long hours during the busy wedding season.

In attendance: My roommate at the time,
who we will call Ginger, with her date,
who we will call The Professor.

“The Blues Brothers
were our disc jockeys. There were no ipods or playlists at this dance party! You had to ask for a song and then they had to physically find it in their large collection of vinyl. My date was the taller “brother on the right. This was probably our third night out. I met him after one very special catering-related event in mid-October. It was the night of my cousin Carol’s wedding, I was a guest, Harvest did the food, he was invited to the after-party by his sister, Deb, who also worked for Harvest and was a good friend of my cousin. (This is where the story gets long, but stay with me!) We didn’t really speak at the party, but when he saw me leave with a tray of goodies (since I was going home alone I figured the cookies would cheer me up) he knew then that we would get along (he had a sweet tooth). He asked his sister about me and a first date was set up. We went to dinner in Cambridge (a double date with my roommate and his) then we all went to a local nightclub to see the band Devonsquare (I had won tickets on the radio). We held hands that night. I thought, “This could be the one.

After the Halloween party ended at Glen Magna, most of us headed over to dance to more tunes spun at our DJ’s home. This is so embarrassing, but I was dressed as Marianne from Gilligan’s Island! My roomate picked the better costume for sure. But I know that I picked the better date. I soon moved in. Maybe his unpainted walls and lack of real window treatments were part of his allure? The rest, as they say, is history : )


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