I don't know about you, but I find it very tough to switch off and relax sometimes... Ok... All the time!
I am always considering a new location as a tea party venue (As my supperclub travels around, I am always on the look out for a new and unique space for a spot for afternoon tea!).
I am always buying a new jar of pickle or jam for my dishes, even when I tell myself that I am taking a day for myself...with NO talk of scones...or clotted cream...or of teacups...or calling myself Miss Sue Flay today!!!
But no matter how much I try... It never seems to happen!
I talk and I think and I daydream about SOMETHING related to my tea parties on a daily basis!
I just can't help myself!
Is there anybody out there that can tell us that you switch off from your hosting?
And if so, How on EARTH do you do it??
I don't switch off either! At the moment we've having events every two weeks. I spend a week thinking, planning, researching, experimenting and sorting a menu out, then the next week shopping, prepping, baking... the Sunday after a supper I'm usually exhausted and say I'm taking a day off. Most of the time though we seem to end up with family guests!
I read and follow loads of food blogs, chefs, love wandering around new food shops... I also cater twice a week for different charity projects so I need to produce menu ideas for that too!
All in all... don't know that I know what "switch off" means!
What does 'switch off' mean?
We only hold Clarkies events 6-8 times a year, phew the thoughts of doing it every 2 weeks !!
Because we have to fit it in between my overseas work its not possible to hold events more frequently........but Sarah and I are constantly thinking , talking swapping ideas around, looking at different ways of presenting, preparing, food.
On a recent clothes shopping trip we ended up looking at cookery books, (we only bought 3) and we did happen to wander through the tableware just to look at the different plates and dishes, but we were strong and held on to one another to be able to resist temptation.
When eating out we dismantle the food on our plates , talk about how we would do it, present it, what we would change, add or use for our own ideas. My husband (who does not cook but is an enthusiastic consumer) has even started saying things like, this would be good for Clarkies!
Wandering around a DIY store on Monday he was picking up tiles asking if they would be the right size for desserts, and telling me he can stick pads on the bottom so they dont scratch the tables.
What have I done to him?
The final straw came on Tuesday, we went to get my grandaughter (aged 4and a half) new shoes and suggested stopping for a coffee on the way back to the car.
' Well can we do Starbucks Nan because I like their coffee better than this one and Mummy likes the Latte there with an extra shot, do you want yours extra hot like always Nan? Pops has to have decaff now but he can still have some carrot cake can't he Nan? We sat down and two minutes in, ' Hmmm this cake is ok Nan but it needs more fruit and less sugar and the cream isnt quite right ; OH NO WE HAVE CREATED A MONSTER !!!
Now what was the question about switching off ???
Ha ha we do that when we eat out! If we like something, we talk about if it would work gluten free, if we don't like it we work out why. We even critique presentation which is laughable as that is one area that I definately haven't got the hang of yet!
Had to laugh at the tiles - we've done that looking at odd containers in shops, earthenware in garden shops... and as for our four kids we've definately created a new generation of foodies! 2 of my lads are on the autistic spectrum and, as is quite common for that, they have more taste buds on their tongue that is usual so they have a very heightened sense of taste. It is now the norm at the dinner table to have them discussing "what's that I can taste? It's at the front of my tongue..." and they even question the seasoning of things now!