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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.
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Seattle Snow Days
Posted: January 20, 2012 By: Leah Jaffee

Catering is a time sensitive business; more than even UPS next day deliveries. We don't get 'next day' options. We don't really get 5 minute options (she says with a smile!) The party starts when the client says it starts and that is about it. Enter Seattle snow.

Snow Day Seattle 2

A mixture of snow, ice and rain over the past days leaves me with brain-freeze. Struggling to compartmentalize what I've accomplished, what's on hold and what is definitely happening, I repeatedly check my calendar against the date on my Blackberry. Given I went to a meeting on Tuesday morning that was supposed to be today, Thursday, I second guess myself. I don't know what day or time it is, what to do. Workaholics succumb to cabin fever faster than most; it's been 2 days! My inner bear longs to hibernate or get to work. Stressing about what is going to happen leaves me unsettled.

Last Sunday, catering a 60th wedding anniversary party, we focus on weather and time. A 10 mile commute looms as a challenge if it snows. At 8:30 am, the first vehicles roll out and arrive as planned. I leave the kitchen at 10:00 and take the Interstate. Nearing the exit, blizzard conditions whip flakes into the wipers and I calculate how best to reach the synagogue perched on a hilltop, one hill away. Rounding a bend, it all stops and is absolutely clear. Not a flake in sight. I head straight uphill, downhill and uphill again without incident.

We still wonder if guests will realize that there isn't any snow in Seward Park and make their ways to the party. A full house arrives and the simcha begins. What a wonderful celebration; 60 years of marriage! Listening from the kitchen, the musical entertainment is lively, fun, and inspiring. Relief.

Nearing the time to cut the cake, snow fall is perceived from the social hall windows. An exodus on par with Passover leaves helium balloons mocking party aftermath. I want to stutter, "What about us?" I know we have another hour to clean up and it is coming down. The picture above taken from the parking lot of the neighboring synagogue shows just how fast the weather changes. Behind the wheel of my "all wheel drive", I plan the route home.

You may wonder what the big deal is. This is Seattle, built like Rome on 7 hills. We have 2 snow plows and serious environmental concerns over the use of salt and sand. We were 0-1 against the salmon and the previous mayor. Taking my server home, with my daughter Aviva in the back seat, we are relieved to find somewhat clear main drags. I ask Lecia to roll out of the moving car near her corner so I don't have to stop.

Proceeding with optimism that the road ahead down the hill will also be clear, I relax my shoulders from around my ears. Hopes dashed, I queue up with the line of U-turners at the crest of the hill. This is a grip of mine; "road closed" signs are posted at the exact point of closure without forewarning. Doubling back, like the local I am, I get on course and get back to Hillel. That was Sunday.

I don't even remember Monday. Tuesday I go to the meeting that isn't happening. Recognizing my error, I graciously glide across the lobby of the Fairmont Olympic and head to the grocery supply store. The manager is huddled with his crew and they are talking about going home. Did I miss something? Yes ~ the snow on Sunday wasn't THE snow. That is coming. Brother.

I have a group coming in from NYC and they need a meal. No, they need 2 meals. Wait, not that meal this day but that meal that day. No, we mean we don't need any meals because we are in San Francisco because the airport in Seattle is closed. I'm glad they are in San Francisco. I explain that I'd be happy to send them back their money (professional caterer mode) AND they'd be nuts to come to Seattle at night and drive north to Canada (Jewish mother mode!). I've left out the countless emails and phone calls over the situation. I also don't know how disappointed the group participants are to be stuck in San Francisco (how bad could it be?!). But, it meant one more day at home for me....wondering what the heck I'm doing.

Snow Day Seattle 1

 My Roosevelt neighborhood

(not pictured: Whole Foods and Starbuck's - LOL)

(pictured: bus that wouldn't be anywhere in sight if I needed it and, unforunately, the guy with the cardboard sign asking for food and money)

At Hillel, we've decided that Shabbat dinner must go on. I can't really shop for more than I can carry (seriously, driving around here is impossible) so our theme for the week is "Survivor Shabbat". I'll cook what I have...and, they'll eat what the group in San Francisco isn't eating! I look forward to the hike to Hillel in the morning and putting dinner together for 60 or so UW undergrads. The party must go on!

Color Photo of Seattle

"Color" photo of Seattle from my apartment

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Posted 03-06-2012 by Zeeshan lyoungharris@notatlanta.org
Oh your kids didn't look disappointed tuhogh. Oh well, kids are kids... they can always have under any circumstances unlike us adults... so hard to please. hahahaha. We don't have that much snow here yet [thanks God] unlike last year where we already have 7 inches of snow and it wasn't officially winter yet [at least according to the calendar] This year, most of the snow is inland, we in the coastal areas are just experiencing sprinkles and would melt right away once the sun shines.


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