Saturday, March 29, 2008

The day of WMS auction

(This is Part 2 of the previous article. Please read the previous topic.)

This posting was delayed because my photos of WMS auctions along with my two laptop computers were stolen. I am hoping to create my tapenade and to post the picture soon.

On the day of Washington Middle school’s(WMS) auction, I arrived at St.Demetrios(1) at 4:00pm, two hours before the auction started. I went to the kitchen and saw Thierry who is the famous chef in Seattle and is the chef in the hat at Rover’s. (2) He was another volunteer chef to cook main dishes for the guests. Thierry brought his own three assistant cooks. JohnP from St. Clouds came soon and assigned tasks to us. My first job was to carry several large pans of bread pudding and other items such as vegetables from his van to a walk-in refrigerated room. Then I sliced fresh bread, wrapped them in cloth napkins and put them in a bread basket. My last task in the kitchen was dish up hors d’oeuvres. WMS parents donated a lot of appetizers.Although they all looked tasty, the containers of appetizers were tin pans and paper plates. They didn’t look fancy enough to serve to paid guests. Jayne who was the organizer of the food preparation team brought nice plates, freshly-cut leaves and flowers. Another volunteer and I dished them up to the plates and decorate with leaves and flowers. The results was remarkable. The hors d’oeuvres looked like ones served at a nice restaurant. The same hors d'oeuvres looked more delicious and appetizing on the nice plates with a flower in the middle. Now my work at the kitchen was over. It’s time for me to go to the other side of the kitchen to be the guest.
Our servers were the students of WMS. JohnP of St. Clouds gave them quick server training. They turned into the nice young waiters and waiteresses instantly. They served the guests politely and very well. I learned later that JohnP used to be a teacher (see St. Clouds’ website 3). He must have been a good teacher.

Hors d’oeuvres were first served on the plates to the guests who was bidding the silence auction items. I learned all of appetizers which had occupied four large kitchen counters were gone quickly.

The auction stated with nice jazz music played by Washington Middle school jazz band. I decided to peek in the kitchen to find out what was going on before live-auction started. I saw soup was simmering in the two huge pots.
After the silent auctions, all the guests were seated to their assigned seats. When the live auction started, our meal began with a glass of wine and a slice of bread. Our waiter brought white cheese in dark pink sauce on the plate. We wondered if it is for bread or for something else. It was for the soup. The waiter brought soup in the small pot and poured in each plate. If they brought soup with everything mixed in, we would not have seen pink and white inside. The nice colorful contrast made us hungry and wonder what would be the next. It was very pretty and the soup was tasty.
The main course was served the next. The roasted salmon covered with tapenade and bread pudding with sautéed green on side were on the plate. I thought tapanade was for the bread dip and this was the surprise. The salmon was bit salty but delicious. My husband who usually doesn’t like pudding loved this bread pudding.

After main meal, time for the Dessert dash. To get a dessert, the guest wrote how much they would pay for their dessert and the total amount of each table was presented to the auctioneer. The dessert bid of each table were compared with other tables'. The guests at the table of Highest bid can select their dessert first, the second highest select theirs the next and so on. We were the third highest bidder. My husband and one other guest brought a large delicious looking 6 layered-chocolate cake to our table. It was very hard to cut with all layers without smashing because some layers were mushy. The most of them were broken into several pieces. My slice didn't look good but it was very luscious. The cake was so large and after 10 of us at the table had our portions, more than a half of the cake was left to share with other tables.
The cake was so tall and was hard to be carried to the neighbouring table. As a matter of the fact one of the guest at our table took it to the teachers' table and part of the cake fell off. He made a big mess on the table. Fortunately nobody got hurt or got messy. I learned that the dessert which looks really great may neither be suitable to carry nor to be sliced into pieces.
These were my experience participating Washington Middle school's auction. I am going to help precooking chicken the day before the Garfield High school's auction soon. So please keep reading my blog.
Unfortunately my WMS auction photos got stolen with my laptop computer. So I cannot post any photos of WMS auction. Please imagine a lot of people in the Greek Church having delicious full course dinner with nice entertainment.
Website of references
(1) St. Demetrios church website:

(2) Rover's, Seattle website:

(3) St. Clouds, Seattle website :

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