I know, I know… Long time no blog.
And for very good reason.
I am an official culinary school graduate.
Some of you have been there from the beginning (See my second or so ever blog if you must).
It’s been quite the escapade, though ill documented at best.
Now I find myself squarely in the great hamster wheel of a completely different arena.
I have two official jobs, and still work in the farm’s commercial kitchen on a day off every week. That’s right. Brass ring, Great American Dream. Etc, etc…
A typical week finds me working roughly 70 hours around which the rest of life is lived. Blogging is somewhere much farther down the line these days. And it’s not as though you two wonderfully loyal readers have missed my drivel. But it is still something I WANT to do. (Isn’t this the time of year we make out and subsequently bemoan lists detailing things we want to do or change or become?)
My evening job, at a coffee house with diner-style food, is the yin to my a.m. yang. While there, I am often the only person in the entirety of the kitchen, doing all the cooking for a 4-page menu, along with all the dishes, closing duties and cleaning. There is less to learn by way of technique, but I’m discovering a hell of a lot about myself as a cook. The slapdashery of making food like burgers and tacos becomes beautiful as I get to see the plates return to the dish pit, mostly empty. Feeding people is truly rewarding, especially in those moments.
I am also finding the importance of – and differences in -branding an attention getting aspect of my working duality. So many employees in this industry have fiercely loyal and competitive attitudes with which they associate themselves or oppose certain kitchens and chefs. Food, in its nearly endless possibilities, is a small world indeed.
I have never been much on elbowing my way anywhere. I show up, do my job, pay attention to every detail I can and absorb big-picture information about the business. There is great importance in process. Accomplishing goals and tasks gets me through each day, each shift, and sometimes helps me survive myself. While my current situation is not my long term plan, it is a vital stepladder nudging my fingertips to the edge of my future. It is constantly defining and redefining my path.
In the meantime, the odd hours into which I cram non-working life don’t take me to the movies on Friday nights or shooting fireworks New Year’s Eve, but rather to the music or book store – where my hard earned cash can so easily disappear – or the coffee shop around the corner, as it did one of my last days off. [It was a GORGEOUS day, and everyone in the place was glued to a laptop, tablet, cell phone, oblivious to the sunshine]. Some days I just lie in the grass and make angels.
All the same, I realize how easily such occupied hours can lead to thoughtless routine and remove me from all that world I’m so fond of out there. I more than occasionally wonder how the hell all of you are, at home, across the way, amongst the pixels.
How do you busy yourselves these days? Comment to fill me in, catch me up, help me stay engaged, dammit!
And next time you’re out on regular-people weekends, do something you probably shouldn’t, just for me.