We live in a very, very busy world. Life today appears to be all about working, rushing, getting the job done, everything done at a frenetic pace. All you manage to get done in a day is if you are lucky wake up, rouse kids, feed them, drop them at school, squeeze in a quick gym session, get to work, work, fetch kids, shop for groceries, crawl home through rush hour traffic (an oxy moron in itself), cook dinner, do home work, fall asleep in front of the TV, wake up and go to bed and the next morning do the whole thing all over again. Finally the week-end rolls around and you breathe a sigh of relief, a little time to kick back, relax, unwind apart from dropping kids at parties, friends and ballet lessons. You try to carve out for yourself a life between all the rushing, spend time with friends and catch up on old times………….the good old days when you were younger, when money went further, before you had your own business, before you had kids and could actually sleep late…………yes, the good old days!
My industry, the food industry, in my experience is no different apart from the fact that our week works in reverse. The week tends to start off a little slowly as you re-group from the weekend just passed and then all hell breaks loose as you head over the hump and downhill towards the weekend! We too rush to and fro making meetings with new customers and calling on old ones, ordering stock, doing quotes, deliveries and being nice to bank managers, understanding to your staff, bending over backwards to accommodate your ever demanding customers, getting the food out, getting the stock in, finding that missing ingredient, finding the time to breathe…………getting to gym, wtf is that!
And we do this all for the love of food because it sure isn’t for the fabulous working hours, the awesome remuneration package with medical aid and the wonderful car allowance. Why do I do this I ask myself when I wake up and plant m y two aching feet firmly on the ground, as I unwind my twisted neck and stretch my aching lower back?
The hours are unsociable, the work is back-breaking, the tasks often thankless and all of it often fraught with frustration. Is it because I have been doing this for so long, 18 years is indeed a while, that the thought of doing something else is quite scary, not to mention the fact that I have worked for myself for so long that with all due respect to my eminent self I am most definitely unemployable by any one else mad enough to own a catering company or restaurant or because at this point I have no idea how to do anything else? I don’t know the answers to the questions myself.
What I do know is that everyday I get up and come to work. Everyday it doesn’t feel like a chore. Everyday is different to the one before it. Everyday I meet new people, get to make new food, experiment with old food, laugh with my staff, shout at my staff, laugh at myself. For the all the bitching and moaning I do, I love my business. It is like nurturing a small child who turns into a petulant teenager but like Peter Pan never really grows up to stand on its own two feet with still needing you.
So why am I frustrated this morning you are wondering……….or maybe you not, but I will tell you anyway……..
Money is tight, food is expensive but I don’t have to tell you that, you are fully aware of it! It’s cold outside, it’s raining, it’s miserable in general out there so a thick, indulgent and delicious soup would be a good thing to make. I go through the walk in fridge there is some left over beef curry from yesterday. Add some lentils, some veggies a little rice and a couple of litres of beef stock and bang curried beef and lentil soup with rice…………….simple, easy and cost-effective. Just the way I like it! With the help of one of my many minions we do this, we make this very yummy looking soup to serve today with a hot crusty bagel. However it is still a little on the thick side so I reach for the just boiled kettle and pour steaming “fragrant” smelling water into my pot of soup! My cleaning bunny neglected to mention that she was de-scaling the kettle.
The end result; now I am minus the curry, minus the lentils, minus the stock and minus the soup but hot damn, I have a clean kettle!
Happiness in my world:)