Sunday, May 29, 2011

My bed has missed me.

I just rode my bike home from work, in my pajamas and now sitting in bed. Tomorrow will me my first day off in about 3 and a half weeks, and I'm so looking forward to a full day of rest and relaxation and no work. It's been a crazy almost month, but things are starting to feel more manageable.
My externship started, and I've been working 6 am to 3 pm, Tuesday-Friday, and then working from about 5 pm Until 12:30am at Starbucks Friday-Sunday. I now have Mondays off of both jobs, after three weeks of making up my mind. I think I might need a day off every week. So I'm taking it!

Overall Toast has been really awesome. I've been working the griddle station, so doing a lot of bacon and potato rosties, and fancy french toast. I've learned a lot about the general run of a restaurant that you just can't get the feel for in school. We had the health inspector come just last week, and we made a 100% score, so that was good, but made me nervous. The people I work with are all really great and helpful, trying to make sure I get as much information and opportunity to learn as possible.
It's really strange to be out of the customer service position, and just be thinking about the food. I think it's the first job that I haven't spent most of my day talking to the customers, and so far I really like that.
I had a long conversation a few weeks ago with a friend of mine, about why I love cooking, and why I pursued it as a career. Working in a kitchen has been the first time I've been able to (sort of) master a physical skill set. I've always been the person who was good at talking to people, and interviews, and was always the narrator in the class play; but I've never been the person who could kick a soccer ball straight, or even be able to cary a tray without dropping everything. And in the kitchen, there's a peace that comes over me, and a feeling of grace that I have never been able to capture in any other situation. The ease of motion and calm of my mind surprises even me. I think of how many times my dad has told me to "slow down!" when I've spilled paint and marbles and food and everything else, and I can't wait until he and mom can see me in a kitchen someday. My roommates came in to eat breakfast at Toast, and although Althea (who went to school with me) had seen me in kitchen mode, Aubrion was shocked to see me so focused. She said she had never seen me so serious, and I just laughed and told her It's what I love to do! I was just bringin' it!
Not only do I love that I have the physical ability to get the food to the customer, but also I just bask the beauty of a plate of food that's made with skill and care and focus. And a cook can know that it will go out into a dining room and make a personal, human moment and story. It just makes me really look forward to my future in this industry.

Other than contemplating my love for my profession, I've just been working about 65 hours a week, fitting in other projects when I can. I went garage sale hunting with Aubrion last Saturday, and we bought a $25 couch! It's a super nice, West Elm couch that'll be perfect when we have visitors. The people who sold it to us even delivered it! Super sweet! We also got a grill for $5, I got an old food mill for making gnocchi, some new curtains for our doorway, two free chairs, and a few other small bits from various sales. We really made out like bandits, and now it's been hard not to stop at every sale we see.
Tomorrow we're having a barbecue/family dinner at the house, it's supposed to stop raining tomorrow so hopefully we'll be able to fire up our new grill and enjoy the sun (and my day off!).
The garden is getting planted, right now we've got pea shoots, mustard greens, kale, nasturtiums and leeks in the ground. Plus parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. We also found out that the FIG TREE in our front yard isn't dead, and it's covered in little green pods that will be amazing in a month or so. We've got a mystery fruit tree in the back yard that we're waiting with anticipation to find out what fruit is growing on it. Lots of fresh things to eat!

All in all, summer is coming in with a bang. Otis (my bike) is still riding strong, especially in the sunny days. I ride the 12 min every morning to get to Toast at 6 am. The sun is shining a little more every week, looking forward to the full-time pretty weather, although that'll mean busy weekends at the Starbucks in the square.

Love all! I can't wait to come visit Texas, hopefully sometime after my classes are all done. I've got one more that starts July the 7th but I should be done the end of August at the latest.

Much love! My bed is calling me!