Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Food Wednesday - Dinner for One!

Wow! You have no idea how nice it is to write that!

Yesterday I went to bed at 9:30. I read 'till 10pm - then turned off the light. Do you know the last time I was HOME and ABLE to go to bed at 9:30? I can tell you. Not since October (or - maybe during the Christmas holidays).

TODAY - I was home by 6:30 pm (because I did some shopping at Target after work). I suspect I'll be heading to bed by 10pm again. You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me. It also makes me VERY happy that I can get up at six am in the morning with little trouble. Soon I should be getting up around 5:30 ... and then it's just a short step to pre-five-AM wake-ups. I wish that I was also saying "and going back to the gym", but the new budget doesn't support that activity yet. However - it is spring, it's getting light earlier - so maybe walking the hills-of-the-hood is a possibility.

Although I loved so many aspects of being a "chef-for-hire", I can honestly say I am relieved it is in the past. For several reasons: 

First, the Wednesday Night Dinners would have ended in May. As of this week there are only six more left. SO - this really is GREAT TIMING. (Hmmm - they say God's timing is perfect - I guess I'm a believer)
Secondly, I was getting frustrated with the unevenness of the volunteer help. I'd plan an easy meal - and have six Tuesday night volunteers. I'd plan something difficult and have one or two volunteers. Which just meant a lot of extra time and work for me.

Thirdly, I was very lucky. When I quit, everyone thought I was doing an excellent job and there was relatively little grumbling from the congregation (if you discount the chicken-nugget-mac-n-cheese-mommy's). Apparently it is rare for lay-people to set into paid-church-staff roles and not be eaten alive.

Tonight for dinner I reveled in making Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops (I also added cinnamon), steamed green beans, and polenta with sauteed mushrooms FOR ONE PERSON!! And I enjoyed sautéing without thinking about pricing this dish per-person. I also didn't need to consider if I could translate it into a banquette setting for 150 people. Nor how I could reduce the sauce - or if I could stir polenta for a crowd in a 20 gallon stockpot without it scorching.

The new venture is going well. I do feel like I've gone on a money spending spree - and it makes me very, very, very uncomfortable (because my budget really hasn't improved that much). 

I went out on a date-like-thing two weeks ago. I paid for the dinner - because I was the one who issued the invite plus I was afraid I'd suggested something too pricey (although I gave several suggestions), and we ordered more than I'd anticipated (it was sushi), and I didn't really want to feel obligated to this individual. 

THEN last Friday I went out with a friend to celebrate the new job. It ended up being a four or five hour wine drinking celebration w/appetizer. More than I've spent (except the date-like-thing) on myself since August.

To top it all off - I had the Target run tonight. I bought socks, peanuts, a purse and wallet (oh - and toothpaste!). And this weekend is talk of driving down to Charlotte to IKEA. Because I need some things for my office-with-a-door. Plus - we might go to the Mint Museum.

And I had lunch out TWICE this week - and we're having a department "out-to-lunch" on Friday (which I assume I'll have to pay for) ... and so you can see. Money flowing out of my bank account as if it were runoff from all the (continuing) winter weather.

So - that's the news. Back to a "normal" schedule. An office to provision - more money management hurdles to navigate while making friends with the co-workers, cautious optimism about the new gig, and little regret about the ending of the "chef-for-hire" gig. Plus great anticipation about the upcoming visit from my photographer friend

Happy Food (for one) Wednesday everyone!


MitMoi said...

Yes, yes - I know. Silent for a long time - and then this.

Here's the condensed version.

Two companies, three interviews, one offer. Sad about not getting the offer I wanted - but glad it didn't happen as it seems the reason I didn't receive an offer was because the Dept. Head and I didn't click.

The offer I took was a good one professionally - with upward movement potential. It is the most "professional" company I've worked for ... and although I <3 cotton I am VERY glad to be out of agriculture.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the NEW post ! It's great to hear such enthusiasm for your new social life ! And I'm not surprised that you are happy to have that one-nite dinner, that consumed most of your week, over !!!! They must be very sorry to see you leave. Guess we can talk about that when you call ? *o* tp


Out of Agriculture?
So Sad.
tired of the agricultural income deficiency syndrome?

Enjoy, and remember the dirtkikkers.