Last Call

Tonite I did my last round of shopping for my final personal chef gig tomorrow. That’s right. After tomorrow, I am totally finished with cooking by request. And to be honest, I couldn’t be more relieved.

While my client was the absolute tops as far as being laid back and flexible, still, I feel I need a little more freedom and autonomy in the kitchen. I need to keep the flow going in the kitchen and I was starting to feel kind of cramped by the specifics of the whole personal chef thing. I am, however, pretty psyched on the calzone recipe I picked up from my client…the way mama used to make them. I was skeptical at first; the filling is seasoned primarily with dried parsley flakes. This sounded to me like mama didn’t know what the foccacia she was doing. But actually, mama was on to something. The flavor was perfecto.

I shopped at Ward’s, an independently owned supermarket. It is a great place where natural foods enthusiasts, college students and neighborhood locals converge to shop together at this reasonably priced, family run market. The sign outside advertises the specials. If I didn’t get a picture of this, would you have believed me that Ward’s sells alligator meat?

Fresh!  Killed Locally!  Florida Alligator Meat!  Only $5.99/lb!

While I am not a supporter of killing any animal for the satisfaction of the tongue, I have to say that my initial reaction to the alligator meat was, “Hey, better people eat that than kill cows.” It’s a Hindu thing, you wouldn’t understand.

After I did the shopping for my client, I headed to the bulk food section to check on my spelt disaster. The spelt flour finally came in last Friday, but it wasn’t the white spelt I needed. So Monday I rang the shop and re-ordered my flour. I was hoping my 100 lbs. of white spelt would be in with Wednesday’s shipment, but….no. I found out from WJ that it was not ordered until this morning which means it won’t come in until next week. Ummmm….that’s not cool, okay?

Good thing I wore a sweater because we were hanging out in frozen foods. And yes, I really am that short.  Five foot one and three quarters to be exact.

But what is cool is my new friend Andy. Andy is friends with WJ from The Kickstand, where Andy volunteers. When Andy is not volunteering at The Kickstand, he works at Santa Fe College doing something technical and computer related. And when Andy is not at work, he is at Ward’s, buying Silk and talking to me about my Vegan Spicy Italian Sausage. At least that is what he was doing tonite.   And when Andy is not at work or at Ward’s, he can be found riding his bike around Gainesville, wearing his skate helmet tricked out with a mohawk of spark plugs.

So even though I have tons of things to do tonite, I won’t. My new thing is to rise very early so I will get a jump on my client’s cooking, starting things off around 3:30/4 am. So for those of you out there concerned about the hours I keep, be happy knowing that I am now in bed by 10.

Don’t do it. Don’t even count the hours. I know, it is still not that much. But I assure you, the quality has increased.


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