For the first time in fourteen months, I’m finally able to say, “I’m so glad its the weekend”. For awhile I would say that to people as a joke just to see their reactions. I’ve been actively trying to find a job that is
perfect a good fit for me. I’ve been confused by my feelings. Most days just run together. Mondays are just as good as Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays do not have much significance. I feel bad when I talk to my family and friends during the day. Whether they are working hard or hardly working, it doesn’t matter because they are still at an office, in the kitchen or otherwise earning a living . All I am interested in is catching up on recent events and gossip. Unburdened by a regular job, I have been able to explore the city, to really get to know the nooks and crannies of Seattle, keep up our beautiful condo in downtown and have had fun experimenting in the kitchen.
I sure have taken my sweet ass time finding a job. My husband David (say hello to David everyone!) has not only been supportive financially, but has encouraged me to find a job that was the right fit for me. Eight months, fourteen interviews, fourteen offers, two accepted offers, two different first days and I was back at square one. Thank god I was still working at Salumi occasionally and my boss, co-workers and customers all kept me on my toes. Hospitality seems to be my calling, but I’m also
spoiled picky. I don’t want to work nights and weekends, which can tend to be a problem in my industry. I want to cook, but I thrive on customer interaction. I was turning down offer after offer and I found myself in a pickle.
I’m happier than I have been awhile (eight months to be exact). I love my new job and have NO complaints or criticisms (yet); For me that is really saying a lot. I tend to be a perfectionist, but that’s a whole different post. I’m lucky to be able to walk to work, even though it’s a forty minute walk uphill. I finally have a purpose to my day which does not involve things on my to-do list like “wash vases” or ” organize medicine cabinet”. I deserve to count down to the weekend , complain that I hate Mondays, and be relieved that we are over “hump day”. Not only am I doing what I love to do, but I’m getting paid for it too. Great huh? You’re probably wondering what kind of job this is. It’s a funny story…
My former boss at Salumi called me laughing one day, telling me she had an opportunity that I might be interested in and she thought might be perfect for me. She said to hear her out before I judged (she knows me all too well), so I listened intently. It was a job to be a private chef for eight Irish Catholic brothers who were apart of St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Intrigued, I contacted Brother Jack immediately to set up an interview. Although very interested, I was also a bit apprehensive. I was hopeful but this was my fifteenth interview and I had learned by now not to get my hopes up. Being the pessimist that I am, I tried to come up with my list of “pros” and “cons”. I could not think of a con, which was surprising, even to myself. I got and accepted the job immediately. I cannot figure out if I got the job because my uncle is a Franciscan Brother or that they were intrigued because I was half Irish and half Italian. Nevertheless, I was excited. Really excited. Private chef? That always sounded so good. I had free reign of menus, home by 6:30 and working occasional Sundays. In addition, I would be cooking for people who I could develop relationships with. It sounded too good to be true. In previous experiences, when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. After five full days of work, I can honestly say that I was wrong. I have had so much fun planning this weeks menus, along with the next four weeks. I got excited and I am a planner, what can I say? This is what I love to do.
I laugh daily at work, often hysterically. I’ve been building relationships with the eight new men in my life (I have yet to meet one brother). And I know what you’re thinking, but there is no need for David to be jealous because all of them are old enough for the blue plate special. I was out in the garden/patio grilling kebabs and I looked up to find five of the brothers staring at me through the picture window. I think there was a hint of concern on their face , but they were clearly surprised to see a young female at the grill for some reason. That’s something they have quickly learned about me. I can hold my own. Some of the guys keep to themselves, but most take turns sitting in the kitchen with me. They ask me questions about myself, what I am cooking, political events or talk to me about what medications they are on. After just having a root canal, one brother took out his teeth to show me what a great dentist he had. That was only my third day and I knew it was going to get more interesting. They are all such characters. All of them are unique, but they are one big family.
I’m getting adjusted to their spacious kitchen that consists of brick walls, worn wood and large windows. I’m getting use to their tools or lack there of. I’m becoming a more flexible cook and thinking more outside of the box. The hardest part is adapting to a different
quality style of ingredients. SPAM, Manwich, Rice-a-Roni and canned green beans have never been in my saute pan or pantry before. I don’t do the grocery shopping which I thought was fantastic until I asked for Fresh Mozzarella balls and received Mozzarella String Cheese instead. Apparently Brother Harry, the extreme couponer who does the shopping, thought it was a fine substitute. I have had to go from kitchen control freak to rolling with the punches; It had to happen sooner or later. Brother Daniel, who is my “crush”, came into try my fresh peach salsa (I am easing them into Mexican cuisine). After trying it, he said “Jen, I hope you are happy here because we are thrilled you’re cooking for us and do not know what we would do without you now”.
I’m happy with everything and they seem to be as well, in addition to being much healthier. This all seems to be going quite well, and entertaining to say the least. Welcome to my blog
St. James Cathedral