time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I've mentioned my weird job before.
You remember?
The one where I cook for a single student?  And he pays me.

Whenever people find out I do this, they get the weirdest look on their face.  And then the questions and heart-felt concerns start.
'How does that even work?'
'How long have you been doing that?'
'Do you actually enjoy it?'
'You're weird.'
'Don't you feel like you're having an affair?  Like you're his pseudo wife?'

So here's how it works:
I send him a grocery list.
He brings me groceries and tupperware.
I cook.
Text him.
He picks up.

Let me back up.
When we moved to Oregon, I quit working.  We moved to a new place, where I knew no one, and I had a 6-week old baby.  Then the rain started.  And I realized that I was home ALL day, with three kids under the age of 3 and no husband.  I quickly learned I was going to have to find some hobbies, or I'd go crazy (more so than I already am of course).
Shortly thereafter I learned that a single male student was looking to hire someone to cook meals for him.  I thought about it for a solid 2 seconds and decided I was up for the challenge.
We had a phone conversation and laid out our expectations. 
With a one-month trial run ahead, I started searching books and blogs for meals that would be healthy, low sodium, full of vegetables, and freezable.
And during this last year, I feel like I've benefited so much from this seemingly strange arrangement.

I've come to love several cooking blogs that I would have NEVER found without this job.  And I check them regularly...obsessively maybe.  Hoping and praying for a new recipe.
My favorites?
http://www.fortheloveofcooking-recipes.blogspot.com/  (my favorite)

I've tried things in the kitchen that I would have NEVER dared to do.
Like making homemade marinara. 
Or perfecting orzo.
Or learning to cook with fennel seed.

I've put together a portfolio of delicious meals, that I am confident I can make perfectly.
Like baked penne with homemade garlic marinara.
And slow-cooked beef stew.
And lemon orzo with roasted vegetables, pine nuts, and feta.
And sweet potato/shredded beef chimichangas.

I'd say the only negative to the job has been the hours and hours and hours time spent pouring over recipes.  My new favorite pastime.

Tonight marked the last time I'll cook for this job. 
And I feel a little sad about it.
Because even though it's weird and wouldn't work for most people...it's worked for us.  And it's become a hobby that I really love.  And it's helped pass the rainy days.  And it's taught me things I wouldn't have learned any other way.

So maybe in some way, it has been a little like an affair.
To some, a very strange affair.
With food.

ps: This post might be a bit dramatic.  At least I know it.  Oh, and sorry for no pictures.  Lame, I know.

1 comment:

  1. totally love this! What an awesome arrangement. Sorry it's ending!