Friday, August 31, 2007

as of yesterday I am no longer a cupcake-maker

This is by choice, first off.

I have been angsty lately; this much is obvious.

What I hope is and has been less obvious is this: I have been looking for a new job for the last month or so, ever since one really bad day at work.

For much of that time it was just waiting on one job that I desperately wanted. Actually, it wasn't desperate. I felt fairly confident I would get the position, since I had good references who knew the boss, a lot of experience in the position's requirements, and an abnormal amount of interest in taking the position. But I didn't get the job for various reasons.

After this the angst set in. I realized the junction at which I've arrived: find someone good to work under, while I am still new to my own positions of power, and learn as much as possible from one really strong individual, or else continue taking positions where I call the shots but only learn as I go, from my own mistakes and efforts. What to do. What to do when you feel as I do the decision's been made for you by finances. When you work in this field for some time, your experience demands compensation even if you aren't asking for it per se. At that point the fear set in that I was no longer hireable by a really good chef for reasons that had only to do with money.

All the while, of course, I've been working my fifty hour work weeks and spending my free time in trails. I had my first restaurant trail since March (and they ended up not hiring anyone, but giving their current assistant more hours, though they say they may call me to beg for help when holiday madness descends) and started missing in a physical way (and not an intellectual way, as I always have) restaurant kitchens. That kitchen I trailed in, it was stocked with all the best toys.

So now that I have quit I am going home for a week. Frolicking around SF this weekend with my friend who should be touching down in Oakland very soon. Then going back to Boston, getting to NYC for a day, coming back here and, well, we'll see.

Still working at FH, by the way. Thinking about a brown sugar spice cake with diced poached pears, but then I won't be around for a couple of weeks so nothing new happening yet. What to do with the bread pudding when peaches are gone, hmmm. As they will be soon.

In the profusion of something continuously new, like the parade of stone fruits this summer, you forget how there will be an end. I bought peaches today for another crisp because I hear they'll soon be through. I also bought the most amazing Asian pears, because I understand now that when I like something I have to get it. I've missed too many amazing fruits thinking they'd just be there next week. These Asian pears, they're called Hosui and they taste like vanilla and brandy. Like a long conversation with a good friend. Like how I cried today when I got my farmer-friend on the phone and realized I will see her in NYC in two weeks time.

I still have not told you about the prep cookery, but I'll just say this for now: learning to work the large grill on the fly in ninety degree heat without burning mountains of delicate asparagus spears. Being begged to apply for a job there. Being totally respected by the chefs even though I was an impostor in the savory side of things.

It's challenging to say yes to the things you know are right for you when it means saying no to money and you struggle with having so little of it. It's hard to say yes with your whole heart and sometimes it takes a little while to be ready to say it. To do it.

Some of you know how long I've been looking for something more aptly suited to my interests. I'll wash up in a kitchen soon enough and I tell you this one thing:

It will have a range. Not a hot plate that plugs into the wall.


Anonymous said...

Ah. a new job. Good luck!

Marusya said...

You will find the place you need to be.