"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Life As A Short Order Cook

In a small west Texas town, (population about 300)..............there is a small post office, a small Baptist Church, and one very small diner, that looks like it belongs back in the 50's. There, at the grill, every morning............at 6:30, you will find me.........cooking bacon, eggs, pancakes and sausage...........and in between that time, I'm preparing for the day's busy lunch crowd. I just got hired as the cook. One might think that there would hardly be any customers..............however, this diner caters to the many oilmen, truckers, and farmers, that do not want to drive 30 miles into the neighboring towns and then 3o miles back to work. By noon, the diner's tables and chairs are filled, work trucks of every kind surround the building, and a lot of take out orders are sent. Today was my third day of work and I have already started cooking all of the meals by myself.............thanks to the patience of the previous cook who is training me before she leaves, and with the encouragement of a wonderful boss............the lady has angel wings............I promise! I get off and still have a lot of day to do my gardening...........which is already sprouting!! ( More about that next week) pay attention to my animals.........Sophie loves the way I smell now, and I still am able to do my embroidery work in the late night. I have managed to get things done in the less amount of time I have. I never thought I would want to be a cook...............however, I have been one...................... in smaller terms for the past 27 years ..............to my family...............now I just have a bigger family to feed. Now, if I can just keep up my enthusiasm and energy! How about you? Have you ever taken on a job that you thought you would never do and wound up loving it? I would love to hear!

24 comments:

Mildred said...

This is exciting Kathleen. Sounds like your days are full and blessed! I wish you all the best with this new venture.

Julie Harward said...

That makes me happy to hear that and that the boss is an angel...that would be a lot of presser to me...have fun with it! I loved serving at banquets as a young girl. :D

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello Kathleen,

I thought I was at the wrong blog for a second...had to do a double take..LOL

Well, now that you have asked that question...I used to have a small 16 acre farm (dairy goats, milking and making cheese) some 20 years ago now...so I was about 32 year old.

I was in a town in middle Tennessee about 45 miles south of Nashville and about 30 west of Murfreesboro...kind of the same situation as you but the town was around 900 and there were two small grocery stores...of which one of them had a small deli and cooked plate lunches every day. The lady that had held this position forever had worked just about every Sunday.

She talked to the owner about finally having that day off every week. I was working part time in the back room with the butcher...they asked if I was interested in cooking on Sundays only. I decided why not! I had been cooking for years for family so how different could it be except for the quantity? The lady trained me for 3 Sundays and turned it over to me...I got there at 5:30am and started cooking bacon, sausage and baking biscuits from scratch. I had a recipe book that she had compiled over the year for all of the cakes, pies, breads....everything!

As soon as I'd get the breakfast items ready I'd start on the daily lunch, also batter chicken for the deep fryer..

I can say it was an adventure and everyone was so curious about me and how I landed in that kitchen..haha They were only used to the other lady for so long. They were very kind and I told them up front to tell me if something was wrong with the food preparation. I didn't want to disappoint this lady.

Anyhow, I was a cook, a butcher's assistant, a milk maiden at my farm and I cleaned houses on the side too. The house cleaning was really good money even 20 years ago. :0)

So there you have it! I've not turned away from much in my life to make some money and to have an adventure...What I'd give to have that energy of that age back!! It exhausts me just thanking about it now.

You have fun and do it til you can't!! but who knows Kathleen....this could be the adventure you need right now and plus all that beautiful embroidery combines quite well with all that good cooking. :0)

You take care...it's hard work and will break down your body if you don't watch it...take care of yourself!!

Much love and hugs to you..
Stephanie ♥

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I worked for 3 years for a school catering operation called "Kids Kooks". We prepared food in a Lutheran school and an Episcopal school kitchen and delivered it to different private and Baptist schools in our town. Two of my church friends started the business-one of them was a dietician. It was hard, and dirty work, but we had lots of fun! One of the good things about commercial kitchen work is that when you are finished for the day, you are truly finished! The only thing we took home was leftovers!

grammy said...

well...my goodness (o:
Sounds great if you can take all the standing
I would think it is hard work.
We have a small tiny actually dinner up in the mountains where my friends live. We drive up (almost an hour) to have breakfast with them there sometimes. There is only about 5 odd shape tables there and you sit with other people if there is a spot at their table. If you order...expect to wait...because there is one cook and one waitress...oh and a pot bellied stove.
You are brave.
Sorry to say I don't think I am that adventuress. I stick with my daycare that I have been doing 'forever'.

Vickie said...

Hey Kathleen! Wow - a new career for you! I wish you the very best in your new endeavor - you'll get to meet lots of people and get really in cooking QUICK! Should be great practice for Christmas dinner.

Muddling Through said...

Hi Kathleen, As long as you enjoy the work it will be good. I've cooked in a situation like that before and it is hard work. But anything worthwhile usually is hard work. You go girl!

Daisy said...

Kathleen, I am so glad to hear you are off to a good start with your new job. I'm sure both the people you work with and your customers will love you there. How could they not? :D Sending you good wishes that things will continue to go well for you.

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

That's wonderful, Kathleen. I hope you continue to enjoy it.
And, yes, I can see how Sophie would think you smell good now.... diner food is probably pretty tempting for a dog.

Bev C said...

Hello Kathleen, congrats on your work sounds like you are having a lot of fun. You have plenty of experience so I expect it will be a easy time for you. Glad to hear that you have time for all your other "loves". Happy days.
Bev.xoxo

Sunny said...

Glad the job is going well for you. I never thought I'd like to work in an auto weather-stipping factory, but came to like it real well. I would probably still be there if not for the layoffs...

Linda said...

Kathleen...this is perfect for you! You are an amazing cook and I can see you making some of your dishes and desserts as specials of the day...yum, yum. Next time I visit family, if I'm anywhere near you I'm stopping by.

Congratulations and you new job and all the best of luck....you are going to be very popular...hugs, Linda

DayPhoto said...

Good LUCK!!!!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Lanny said...

Had to giggle at the idea of Sophie lovin' how you smell now. When I signed up to be a burger flipper for seventeen or so days at the State Fair I came home smelling like onions and greesy meat, I think Fluffy Joe would have been delighted if I had just given him my clothes to eat every night. The only thing that stopped me from smelling that way for the rest of my life was peppermint soap (Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap with peppermint) But my car still had a faint odor of onions and burger for months afterward. Each year I would toy with saying no but then still go back. I actually skipped a year and then went back for several more. But now we do the Turkey Display the last week of the fair and it is just too hard, impossible, to do both.

Nancy M. said...

It sounds like a fun place to work! I love small places like that, they usually have the best food!

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like so much to learn in such a short time, yet you're doing it!! You go girl! I bet the little diner will see the best food cooked ever! Good luck and many blessings on your new venture!
Patricia :o)

The Gingerbread House said...

Lord Kathleen, would you bottle up some of that energy and send it my way...I think that will be the right spot for you...all the dishes I've made from your recipes were the bomb (that means good :o)
Those folks won't let you go after they sample your cooking...lots of love ...Ginny

Jen's Farmily said...

Wow, it only took you 3 days?! That's impressive!

I used to cook at a restaurant when I was younger. The stress level was high and it was a pretty thankless job. It sounds like you have a great boss, which always makes things better!!

KathyB. said...

Wow! What an interesting day you have, with cooking meals for the many people on the road in need of a good meal ( sounds like fun to me ), to tending your home and garden and doing your beautiful needlework. God is good, and even though it sometimes seems we need more time to accomplish things, He provides all the time and energy we really need!

治男治男 said...

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Vickie said...

Happy EAster, KAthleen!

violetlady said...

I love little diners like that. I hope you do well in your new job.

Tammy said...

I know a place just like the one where you work in the small Kansas town where my family is from. Every time we go to visit I have to stop in - those are the places where memories are made. Congratulations on your new job.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh how exciting, Kathleen! And scary- I would be terrified of messing up! You are so much braver than than me- but then I'm sure you're also a much better cook than I am too! *LOL*
That is so wonderful that you can work and still have the time to do the things you love... what a blessing!