Life on the farm has been very busy lately. Twelve new beautiful Kathaden ewes arrived last Thursday and between getting the Southdowns introduced into the old flock of St Croix, covering up and protecting our winter crops, fence mending and all the other daily chores, there has not been much time at all to breath. Not only that but the “holiday” season means I work like a fool to make enough money to pay the farm bill when no farm income is coming in.
For me, December is not the warm fuzzy time to spend with friends or family, it’s a time when I cook for people who are doing just that. From thanksgiving to Christmas I am working my buns off catering making it possible for folks to engage in holiday cheer without the messy clean up. Just yesterday I helped cater two parties one for 100 people and the second for 175 people. Yes, yesterday I helped feed 275 people. Until I leave for Seattle on the 21st I’ll be doing much of the same.
No matter how bad I want to be a full time farmer and make all of my living off the farm I just can’t yet. Luckily for me I have a skill that can help me when times are tight and I can’t squeak a living out of the soil or an utter. Cooking is in my DNA and I can’t avoid it so I might as well use it! But the consequence to that is I’m pretty much bah hum bug when it comes to the holiday season and remain so until my favorite holiday, New Year comes ( the day when I pledge every year I won’t cater anymore)But, now that I don’t work in a restaurant, my new years eve is free to contemplate and enjoy. New Year ’s Day is spent enjoying life and its bounty instead of sleeping through the whole day in recuperation for a hard night at the restaurant. So really I haven’t much to complain about.
I could go on some serious rants about the toils of catering, about the price bickering about rude guests and degrading comments and such. But I’ll just keep that smile on my face and try to pretend I’m as excited about their party or event as they are.
I’ve been cooking professionally (getting paid) since I was 14.5 years old. I’m 43 now. I do love it, always have and until now have never wanted to do anything else. But now I want to grow food instead of cook it, I want to make cheese instead of serve it and I want to feel the cool and warm air of the field and gardens instead of particles of smoke, steam and stifling heat of the kitchen. I want cooking to be a part of a grand experience that I’m not left out of. I want to share the wonders of a broccoli and the smooth creamy texture of freshly made chevre. But until then I’ll chop, dice, puree, bake, fry, sear, slice, dish up, tray up, wrap up transport and serve.
I've got today off so its back out to the fences.