I've been cooking a lot more of these last two years during the pandemic - Lasagna, spanikopita, chicken cordon blue, bone broth, and of course ubiquitous quiche.
In 1997 I bought out my business partner and took over the cafe. I'd make and serve at least fifty meals a day - five days a week - that's a thousand a month, over the next two years. That's 24,000 meals. Pretty much that's when I stopped cooking for myself.
"There's no romance in mopping a floor," my Dad would say. Owning the cafe was work. I had to get there by 6:00 a.m. to cook forty strips of tempeh for the ubiquitous Yukimochi sandwiches, our best seller. The tempeh was cold and slimy, a task I detested.
I slashed the menu in half, got rid of all the single ingredient items, and reduced the staff. Finally the cafe started to break even, if not make money. Still it was endless runs to Costco for supplies, New Leaf for rice dream ice cream, Ledgers for a new appliance, usually a five thousand dollar espresso machine. I became friends with the drivers at Watsonville Coast Produce, the cooks at Aunt Nettie's Bakery, but never really got along with the health inspector, who would write us up if the fridge was off by half a degree, or the soap container in the bathroom was only three-quarters full.
My boyfriend (who used to be my girlfriend, that’s another story) did most of the cooking for the six years we were together, which I deeply appreciated. After we broke up, I lived a life between going out to eat and having Trader Joe's frozen lasagna.