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First Week Working for Myself/I Have Everything I Need

Hey everyone! So I quit my job.

Well, sort of. I took a leave of absence from my front of the house restaurant job to pursue my endeavors with Unsolicited Cooking. I was getting pretty busy and working at the restaurant as well, so I really was getting burned out. I got to a place where I had to make a choice...and of course I chose what I love. I have to say, I get to choose what I love because I have a heavy support system including friends, family and especially my partner Jordan, who nudged me to quit my job and not worry about anything so that I can pursue my culinary dream.

The first week working for myself included doing a dinner at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, which went very well, planning for a few things for the next week, and a chili competition that I was stoked to be in. These things all went relatively as planned, but not without its obstacles. The lesson that I learned was that I always have everything I need.

The menu for the dinner at UUCA was stellar:

  • A few amazing charcuterie selections focused on pickles & cheese

  • A salad with roasted butternut squash, pecans, cranberries & a tahini & grapefruit dressing

  • Espresso braised short rib with pumpkin grits

  • Apple crisp with miso caramel & cinnamon whipped cream.

*Whew* That was a lot. And I had my homie (and chef) Ansleigh to back me up.

Before we even got to work, though, my car (of course) decided that she wanted to have problems. Classic. I was supposed to pick up Ans from work and go to the church that morning, but my brakes decided that they just were sick of working. Totally my fault, as I should have taken my car in the week before when I was freaking out about my leave of absence and what I would do if I failed miserably. Luckily (?) the car's brakes went out right in front of Ans' job. I sat in my car and texted them, freaking out because OH MY GOD WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE EVERYTHING IS GOING TO SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL I MESS EVERYTHING UP OMG (it was 11am and the dinner was at 6:30pm, lolz). So my friend comes out of their job and looks at me freaking out and says, "Well, I mean I can fix that."

So this is the first time that week that I got rescued/realized that I had everything I needed-money to get the car part and a friend to help me all day. Ansleigh fixed the brakes with the help of some of their coworkers (!!!!) and we went on our way to make the dinner, laughed the whole time, got a round of applause at the end of the dinner and an invitation to do another dinner in February.

The next day, I made sure my chili was up to par (it was great; I stayed on the espresso short rib theme and added chorizo black beans & pintos. A little masa to thicken it up and it was fabulous. But anyway...), took some calls and planned for the competition. I had a few folks coming to help and I was just excited to be there.

Chomp & Stomp ended up being great. I saw a lot of friends, my Peace Corps buddy Matt came in clutch with volunteering for me as well as bringing some Revolution Donuts! We scooped chili and had fun, some more friends ended up coming by and we ran out of chili in half an hour. Then we headed to one of my favorite restaurants to have food and drinks and I got to catch up with so many folks.

When I was on my way home, though, I got a flat tire. Luckily (???) I got the flat 2 exits from my house and, after freaking out and anxiety crying at a gas station because the AAA person who I called said that it would be up to three hours until they came. I asked them what I should do, just leave the car there and walk home?? I received a catty, "Yes, goodbye." Then I realized my friend Tai lived about ten minutes away and I called her. She picked me up and waited with my for AAA to tow my car to my house (which, by the way, only took 45 minutes...). I got to catch up with Tai and the night ended well and we planned a holiday movie night for this weekend.

The next day, I was annoyed that I had to take the tire off the car, something I am no good at, but can do. I got a text from Ansleigh in the morning, and they came to save me again by coming to my house (!!), fixing the other brakes on my car and taking off the shredded front tire. Because they are a super person. I have been saved all weekend. And all weekend I had everything and everyone I needed.

Also, I came in at #39 of 70 chilis at Chomp & Stomp, which ain't bad, I guess.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the month. I still have my Friendsgiving Menu up and a few cakes to make. Hopefully things will pop off well for Unsolicited Cooking this month!

Thanks for a great first week, everyone!!

-- Anïsa

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