Not long after I arrived at the office, I realized it was coming up to the time where I had to be at our local Community Kitchen and help with the preparation of their noontime meal. As part of the Realtors “giving back” to our community, for the first time, I decided to sign up and have a go at it. We were all supposed to be there by 8:45, but I decided to get there a few minutes early so to familiarize myself with what was expected of me.
When I walked in, I happened to notice Senator Amanda Reagan in her office, so I poked my head in and had a little chat with her. We go back a number of years to the point where she and Jim were getting married and in need of selling both their homes and purchasing one in the Stone Pillar Addition, which was a very many years ago because she still had children at home. We had a good visit about recent events and what’s been going on in our lives since our last encounter.
Amanda introduced me to their cook and jokingly said to her, “I don’t think you’ll have to be supervising him much because I have a feeling he’s pretty much up to speed on food prepping.” I teasingly said to her as I was putting an apron around my neck, “How do you know but what I’m all thumbs when it comes to working in a kitchen?” Of course she had to give me her classic wink and walk off.
Shortly thereafter, the other Realtors arrived which made six of us. We were placed into two groups of workers, and all the happier I was with two others who also liked to tease and talk while working.
First off, we had a fresh fruit salad to make which consisted of cleaning grapes, slicing strawberries, peeling “cuties” and separating their sections, coring and slicing two different types of apples, skinning and slicing a big pineapple, and finally adding handfuls of blueberries. We gave that giant mixture a good mix and it was done.
Our next project was to create peanut butter sandwiches and sliced into halves. Two of us made the sandwiches while the third sliced and placed them in a big pan. Of course I had to insist they be cut at an angle instead of halved because they always look better that way.
The next item on our list was to cut small cakes and a number of pies into equal portions and placed on small paper plates. Of course I took the initiative of being the one removing the cakes and pies from their packages and cutting each small pie into six equal portions, and the cakes into four portions, and then hand them off for the other two to remove from their pans and place on plates. When finished, I counted over 50 plates that were ready for serving.
Since we had our little jobs finished, I couldn’t help but horn-in on what the others were doing. They were just finishing up on peeling the shells off hardboiled eggs that nearly filled a large pan. Even though they thought they were done, I took one look at those eggs and exclaimed, “I see little pieces of eggshell on many of these eggs.” With that said, I demanded another dry pan, along with one filled with rinsing water. I spent another 20 minutes quickly going over each one of those eggs just so to make sure there were absolutely no shells to be found stuck to them.
After I finished, I asked the cook what those eggs were going to be used for. When hearing that they were meant for egg salad sandwiches, I bristled at the thought of some poor soul biting into an eggshell when eating one of those sandwiches.
I had a good giggle when one of the younger agents asked, “Were you a chef at one time?” I smiled and said, “No, but I was trained to be a dutiful kitchen helper from a very early age.” Of course that gave a number of them their opportunity to make clever comments.
After it was all over, I couldn’t help but announce how much I enjoyed the hours I spent in that kitchen because we not only did a great deal of work, but also had a heck of a lot of fun doing it. You can be sure I’ll be signing up for that community project again.
The bulk of my afternoon was spent over at Clear Lake visiting with the owner of The Ladybug Restaurant. It’s now re-listed for sale at a greatly reduced price to where there’ll certainly be an investor looking at purchasing it. Since that near acre of land is zoned “Highway Commercial”, that type of zoning classification opens the door for just about anything being built there.
As soon as the listing comes back from her husband who’s out West, I’ll have it posted all over the internet, and signs conspicuously placed on the property. That particular commercial area of Clear Lake is very popular due to its close proximity to Hwy 122 and Interstate 35. I’m fully confident it’ll sell this time around.
Tonight’s one-liner is: Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: “Is it good? Does it give pleasure?”