Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What's Cooking?

As I sipped my green tea and talked to my friend’s daughter yesterday in Murky Coffee on the Hill, I suddenly had a revelation about how I might want to spend some of my yet very free time. She was studying a bunch of catalogs as she prepares to open a fabulous new cooking store just steps from the Eastern Market Metro stop.

Leah is a young woman just barely older than my son who has a vision of what she wants to do with her life. She has been working hard over the last couple of years to make her vision happen and it’s now becoming a reality this Spring. Her mother, who is incredibly supportive of entrepreneurs, was my very best customer in my one-day stint at the Eastern Market.

We talked about the progress on renovating the space that will house the new store. Leah mentioned what a daunting task it is to choose the initial inventory and decide how many of each thing to buy.

When we got around to staffing, I found myself suggesting that I might be interested in working in her new store part-time, with a definite discount on the many things I will probably end up buying there.

I can’t imagine a better job than working in a cooking store, unless it would be working in a hardware store. But in a cooking store, you could do demonstrations. Leah assured me there would be a full kitchen on the second floor of the store. I could already smell bread dough rising and a pungent gingery stir-fry in a wok.

If I were staffing a cooking store, it would be with handsome young gay men who adore cooking and love to talk about it. But maybe, just maybe, there is room for a straight retiree who also adores cooking and also loves to talk about it.

There is this little issue of the fact that I live in VA and could not easily park my car in DC for hours at a time. I would definitely have to become a Metro rider, somehow dealing with the problem on my end of not having a convenient Metro stop. But that’s definitely getting the cart ahead of the horse. I don’t even have the slightest offer of a job yet.

But I’ve planted the seed with Leah. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Meanwhile I can’t wait for Hill’s Kitchen to open!


Blogger Kristin said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful. As a Hill denizen, I can't wait.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I am sure Hill's Kitchen will become a Mecca for you and the many other good cooks on Capitol Hill. Leah is talking about inviting well-known local chefs in to give classes. I think she is filling a market niche that no one else currently occupies on the Hill!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

A cooking store with an active kitchen sounds like a good idea. I think the aroma of home cooking would add to the lure of the store as well as providing added value in the way of free instruction and demonstration of various products.

Glad to see she is thinking about how to add value to the experience. The major grocery stores here have a cook in the aisles, but they he is there principally to sell that weeks' specials.

My only concern is with the name (is it the name, or did you just christen it for the post?). It is easy to misread Hill's Kitchen as Hell's Kitchen.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- That will actually be the name of the store. I think it's an interesting way to incorporate the name of the neighborhood!

2:37 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I LOVE the name- I could totally misread it as Hell's Kitchen- which makes it even better!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- I think that was their intention in choosing the name!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I love the play on the name for it too, and I can SO see you working there! I hope it materializes.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- I just want a little job, not a lot of hours a week. I think it might be fun, especially if I am just a worker, not really in charge.

9:33 AM  
Blogger steve said...

What? Ya'll got no handsome straight men that like to cook and talk about stuff like that?
Yeah, I don't guess there's many of us left.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- In my experience, handsome cooks are most often gay. But you might be the one exception! :)

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Barbara, sounds wonderful! This is reminding me of my retirement dream to someday work, just a few hours a week, in a bookstore (new or used).

5:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Robin -- A book store would be a terrific place to work. You would never be bored because there would be an endless supply of books to read!

9:39 PM  

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