A New Job
I have a new job, well sort of a job. I’m cooking in exchange for free food, something I haven’t done since I was a starving college student.
My current experience does remind me of my senior year when I was trying desperately to save money to go to Europe. I hooked up with two guys who agreed to buy all the groceries if I would come over and cook each evening. There was a lot of spaghetti and heavy food, but I was not in a position to plan the menu. I was simply the cook. There was never more than a hint of anything besides family style eating.
A good friend recently approached me with a deal I couldn’t resist. She offered me 1/2 share in a CSA membership for FREE if I would do the weekly pickup, deliver half our take to her, and twice a year do the necessary bagging for pickup. This was a coveted CSA that she had been anxious to join for some time.
Ironically the first pickup was the day after I broke my hip, but my dear husband willingly subbed. What lovely food: fruits, vegetables, legumes, eggs, bread, yogurt, cheese, you name it. Quite plentiful and extremely fresh.
After 3 weeks, my friend observed that she was not able to use up her food each week, because it turns out she’s not much of a cook. So she modified her original proposal to ask I could hang onto to the things that required cooking and just share with her a portion of what I made with them. With most recipes, it’s just as easy to make a little more, so why not?
So far I have delivered serving size portions of split pea soup, lentils, and beet salad. She seems quite pleased and I don’t exactly feel like I’m knocking myself out. In fact, it’s nice to hear praise for the things that I cook, something that is only occasional otherwise.
The good news for me in this time of economic downturn is my grocery budget has plummeted. We must still buy chicken, fish, and a few staples at the store, but many other things are covered by the CSA delivery.
This is a throwback to a much earlier time, when it was common to exchange services instead of money. I’m thrilled to feel like I’m contributing to our income with more than just my government annuity, something for which I am actually quite appreciative.
Now I must turn my attention to figuring out what to do with garbanzo beans (which have been soaking overnight), carrots, and couscous. I think a curry flavor sounds just about right. Something slightly Moroccan perhaps?