I love geeks but I’m totally intimidated by them too. They’re so smart and cocky and just fabulous! So, I was really excited when my friend asked me to cater lunches for his office. I had to make 21 hot lunches and deliver them to their office. Now, I’m a pretty confident cook. I’ve been cooking for people for a few years so I thought, this shouldn’t be too hard. I’m trying to expand my business and this would be a good start. It’s more people than I usually cook for but I should be fine. No big deal. Uh. Wrong! It was a big deal.
I start cooking about 3 hours before delivery time. I had offered three different menu items so I’ve got every large pot and every burner on the stove going. I’m a little nervous because it’s a lot of orders and I really want to impress these guys. I just keep telling myself, “you got this, you’re a great cook.” Sure, I’ve never done anything this big before but cooking is my gift. I love to do it. Things slowly starts to fall apart though.
I’ve been cooking for about 2 hours now and realize, crap, I still have to package all this food up, get dressed, load the car up and make my way to the other side of town in an hour. I also realize, I quite possibly don’t have enough food! I’m looking at the 3 dishes cooking on the stove and trying to visualize the portion sizes in my head. I’m like, “shit this is NOT going to be enough to fill all the orders!” I calm myself down and say again, “you got this. Just start packaging the food up. It’s all going to work out.” (There was a lot of talking to myself that day).
I put the finishing touches on everything and go to pull out my to go containers. I had ordered these really cool biodegradable containers and I was all proud of myself. But, I got the wrong kind of containers ’cause when I went to put the hot food in them they started to melt! Now I’m really panicking. See, this is where an experienced caterer would have been laughing their ass off at me. What the hell was I thinking getting containers made out of sugar cane?! Of course they are going to melt when you put hot food in them, they’re for cold foods (feeling like a moron). I’m ready to call these people and tell them, sorry but I’m not going to be able to deliver. Then I was going to lay out on my kitchen floor and cry because I spent all this money on food and have nothing to do with it. I’m picturing myself crying on the kitchen floor. Then I slap myself back to reality and have another chat with myself. I’m thinking, “get your head out of you ass and finish this. You got this. Make it happen and finish this.” So I abandon my thoughts of crying sprawled out on the kitchen floor and got back to work.
My adrenaline is pumping and my whole body is shaking but I’m determined to make this happen. Oh, and I’m also officially running late, should’ve already left my house by now and I still haven’t packaged the food. So how the hell am I going to get this food packed up anyway? Should I run to the store and get new containers? I mean I’m already going to be an hour late at this point. Or should I just figure out how to cool the food enough to get it in these damn containers I already have, and maybe save myself 30 minutes by not going to the store? I decided to use the eco-friendly containers. I shove the big pots in my fridge, hoping to cool the food off some and start pulling everything out of my freezer. I’m going to fill these stupid containers while they’re in the freezer! I stack them up inside the freezer, make a little assembly line and start filling them. It’s working, they’re not melting. I’m calming down, (a little). I let the people know I’m running late and finish packing my food up. I’m almost in the clear. Got 2 of the menu items packed up and had just enough food. Then the chaos starts again.
I run out of food for the third menu item. I was only about 2 short. I was so close! With my adrenaline in super overdrive at this point, I throw another pot on the stove and start frantically making more food with the small amount of ingredients I had leftover. That set me back about another 20 minutes but I pulled it off. I got everything packed and ready to load in the car. I was near tears but I finished it. Now I just had to get it to the final destination. That shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve been to that side of town before. I’ll be fine. It’s only about thirty minutes away.
But, NO. I was not fine. Of course the way I went was the worst way to go. The traffic was a nightmare! I didn’t realize there was a faster way to go so it took me about an hour to get there. At this point I’m like fuck it. If they never order from again I totally understand. At least I finished and at least they are about to eat some bomb ass food!
I reach the office, finally. Give them their food and a discount! Get back in my car and get the hell out of there. Now I have to go deal with the HUGE mess in my kitchen. My “almost epic fail” has a happy ending though. They did love the food and I’m still delivering to them. 🙂