According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: If I Owned A Restaurant, I'd Cook What I Wanted To

Friday, May 31, 2013

If I Owned A Restaurant, I'd Cook What I Wanted To

I love to cook. I was daydreaming yesterday about owning a little place where I could cook for people - but not a restaurant.

I did not love cooking in restaurants when I did that (cook being one of my many callings). Cooking in a restaurant is basically slave labor. On a Sunday morning at a pancake house you can never keep up with the demanding hordes. The pace is brutal. And people are so demanding. I once had a woman send a waffle back to the kitchen saying she wanted a perfect waffle. What she got was a golden Frisbee which I forget if she caught. And who gives a dang if some Joe wants his steak done just so or who is a wine snob and thinks the house wine is mediocre? Why do so many people think they have the right to be spoiled at a restaurant the way they were (or weren’t) spoiled at home?

If I owned a restaurant (I probably wouldn’t call it that) it would be an old house, sitting on a little hill, surrounded by farmland or small acreage, and it would be fitted out with a great kitchen. Actually, it would be a lot like my grandparent’s former home in Cottage Grove, Oregon, a two-story affair where Kathleen and Sam and I would live upstairs. It would have a big dining room with fireplace and bookcases and a big porch on the front. I would call the place Tonoli’s House or Tonoli’s Farmhouse or something like that to honor my grandparents.

I would only serve meals three days a week, maybe Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You would have to make reservations to eat at Tonoli’s and I probably would only seat 8 - 10 people a night (all at once around a big table like at a dinner party).

Tonoli’s would not have a menu of choices for dinner. I would post an evening’s dinner in advance and you would reserve space to join us for the dinner of the evening, whether it be lamb kabobs or Yankee pot roast or lasagna. I love the challenge of pulling stuff out of the cupboards or refrigerator too and creating some kind of (usually edible) surprise dish. Of course the side courses would be fabulous. Hors d’oeuvres, desert and wine would be included in the price of the meal, there would be NO substitutions. And you probably would only be served a before dinner wine, a couple glasses during dinner, and an aperitif wine. You would not be allowed to leave Tonoli’s drunk.

Your meal would probably cost you around $100 per person - not because I’d want to make a huge profit, but because I’d not want to skimp on ingredients or portions. I think we’d be looking at passing food around the table and you could eat as much as you wanted as long as the food held out.

My plan would be to feel more like I was entertaining friends rather than serving the public. I would encourage people to visit with each other. We could talk about events of the day, about my books, listen to Kathleen play her recorder (maybe someone would join in on the piano or bring a violin) or we could just dote on Sam and let him be the entertainment. I cherish the memories of my relatives getting together at my grandparent’s house when I was younger, especially when we could sit at tables outside in the small backyard orchard. Those were such good times.

I’ll probably never see this little daydream become a reality but it doesn’t matter. It’s fun to think about. Life just isn’t long enough to do all the things you want to do no matter how big your bucket may be. Poop on that.

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