Gangsta’s Paradise

Tomato Side Salad -- confit tomatoes, heirloom cherry tomatoes, ricotta, balsamic vinaigrette

Tomato Side Salad — confit tomatoes, heirloom cherry tomatoes, ricotta, balsamic vinaigrette

The party in the kitchen continues, and you know what every party needs — cake and music! New Fish Guy’s Spotify playlist provided the tunes (which today was an eclectic selection of 90’s rap) and I brought the cake (a chocolate & chocolate chip bundt – one of the going-away presents from my very last day at the office yesterday).

I was making the dressing for the Caesar salad when Gangsta’s Paradise came on and I started singing along. Fish Guy came by, stopped, and chuckled. He commented, shaking his head in disbelief, “I never really hear you singing in the kitchen, and the first one I catch is Gangsta’s Paradise?!” In response, I simply moved on to the chorus.

Family meal was a fried sandwich. A pseudo Monte Cristo, if you will. They added to the fatty goodness by serving it with gravy, but I opted to fry myself a sunny-side-up egg instead. SO GOOD. But I had to resist the temptation to go back for seconds… 1) because I just had my blood test in the morning (and was reminded of my slightly high cholesterol levels), and 2) because it would definitely, definitely give me food coma.

Family Meal: Monte Cristo with a fried egg on top

Family Meal: Monte Cristo with a fried egg on top

We had low expectations for service. Those who had worked the day before told us that it was sadly slow, and we only had 73 on the books, 40 of whom were part of a party that ordered pizzas, charcuterie, and large bowls of our arugula salad. But the stream of tickets was surprisingly steady. Musician Stage said he was glad to have me there because, according to him, everything flows better [than when it’s just him and Sassy Stage]. I stay organized, I keep track of the board, and I am prepared with backup mise en place kept handy in our extra lowboy refrigerator drawer. The rest of the night went smoothly.

But anyway… yesterday, after 3.5 years, was my last official day in the office. It was bittersweet. Everyone was so nice to me and gave me their well wishes for this endeavor. I think the best sentiments I heard were along the lines of “I always hear/read stories of people who drop everything to pursue their passion, but I could never do it myself.” I think this resonates in me most because I had the same thoughts myself less than one year ago. It still feels surreal. The reality of this new life will probably kick in Monday morning when I’m not waking up at 8am to drive down to the office…


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