In a previous post, guest author Ann Sudekum wrote about “The Grief & Joy of Job Loss” and how she navigated the stages of grief that occur when you lose a job. She also offered insight into how she got through the process in a positive way and discovered the loss was actually an opportunity to “turn lemons into lemonade” and pursue her love for cooking. Since then, she has started a new business, Ann’s Custom Cuisine, and launched a blog/website: www.chefann.wordpress.com. The following is a reprint of her first blog post.
I have asked Ann to become a regular contributor on this blog and I am excited to let you know that Ann will be blogging about the emotional impact our careers play in our day-to-day lives – Welcome Ann
Turning My Passion Into a Profession
Cooking has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom is an excellent cook who put a lot of love in the meals she prepared for our family and we all enjoyed watching and learning the joy of cooking.
I was about 5-years-old when I first stepped up on a stool to peek into a simmering pot on the stove. I was so excited to grab that spoon and stir the yummy goodness inside! I had watched my two older sisters helping mom in the kitchen and was honored when it was my turn. My younger brother, who grew tall quickly, probably stood on that stool before he turned 5.
My mom’s cooking was influenced by her grandmother’s Southern cook from Mississippi and by a woman she called Mama Mia, an Italian lady my grandmother met through their butcher. Mom has always followed a simple philosophy: great food comes from basic, fresh ingredients mixed with a lot of love for the friends and family for whom you are cooking. And, she made sure to pass along her cooking knowledge and talent to her children and grandchildren – and even some of her friend’s children!
So, during the summer, starting when we were about 10-years-old, my mom would have each of us four kids plan and prepare one dinner a week. We got to choose whatever we wanted and mom would help us put a menu together with vegetables and sides that complemented the main entree. We then learned how to organize a grocery list and went with mom to the grocery store to purchase everything. Of course the fun really began when we returned to the kitchen to create our masterpieces!
Summer was also the time for enjoying lots of fresh veggies. Both of my parents were organic gardeners long before it was cool to be organic, and they turned a large area of our back yard into a vegetable garden brimming with tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers, jalapenos, radishes, green onions, garlic and carrots. Anything we didn’t grow was purchased at the Soulard Farmer’s Market in downtown St. Louis and, at the end of the summer, we would put aside (aka can) tomatoes, green beans, chili sauce and pickles for the fall and winter.
Over the years I have developed a passion for cooking that feeds my soul. The whole process of planning and prepping and preparing food relaxes and energizes me! So, I decided to turn my passion into a profession and serve up Ann’s Custom Cuisine – a personal culinary service where I create freshly prepared, delicious and nutritious meals that clients can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
I now embark on this new culinary and career journey with excitement and a little bit of trepidation! I look forward to the challenge and the adventure. . . Bon appetit!
Visit Chef Ann’s blog/website at www.chefann.wordpress.com