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Working Cook

At the end of October, I finally gained employment in my chosen profession – I now cook dinner for two group homes, five days a week, plus a third one for Shabbat. That means I cook for six individuals (developmentally AND physically disabled)during the week, plus six high-functioning adolescents additionally for Shabbat.

One individual has a prescribed diet – he has type I diabetes – which must be cooked and measured precisely. It also must be puréed because Mendy can’t chew. This last is true for other individuals, but they don’t have special diets. So we have a freezer with door shelves labeled for his diet, and I have to make sure they’re filled.

Otherwise, I am in charge of determining the menu and ordering the food. I do all the cooking and the cleaning up, and I suppose this makes me in charge. The “chef,” if you will. I do wear my chef’s jackets and even pretend they’re for practical reasons, plus a bib apron. And an MP3 player – currently, I’m listening to lectures on nutrition and then a local active rock station.

I also have a marvelous fifteen minute walk from home to work.

So. I’ve been here since late October. We seem to have the shopping thing down (meaning I know where to find the meat they’ve been hiding on me.) This means I don’t have to stop cooking and shop, and this has been amazing.

Today, with no individuals having a day off or other interruptions, I made a lot of food and still left on time.

1. Beef Barley soup. Lots and lots of barley. 🙂
2. Sautéd vegetables (batons of carrots and celery, julienne of onions) mixed with browned ground chicken. Ground one serving for Misha.
3. Tilapia for Mendy – cooked with herbs and oil until it fell apart into flakes. Four cups (four servings) in freezer.
4. Tuna salad for Mendy – mixed with measured mayonnaise and onion powder, and ground.

Tomorrow is erev Shabbat.

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