What do you do when you’ve got $60 to your name and a food project to run? Hopefully, you get creative. You raid the discount rack at the co-op, feel grateful that you’ve been taking care of your food plants, and revisit your food-inspiration notebook.
Look at me putting words into your mouth. These words are helpful because they will put food into your mouth.
I’ve not published much on food this year. There are countless notes and half-compositions in my notebook. Each entry starts off with a little food romance but wanders into this diatribe describing how conscious I’ve become of food cost, overhead, waste, sourcing, and then, always, the struggle of starting a business from the ground up. It is all I think about when I sit down to write about food.
On the first day of classes, back in high school, there was this popular way that teachers liked to get acquainted with their students. Make your name a mnemonic. I had such a hard time coming up with something for the first letter of my name. And just the other day (20 years later), it dawned on me that I should have said “R”, is for resourceful”. Of course, I didn’t know what it was to be resourceful back when I was an ungrateful teenager. Well, that’s what life experience if for. It was also helpful to absorb the advice that more experienced people gave me, even if I didn’t take it at the time.
I managed to spend less than $40 on ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch and also some of Thursday’s. Since Sunday, I’ve gone back and forth over whether to do it this week. It’s become so good and well supported but I still lack that capital to really get ahead. That statement floors me, by the way, and that’s why I haven’t admitted this in a blog entry until now. Of the many lessons I’ve learned about marketing yourself as a product producer, confidence seems to be the lesson considered to be the most important. And I’ve translated this to mean, in part, to not expose your vulnerability because it is a sign of weakness and it scares away business. While I, personally, choose to invest in my own confidence and show it predominately, I also feel that it’s important to expose the truth. It’s difficult to concentrate on making money when it is the cause of so much anxiety. Wouldn’t you agree? You work every day. You buy things every day. You most likely have a profound thought or two on what valuable resources really are.
Well, now that that’s out in the open, let’s talk a little about that food romance.
I served my beloved a bowl of raw beet avocado shiitake soup the other night. He really loved it and I said, “it would be so great to serve this for lunches. But how to transport it?” We began brainstorming because I had already let it go as a no-go and he’s an engineer and can’t help but start chipping away at designing a solution. He came up with a brilliant idea, of course. Something rigid, like a citrus rind. I decided that hollowed out grapefruit rinds would be perfect. The oils of the rind would add a nice citrus note to the mildly complex flavor of the soup. “Just pour it from a container into the empty rinds and then top with garnish in front of the person who is ordering it,” he adds.
Creativity is attractive.
Wednesday, May 21
So, here is what I’m serving up tomorrow. Please text me if you’d like to reserve and order something. I love and appreciate your constant support. Thank you thank you thank you.
Raw beet, avocado, shiitake miso soup served in a red grapefruit rind and topped with cilantro, carrot, and toasted sesame seeds (which of course are not raw).
Mung bean balls with carrot rutabaga salad, yam spread, and zesty cilantro sauce, all wrapped in a collard leaf.
Bring a spoon!