Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Accidental Chef Goes West

Not too much going on this week, still trying to recover from Saturday. This involved lots of sleep and a trip to the chiropractor. So you have several option here, look at the pics of a very few flowers I have stashed around my house, read the post or ignore the whole thing until I'm up to speed. But, if you've gotten this far...

Sometimes after the gold rush, my friend Peaches and I left Nantucket and flew off to California, San Francisco to be exact. We decided to look for jobs as domestics. This seemed romantic to us. I snagged a job as a live in domestic chef and she became a nanny for a big $$$ brewery family. We had one and a half days off a week and lived within blocks of each other in Pacific Heights. I was responsible for staff (butler, personal maid) breakfast and lunches ( add in various housekeepers, laundress etc.) and dinners for the family. Every morning I prepared a tray of 1/2 a grapefruit and coffee and sat by the bedside of Madame as we planned dinner. Then, off I went to shop and meet Peaches for a coffee. There was no budgeting, there were many, many dinner parties, out of season fruit and vegetables were preferred and my gi-nornomous kitchen had a incredible view of Alcatraz ... well you get the picture.

I was in HIGH clover. I was sent for cooking lessons with a very old, very wise, classical French chef Josephine Araldo, who took a liking to me and when there were seriously VIP dinner parties she'd sneak in the employee entrance and help me cook. I had a huge Vulcan stove and 2 wall ovens, marbled counters for pastry and a china filled pantry bigger than the house I live in now.

After dinner I was out that servants door in a flash, partying it up in the city by the bay, though I could often be found at 2:00am, back in the kitchen practicing pie dough. My nemesis then, my nemesis now.

If only I hadn't started dating the son...


  1. Oh, more stories please..when you catch your breath that is!

  2. Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying these tales, Jane! While I knew the overall gist, it's so great to get the enhanced version!!

  3. High clover? Stratospheric clover, I venture.

    I must have followed you in that past life; I lived south of you in Arizona and I lived south of you there in SF in Monterey.

    Waiting for the next installment.

  4. You have my attention!! What a terrific story, don't leave us hanging. Hope you feel back to your peppy self again soon.

    ( : Deb

  5. hi jane,

    and you thought i was mysterious. wait a minute maybe that was me who thought that. well i cannot wait to hear the rest of this drama.


  6. labonnefemme, I will, I promise.

    Sue, Moi?

    Gwen Yay you're back, and with your head still attached! Can't wait to hear all. Um, missed you last Saturday:)

    Karen What state did we live in next?

    Dumbwit Teller, Thanks, feeling better by the moment. More to come soon. My partner thinks one story a week is plenty.

    Janet, Glamorous, that's what I thought, maybe mysterious but def glamorous.

  7. Another layer off the onion! Such a fun life you have had. Hope the week improves.

  8. Hey, Jane - can't wait to TELL all, and show photos!! Great trip, though I am now much browner than anticipated. People are staring. Really wanted to be there Sat - tried to comment on that post, but The Machine would not allow. Love to you and GG - G

  9. GG is just hogging those stories to herself!
    I love this one I can see you in the kitchen and now every time I see a pic of one of those gi-normous kitchens you will be standing foresqaure
    in the centre of it!!!!!!
    Love the rose. Look after yourself and tell GG we need more than one a week xx

  10. The more I read about you the more fascinated I become - love this tale of your cheffing days for the posh family in Pacific Heights. I once years and years ago dated someone who lived there - well not exactly 'dated' but you get the picture - it was in the late 70's!!x

  11. Well, Jane, I'm glad I read past the flowers (no offence to the flowers). I'm awfully worried though that there's no "to be continued" at the end of this. For my peace of mind surely you'll update your post with this small but crucial addition?

  12. hehehe! Can't wait for the next installment - sounds delicious!
    p.s. I LOVED German Girls comment to me about how you always think you deserve a week in Paris! I guess you BOTH do!

  13. Oh come on, this is too cruel......

  14. Ok, so we are all invited to the red carpet do when this epic tale hits Hollywood, right?

    What a fabulous saga it is. Was the son dashing?xx

  15. I want this turned into a movie NOW! I'm calling Hollywood!

  16. I'm on the edge of my seat now. And that's a very pretty rose btw....

  17. Wait a minute... Are you creating these stories or did you really do all of these things? How old are you? 103 years? Hmmm...

  18. Webb, Told you I was a big onion with many layers.

    Gwen Tan and happy. Good combo, can't wait to see you.

    Gardenrooms, Thanks, like the ending did you?

    Julienne,Foresquare in a 40's maids outfit from the movies, picture that one.

    Semi Expat, wonder if it was the son?

    Mise, please, my mother was Irish, you know there's no stopping me telling a tale!

    Karin, Can't wait to be inspired for the next installment. Sorry I have to wait a week!

    Rachel, Not trying to be cruel. Had to walk the dog!

    Belinda, Of course he was.

    Denise, I know, love the rose. Wish I could remember it's name...sit back, more will be revealed!

    Denise, Ha! No I'm not creating, you're the author, I'm reliving.

    Almost 103, but looking pretty good for my century:)

  19. It seems you are the author. This is a fabulous serial memoir. More, please. You'll never be rid of us now.

  20. That tulip, that kitchen, the son?

    I hear you.

  21. ...and what happened next!!!!

  22. Awesome. I have missed you (my fault, not SmallButCharming's).

    When's the book coming out?? I want to read it.

  23. more this kind of stuff....

    food, san francisco, cooking....PIE CRUST !!!

    hey, there is plenty of room on the couch..teddy and i would love to have you.

    kary and teddy

  24. Hi Jane,

    You sound if you are ok again :-)! What a story. You must be a great cook! To have worked with a French chef. I am green with envy ;-)! You must have an amazing time! What a pity about the boy.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  25. Feck the flowers...spill please!! Sinead x

  26. Where are they now? :-)

    This is good movie material, and in the end, you get German Girl and live happily ever after.

    Now, about casting...