Thursday, October 14, 2010

This Is Now, Then Was Nantucket

Not to whinge, but may I? I've just come down with a cold, it's chilly and rainy outside and the pup and I were locked out for 45 minutes after our afternoon walk. Where were the 3 neighbors who all have a key to our house? Not home, I'll tell you that. Finally I moved a row of cacti from the windowsill, took out a screen and climbed in the bedroom window, muddy wellies and all.

I took a hot bath full of bubbles and self pity, now I'm drinking tea and waiting for Thai food to be delivered.

May I amuse myself while waiting and tell another story?

How did I become a chef? I didn't intend to. It was a beautiful September evening in Nantucket and I was having a dinner party. Unbeknownst to me a local restaurant The Boarding House had just lost it's 2 Italian cooks to immigration. Also unbeknowst to me, one of our dinner guests took a plateful of our dinner to the owner of the restaurant. And before I could serve dessert, I had an appointment the following day to interview for a cooking position.

I was hired to do the vegetables. The restaurant had 2 seatings a night. You paid your money, you ate our dinner. Every day I wandered downtown to the farmers market and selected the freshest most appealing vegetables and wandered back. I would sit outside under a trees and peel and chop and read cookbooks. Come 7:00pm we were all in our finest assortment of vintage finery and we served the meal we had cooked. Then we served again at 9:00.

This went on for several months until the restaurant closed for the season. I lingered longer on the island until the snows came and some days the ferries didn't run. Then my friend Peaches and I flew away to California. To be continued.....

* photo courtesy of wikimedia

*Boarding House link show the restaurant today, clearly when I worked there things were a wee bit more lax or do I mean relaxed?


  1. Oh boy! This means the expelled Girl Scout story is coming!!!

  2. good one john!

    how is it that we are practically sisters and i didn't know you were a chef? focus, janet, focus.

    i love your story - it is so serendipitous. and it sounds like a dream job, as you used the words sitting and peel and chop in the same sentence.


  3. I'm loving your journey. It plays like a movie in my head :-)

  4. Scarlett J as you in the leading role after film rights have been bought?xx

  5. Great story - but how did your guest manage to sneak off UNNOTICED with a plate of dinner??

  6. This is wonderful - just love your how you became a chef Jane...!! p.s - hope the thai food was extra tasty to make up for the time before !! x

  7. Now I want to know how you became a florist?!!!!

  8. John, Saving the best for last?

    Janet, I don't know, iI knew you worked in catering...that was the last time I sat down. maybe that's why i like blogging!

    Sara Louise, sometimes a scary movie, but i'll leave out those scenes!

    Belinda, How did you know I had to wear a scarlett letter? The nuns told you?

    Rachel, It was hard to keep tabs on people in those days. Still is, come to think of it...

    Semi Expat, The food was delicious. The house was warm and I didn't venture out side again.

    Julienne, In about as random a fashion! my random life..

  9. Just peeling another layer off the onion. No wonder your recipes are so good!

  10. But wasn't it stressful at first? Whenever people say, Oh, you should open restaurant, I look at them witheringly (but appreciatively)and say that cooking well at home is nothing like cooking on the line. So I'm very curious :-) More about the restaurant!

  11. That is my favourite style of restaurant.
    Eat what we are serving or bugger off.
    A mantra i have applied to flower retail.

    Was that the end of your chef career or is there more/

    Get well soon.

  12. Webb, I'm a pretty thick skinned onion, bear with me!

    Marie, More to come. No comparison home cooking and restaurant cooking. Restaurant cooking out of control, hot, fast and furious.

    Miss P., This was just the beginning. If everybody isn't bored to tears I'll write more.

  13. i love nantucket.
    i am sorry you got locked out and picked up a cold.
    this time of year can get nasty over there.

    feel better sweet friend xxx

  14. How did I not know any of this? Seriously! I love this story!