For the past couple months, I've been hanging out in the kitchen a lot, chatting with Mo and Tracy and Kari, helping out wash their dishes in the morning, baking in the evenings, all that stuff. It's a happy, comfy place - who doesn't like hanging out in the family kitchen? Well, I've been hoping to actually work in there part-time since November, and it seems the time is ripe! With the Longchenpa ceremony this past weekend, Tracy asked me if I'd like to come do some official baking and prep work in the kitchen during the day. Of course, I said yes!
This has actually been a long time in the making. Back in October, I made two birthday cakes for everyone's birthday that month; and for Halloween and Thanksgiving, I baked some stuff. Although I haven't been in the kitchen much this month since I've got some personal projects in the evening, plenty of my food has come out of those ovens into the Ling's collective tummy. I also mentioned to Mo and Kari that I wouldn't mind coming up to help out in the kitchen doing dishes.
Now that I've got a competent replacement in Shipping to make sure orders keep on going, I've taken the opportunity to go help out in the kitchen these past few afternoons. I'm learning a lot about cooking for fifty (and being careful with my math) and about just basic cooking skills: how to handle different vegetables and keep several tasks going at the same time in a busy kitchen. It's a really great experience and I'm thoroughly enjoying being up and on my feet, making food to keep the community running. Of course, it comes back to me - I eat it, too, and the cooks get plenty of compliments on yummy food. Moreover, after I leave the Ling, I can certainly put this experience down if I want to apply to work in a kitchen for a restaurant or café.