It’s no secret I, like most of you, have a love/hate affair with money (I actually typed, “Monday” which would be sort of true too, right?). I love to save money and hate to spend. Saving money represents stability and security for me but I’ve already blogged about this so I won’t reinvent the wheel.
Not long ago, I receive this message from Tut.com’s “Notes from the Universe”:
“When you spend money, Melissa, whether a little or a lot, wisely or not, do you celebrate that you’re creating opportunities, dancing with life, exchanging energy, supporting economies, feeding families, lessening poverty consciousness, demonstrating courage, validating life, eradicating fear, inviting magic into your life, and lifting humanity higher into the light?”
Yeah…ahhhhh no. No, I do not. I usually grit my teeth and clench the currency tightly in my claw-like hands. But this message struck me deeply. I had never looked at my spending as feeding someone else’s family, supporting economies or helping lesson poverty. But it makes sense, right?
So I set out to try and change my relationship with money and lo and behold (AHEM!), there was a ‘problem’ tailor made to help.
Trinity and I had been having ‘discussions’ for months about who was to do the cooking now that life was infinitely busier for the both of us. First off, let me just state that I don’t like to cook. Secondly, cooking is work for me (conversely, baking is not as I ADORE that!). You have to conceptualize a meal, find a recipe, grocery shop, wash and prep the food, cook it, serve it and then clean up. I do not find enjoyment in any of this. But I need to eat and I have a family that needs to eat so ultimately, if Trinity isn’t going to take a turn in the kitchen, the responsibility lands on my shoulders.
I kind of half-heartedly floated the idea of having a part-time personal chef past Trinity and to my surprise he agreed. As soon as I could shut my dropped jaw, I burned rubber to post a quirky ad on Craig’s List. We had a response within days.
That’s when I started getting nervous. A personal chef? Isn’t that a bit pretentious and extravagant? Can we afford this? I mean, (gulp) doesn’t a chef cost a ton of bucks?
Then we met this young man. It was clear he has a passion for cooking; he is mature, professional, attentive, articulate and wants a better life for him and his new bride. He is a Southern California transplant and knows all about fresh, organic, vegetarian food. His aspiration? To leave his food related day job and chef for families in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Well, HELLOOOOO! Answer to my prayers!
We settled on a price and then the Budget Betty (that’s a family pet name for my mammy) in me kept going back and forth on whether we should do this or not. Can we afford it? Can we afford NOT to do it? Well, we did it (duh) and it has been nothing short of a blessing from God. He cooks for us once or twice a week and we all look forward to what he creates.
We have had cuisine that I never would have made nor would we have stepped out of our comfort zone to try. We’ve had Thai, German (he made his OWN sauerkraut!), Middle Eastern, Greek and Mexican, among others. All of these dishes have contained a bevy of fresh vegetables (I found out I LOVE Brussel Sprouts! Who knew?!) and non-meat proteins. My favorite? It’s hard to pick just one, but I loved his Udon soup. It was part of the first meal he made for us and I can still taste it.
He loves being challenged with ingredients, too. Well, if you can call my basic palate a challenge, that is. I’ve asked him to use fresh coconut, organic lemons, carrots and eggs. Wooo! Big challenge, I’m sure! Trinity has asked him to make Cajun pasta, salmon and pizza. By the way, he makes his own pizza crust out of Greek yogurt and it is unlike anything I’ve tasted before. I want more, more, MORE!
Is it expensive? Well, I really don’t think it’s something we could afford to do 5 nights a week. To give you some idea, the cost of each meal is equivalent to taking a small family (think three or four, NOT John and Kate Plus 8) out for an evening meal. But for me, the (almost) best part is all the work is done for you, right down to the dishes. It’s nirvana!
Think a personal chef might be good for you or help you resolve a repeated ‘discussion?’ Think you’d like to demonstrate courage, validate life, eradicate fear or maybe invite a little magic into your life (well, gee! When you put it THAT way….)? Well then, here you go. I’ve received permission to share our chef’s information through this blog.
Spencer H. 760.822.2705