It’s no secret that significant goals take time. You have to plan months and even years down the road. Because of the time investment required, we’re often tempted to quit before achieving our goals.
730 days since this online restaurant journey started. It has been days of despair, hope, excitement, discouragements, fatigue and many other feelings you can think of.
Above all, the love of cooking has kept this dream alive and kicking even amidst all the challenges and triumphs.
According to Nigel Slater, ‘Cooking is about giving pleasure to ourselves and others.’ So why do we continually beat ourselves up over it, turning the simplest of suppers into a palaver? Some of us must, I suppose, get some perverse pleasure from standing over a stove littered with steaming pots, and being imprisoned by piles of washing up, or perhaps the cooking is being used as an escape route from some other more complex scenario.
There are days when I think “That’s it! I’m done with these venture, I will just go back to my regular day job. Then there are days when I think “This is actually working, I think I will soon hire a hand to make the job easier”
Running this business has had its ups and downs (well, everything in life has got that). There are days when you have so many orders and your kitchen is like a warzone, when you are so busy you have no time for anything else except to cook.
Then, there are days when the kids are sick and you have to be at the emergency all day; then here comes the orders and you can’t even cook not to talk of delivering. Days like these, I secretly hope no one orders so I will not have to explain why I’m not cooking. But guess what? The orders still come and this requires me to explain why I am not cooking.
For example, sometime in September, I had to do some extractions. My mouth was sore for days and the dentist advised me to stay off spicy stuff for some time. I was on so many medications I could open a “Chemist” (that’s what we call a Pharmacy in Nigeria). My taste buds were horrible throughout this period. Then the orders started coming and I had to send a message to everyone on why I cannot work at that moment.
There was this customer who I am sure did not understand what I was going through or she just didn’t care. I wasn’t surprised. I have met lot of humans on this journey. Most times, I just apologize and move on. Like they say “Customers are always right” They are not.
There are also days when you have no orders, and you don’t want to know how many times I refresh my websites on days like that.
I have had to deal with conflicting reviews on the same food, for example, I made the same food for two customers because they had the same order. One said that was the best meal she has had in a long time and it really reminded her of home, while the other customer said the food was just a waste of her money. I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I called her to get some clarity and she said she wasn’t going to talk to me about the food. I gave her a full refund and she gladly took it.
The main reason for doing this is the joy it gives and the satisfaction that you could make someone’s day by offering something delicious to their not so delicious day.
Two years in all has been amazing. We have so many success stories that overshadowed the not so good success stories.
Cooking is fun (many people don’t see it as fun). Same way I don’t see many other professions as fun.
While we are talking of fun, lets talk of some basics
1. Trust your own taste: You know what you like and what you don’t. When shopping for a shirt or a pair of shoes you know immediately when something is right or wrong. You don’t even bother to try some things on because you instinctively know that you look funny or ridiculous.
At the end of the day, when you cook with a recipe, its only telling you about someone else’s taste. There is nothing like an ultimate recipe. What this means is that the writer has done a recipe over and over again and they think it is just delicious and want you to try it, too.
Taste is relative, learn to trust your own taste.
2. Overachieving: I have never understood the compulsion some people have to make everything themselves. You must have meet cooks who insist on making their own spring rolls wrappers, noodles, pasta and so on. Nine times over ten, the end product isn’t as good as ones you can buy in the stores.
3. Kids in the kitchen: It is never too soon to encourage children’s interest in what they eat. We can do this well before they get any thoughts of cooking; simply peeling the wrapper off your favorite seasoning is a good start. I don’t agree with forcing anyone to cook but I do think any interest they show is probably best encouraged. Same goes for the husbands or wives that cannot cook. Don’t ever force people to cook. It’s an art that needs to be enjoyed. When they are forced to do it, get ready to eat it!
4. Don’t think you have to cook every day. That’s why you have Salivatives.
5. Don’t think you have to cook at all. Hey, That’s why I’m here!
6. The ready-made meals in the stores will save you cooking every day. Some of them are not that bad for once a week lazy meal
7. Some things are worth making in amounts larger than you will need for one meal.
8. Putting little bits of leftovers on plates is not a good idea. They will only dry up and haunt you every time you open the fridge. You might as well throw them away in the first place.
9. Use your nose: At first you can only tell when something is burning. The smell of smoke will alert you that your food is probably past the point of perfection. Pretty soon you will find that the smell a dish gives off as it cooks can be a good clue to its progress.
I would write more, but I have to go cook now. I hope you have enjoyed my small rant. It has been an amazing 2 years and I hope the years ahead will be much sweeter.
Happy 2nd year Anniversary to Salivatives!