9:35 PM

I've been gone for quite a while but I can assure you that I am not abandoning my blog yet again. I am just taking a little break while I tend to a new venture that has given me immense happiness if I may put it bluntly. Cooking and feeding other people makes me really happy inside and now I'm even earning from it so that's double the fun. After all, it isn't so bad to be so busy with something that makes you happy (even if I have to deal with tired ankles after I cook all the food, wipe the stove and wash all the dirty pots, pans, knives and more.

I normally spend about 5 hours in the kitchen - from doing mise en place to storing the food in the fridge before delivery. Five hours isn't all spent actively working. I have a few breaks in between while I check on social media or respond to inquiries. I have managed to cut a finger once but not while slicing. I accidentally grazed a very sharp knife and the knife gave me a small cut and a bloody thumb. But well, malayo sa bituka (Filipino idiom for far from causing death) so I am still alive. I just needed to put a bandage so I can continue working on the roasting rolled oats on the pan.

Here are a few things that I have realized lately:

1. Mise en place is king in the kitchen! - being organized and prepared in the kitchen saves so much time and energy. I put all the ingredients I need for each meal on the counter top and identify if anything is missing before starting to prepare or even before a quick trip to the grocery. I then check which ones needed to be prepped ahead of time. Sometimes I slice vegetables that don't wilt or disintegrate inside the refrigerator like carrots and zucchini before I go to bed so I would just go straight to cooking when I wake up. I have a lot to improve in this department and I am looking forward to applying it in the next weeks to come.

2. I'm a rule-breaker (sometimes)! - I rarely strictly follow ingredient guidelines in recipes. I try to make each dish my own. So you can tell that I always have eureka moments in the kitchen and I've been tempted to give myself a pat on the back but I couldn't do it since I have dirty working hands. Hahaha! Seriously, I only really strictly follow measurements when I am baking but when cooking I go by gut feel, experience, and taste.

3. Clean as you go is the way to go! - To avoid cross-contamination, I always ensure that I use different cutting boards for vegetables, meats, and fish. I wipe down counter tops and ensure that there is no food remnant in nooks and crannies. I do not wait to finish all my task before I start washing pots and pans and all other dirty utensils. I realized that cleaning after I use something makes the whole task a lot easier thus it makes me manage my time, albeit alone, more efficiently.

4. Baking is superior to frying. - When I plan the weekly menu, I steer away from dishes that require frying and I gravitate towards dishes that require baking or poaching. Baking is a lot healthier and it does not make my kitchen greasy and oily plus of course, it allows me to work on the oven and the stove top at the same time.

5. When you love what you are doing, not a day will feel like work. - Does this need any more explaining? As Amy Weber once quipped, "Do what you love and the money will follow." Yes! I do all these #ParaSaPrague!

I'm slowly falling into a routine that will make my job even easier and more efficient. If you are keen to follow my meal prep journey, please visit my Instagram feed - FOODINMYLUNCHBOX. The meal prep delivery business will continue to be small-time and making it big is not yet on the horizon because hey I'm a one-man-team. When we cease operations for our Europe trip, I will try my best to learn Scandinavian and Central European dishes so I can include them in our weekly meal plans. I'm getting more and more excited as each day passes. We will resume the business in September and hopefully our present clients will be more than happy to welcome us back.

Here's our menu for the coming week:

Now, excuse me as I need to do a quick inventory of our supplies before I go to the weekend produce market tomorrow to stock up on organic vegetables and fruits. If I don't get all the stuff I need tomorrow, I will have to go to another weekend market on Sunday. I'm just so glad that both markets are very near where I live.

"It's always great to get to do what you love and to do something 
that hopefully people will see and love." 
Casey Wilson

Have a great weekend ahead y'all!

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