(Beloved? Cyrano? Doubles? Dopplegangers? Outside? Inside? Dang. I'm giving it away for free. This riff should be a separate post.)
[Note: I didn’t write the following. I don’t recall the source, a letter on Salon maybe. But I was impressed with the idea so I saved it for myself.]
20 April 2008
In early January on a rainy Saturday, a good friend came over to visit. After several hours of watching me make food for the coming week(s) - five pounds of carrots peeled and cooked; five pounds of potatoes scrubbed for mashed or roasted potatoes; several batches of biscuits and cornbread made up; and the prep work for a cheese tart; two apple cakes; a roasted chicken; a pork roast - well, you get the idea. She slaps her forehead and says: "Would you like to earn some money cooking for my parents???"
Her parents live nearby. They are in their 80s, and live in their own home. They like good food, but her mother has stopped cooking. They don't like to go out every night. My friend had tried everything in the world to supply them with good food. (She has no skill in the kitchen.) They like to sit in front of the TV and watch movies (like Ronnie and Nancy!). They want a good meal and they always have wine.
Long story short: My friend invested in some of those hospital type trays. I make 3 dinners for them each week: meat; a starch; and a vegetable. I make two batches of biscuits or cornbread; two desserts - apple cake and chocolate pudding pie are favorites; and a salmon tart. I make the trays up and wrap them in aluminum foil, label and date them - and deliver them. For this, she gives me $150. A bit high, in my view, but they are thrilled to pieces. I've made everything from chicken with matzoh balls to liver and onions to chicken bog. This money covers my own food bill - and I enjoy doing it.