I was a freshman at the University of Louisville and I needed a part-time job to help out with expenses. A friend told me the all-night restaurant at the airport was looking for a short-order cook, and I applied since I had vast experience making cereal and milk, toast, sandwiches with chips, and spaghetti. I not only got the job, I was also made night manager.
It was not long before the other staff discovered I knew little of either cooking or managing, but I made them a deal. If they helped me with my job, I would help them in as many ways as I could. One waiter asked if that included allowing his girlfriend to visit. My response was I’ll dedicate a booth reserved for only for her. Game on!
The first order I took to cook was from a gentleman who asked for an egg in the hole and a cup of coffee. My hand shook so badly when I served the cup of coffee, he asked me if I had a medical condition. There was almost as much coffee in the saucer than there was in the cup. I had never heard of an egg in the hole. The man told me to fry an egg in a hole of a slice of bread. The white stays on the bread while the yolk cooks against the heat of the grille. When the customer realized I wasn’t quite grasping the concept, he walked around the counter and stayed there while giving step-by-step instructions. Now that is my definition of customer service!
I survived the initial orientation to short order cooking and worked at the airport for a year. The waiter’s girlfriend visited many times, as did the the other staff’s loved ones. It turned out to be a happy place to work all night, and the plane’s crews loved us. The original egg in the hole would be a snap for me now. I would ask do you want the egg on plain bread, French toast style, in a waffle or bagel. Bam! Nailed it!
For a dinner tonight I am sharing preparation for an appetizer of cheese croutons with wild mushrooms in Madeira Cream. Never made it before, but I do know that however it turns out,, my hands will not be shaking at all during the process.