The Great Hall
Would-Be Wife Verses Could-be Husband! The Great Hall: Would-Be Wife Verses Could-be Husband!
By Winddove (Winddove) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 12:18 am: Edit

Ok, I am Pamie. I can't say "Chef Pamie" because from what I understand you must earn that badge with "EDUCATION" or so that's what I have been reading from the opinions listed in the newsgroup. So,I am basically a "would-be" Chef. But, after 3 sons,two marriages, a love of cooking, and running a food business, maybe I can earn a little respect someday. Either way, it's been entertaining reading all the excerpts from the last 2 years and gaining a wealth of information as well as confirming many ideas and creations I have concocted.

Ok, so I meet my husband on the Internet, he comes on over from Italy, marries me the Cherokee/Hungarian/German girl, and swears that "ONLY THE ITALIANS" can cook. With all his flamboyance and love of food, I must admit at times I wonder if it's a love of food or just thankful to have food. Food is a ritual to my Mario, whether it's tasty or not. Talk about culture shock. I love watching it all go down (do pun intended, but...

After 15 years, my first husband left me, and I had my 3 sons to take care of and try to keep their new home with a grand a month to pay on it. Here in the State of Ohio, in my Bah-Hah area, that's a big chunk for an at-home mom with no education but life skills and a GED. I went into child care for the local county and then starting to sell my food in order to keep home-schooling my sons and save the house.

I also got busy and learned about the new restaurant law, and got my License from the Dept. of Agriculture. I created this business. All of it. And doing "ok" thus far. I am only a year into it. Average about $2,000.00 a month and growing. (Yes, I do the Child Care too. It makes more money for right now then the food business.)

Here is the problem, I have my hubby, with his black curls and broken English going into our "Potato and Beef" County of 30,0000 in his Red Apron, Chef's Hat, and Bow tie. At first he thought my idea was "Nuts" but he's a hit and he needed work. With the money we're making, we are building a restaurant in the basement of our home. The city loves Mario and the foods. For just starting this venture, we are both very fortunate.

Ok? With me so far? Here is the question. I have worked hard to survive and create this business for this family. My husband fights me at every corner though. No, it's not about wanting notoriety because, well, first I am shy, and second a modest type person. I am the silent cook. However, I have worked too hard to have him land on my life and try to take over in something he knows nothing about except what I have taught him. What can I do to keep him in line and show a little respect? How can I teach him the skills I have learned and used over the years and what is selling in the city in a way that he will wish to do better? I don't have time when you're feeding 75 people for a party and they expect foods they have had before with us and at the last minute he changes the Lasagna to Mamma Carmela's Recipe. I just can't deal with it sometimes. Needless to say, they have not called back. :{

Ok, so, I know Chefs that cook are passionate about their recipes and style of cooking. That's fine and I respect that, but I am the one teaching him. He just says he loves to cook and it's a whole day ritual that is costing us time and I am sure money. I don't care if the recipes come from Italy or Tasmania. I do international cooking and I certainly don't want to be exclusively an Italian Restaurant either. Mamma Mia! How do I deal with the husband that has to learn the business from his wife and yet won't cooperate? Not to be a snot here...but his foods are plain tasting, dry, and unattractive. Mine has more herbs, fresh flowers, spicier and decorated – therefore conflict. I like some of his suggestions, but not exclusively. You all have either worked for or had control of those in the kitchen. Can you give me any pointers? Also, I love to learn. Right now, I want to learn to Pull Sugar and more about liqueur tortes and cakes. My favorites is working with Vermouth, Kirthe and Strega. I dream of a fantastic restaurant and yes, a nice repertoire with my hubby. Today was one of many that I thought of giving up. I have been told my food is "crap", I have no skills, that I am NOT his boss, that he don't have to listen, I am a “neat-freak”. It keeps me shook up, in tears, feeling unworthy, with no control, while I am at the same time teaching him and lining his pockets. I keep my mouth shut but wishing he would take a month at McDonalds to learn what real pressure is. I bet those "All Beef Patties" would humble him a bit... *Giggles* Believe me - this perky funny lil' man is a handful. Could it be just the culture and I need to loosen up? Oh please - I am wishing to learn the techniques and skills to succeed. I would love to do you say...maybe someone's Protégé. Grazie Pamie.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 12:38 am: Edit

have you tried dr. laura?( no joke )
this is a food thread.
and it sounds like you have relationship problems.
what your learning about food, and what you have to deal with, it sounds as if you've done great!
is a basement kitchen legal?? Safe??
I wish i could help more but i'm not sure it's my place.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 12:40 am: Edit

oh,... but if there's anything about pastry i could help with, just ask. if i know it, i'll pass it on.

By Winddove (Winddove) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 01:20 am: Edit

I kind of figured I would get that response and deserve it perhaps. I asked the questions because of reading the 2000 and 2001 threads in here about dealing with "newbies", those fresh out of Chef College, and "so-called" "Educated" employees that simply didn't respond to their bosses. I was interested in a lil' knowledge at that level and yes, I had read the threads within the "Bakers Dozen" group therefore I felt comfortable about getting a little advice.

We love each other. It's not that. It's how do I get him or any other employee for that matter not to challenge a "good thing" that is selling. Also, because it's a basically new venture, how to keep a nice way without splitting hairs. Cooking is one thing, dealing with ego's, opinions, and negatives, well, it all can be draining.

Yes, I mentioned there is a new law in the state of Ohio. I have researched and checked it all out. It's been put into effect because of the Bed and Breakfast Inns and the Amish in 2001. I am only to serve 115 meals a it's not like I am going to be rich and famous with it. But I will continue the baked goods of which I doing "ok" with. Add the weekend supper club and the bakery...I will survive. I have had the EPA here, Health Dept. and Dept of Ag. and now I don't even need them. Well...the Dept. of Ag I do. I have also purchased commericail equiptment. I went to goverment auctions and got my tables and chairs. Restaurant tables for ten dollars...and spotless. It's just a lot of internet savy perhaps and just can't stand being controlled by NO's...and look for the "Yes's"

However - You can help me. In the states here...(I am in Ohio), I am looking for Strega and Kirsch Liqueurs to order. I can't seem to find them where I can order them over the net or catalog...I don't care where. Like I said, I live in the Boonies and there's nothing local. I have to travel 2 hours one way at times just to get some of my items. So...if you can help me, I would like to know how to get ahold of these Liqueurs. I use other Liqueurs in my cakes...and some of my custards - but I really want to try these. By the way, what your opinion, zabaglione cream, how to make it...what is it used for?

Again, my deepest apoligies for any misunderstandings about my first request. Hey...I am another "newbie"...and I can "fly" if you wish.

My best to you all...and thanks for any help. If you can deal with me...believe me, I will be here often for your input. I like the folks here....even though brash at times. *Wink*

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 05:49 am: Edit

Pamie, Pamie, married him!!! You want him to listen to you? Have you heard of "PR", not not "Public Relations" it refers to another term having to do with the witholding of sex "P---- restriction!! Yes, this works better then Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil!!!
If not you can always resort scare tactics, tell him he should go back to Italy and brush up on cooking with Mamma Carmela!
Really, you have to wake him up and show him the economics of spending all day cooking and only making a little $$$. This is a problem many foreigners face when arriving in the US to cook,they realize that food is not as appreciated here as it is in other parts of the world and, when they see the return on investment in their time and effort is not appreciated and people just are not willing to spend 2 hours dining and pay the price you want; well it's a great disappointment to that person!
Good Luck!!!

By George (George) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 08:07 am: Edit

Hi Pamie,
I moved this over here, it had nuthin to do with baking.
"I can't say "Chef Pamie" because from what I understand you must earn that badge with "EDUCATION" or so that's what I have been reading from the opinions listed in the newsgroup"
This is a total crok. If you run a kitchen you are the chef. I gues the news groups have gone way down hill since I last checked.

Throw him out of YOUR kitchen. He really sounds like someone who would be great schmoozing in the front of the house. Take control or get out of it.

BTW there are big bucks in child care and the hours are much better.

My $.02


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 08:58 am: Edit

i never knew you had to be "educated" to be a chef? when did that start showing up here?
maybe i'm missing something.

By Winddove (Winddove) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 10:58 am: Edit

Good Morning to Chef Manny, George, and Spike. Now now Chef Spike...I wrote previously there was a great 2000 & 2001 debate going here in this newsgroup about who or what constitutes a Chef. And, humbly I say this, I don't have the "Education" in order to claim such a title but I like to think I am more then just a "Cook". Thank you uplifted my spirits. Chef are quite right too. This is one reason why for the first year, I have had the "patience of Job". This man, (Mario) would share recipes and ideas over the internet where we met originally. He simply could not believe that the majority take "Pride" these days in NOT cooking. I mean, that is how we are making the sales and the business is growing. No one cooks around here. There's no pride in what I consider a Great Art or in pleasing one's family. However, it keeps the rest of us in business. On another note and back to my "problems" with my Mario. Well, I am getting more confident with the business aspect of running the business, and I am seeing the foods are quite popular here in this little village I live in...therefore I may soon tell my Mario I will quit if he don't staighten up. I don't want no glory. I just love to cook. As I said previously, I have set him up with all the glory and status in which in this lil' Italians case, he loves. The city "thinks" these are his recipes and his cooking. Well...whatever sells. They love him. This has nothing to do with me. Just my concept and if I backed out...he would be lost. He admits this. I just simply love to please people with "food" and cooking is something that gets inside you...

I am seriously considering keeping him in sales until I open the restaurant in November, and then he can assist or host for me, and he does have the Blues he can take care of that. I just wished I had a partner in this...that I could depend on...and yes perhaps looking for someone to talk to to "WINE". *smiles*. You all comforted me. My chin is up.

Ok, so, I do have questions. I make everything all by hand. Real butter, creams...I even grow my own organic herbs. Whole grains and started working with Stevia. On that note. Stevia. Does anyone have an opinion in incorporated it with some of the bake goods? I know it do do well as sugar in baking because it don't release the needed gases for browning and holding baked goods together, but I get a lot of requests for some of my desserts that have no sugar. I don't want to use the other sugar substitues. Pure poisen in IMHO.
Also, custards. What are good natural stabilizers? I get split opinions on this too. Corn Starch? Flour? It makes my custards bland. Gelatin makes it rubbery. Any other ideas? I am filling my rolled Pizzells with my rum custards...and it becomes watering in humidity. I want it to hold it's shape. Also, how do I keep my Canoli's and filled Pizzells from becoming soggy? I was told to dip them in butter and chill them...that it acts as a protective covering. I tried this, and they were greasy.

Ok, must get to work. I will check my e-mail later and hope to hear from you. Again, thank you for your kind words and giving me the kick in the b**t I needed. I love this business to much to give up. I have raised three sons. I certainly should be able to handle Mamma Carmella's only son...that left home at 33. Spoiled as he is and the pride the Italian people have, I must admit, this culture I salute in their love and respect for food. For this I am grateful. So...even though I have a lot to contend with...I will see it as a positive challenge and plunge ahead. Thank you all and I really enjoy this site thanks to all of you. Pamie

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 11:30 am: Edit

If you want my $.02...

Tell Mario that consistency is all important in this business and that if he wants to make a separate offering of Mama Carmella's lasagna, that's okay, but THIS customer bought THIS recipe, and THIS is the way it will be made. You are the boss here; keep the bed and bedroom out of the kitchen. If his ego is too involved, kick him out of the kitchen, not the bedroom - (you too will suffer from that!)

For filling here (where temperatures can reach those approximating hell), I add a combination of small quantities of cornstarch and gelatin. I do not like the graininess of cornstarch or the rubberiness of gelatin, but a combination of the two seems to work for me. For the sogginess problem on your Pizzells, I brush the insides with white chocolate. Purists might have problems with this but I have had no complaints. I try to fill them as close to service as possible.

The term "chef" simply means cook. And as one of my Chef friends likes to remind me when I get all uppity, it wasn't that long ago that we were bought and sold. If you take as much pride in your work as you seem to, if you are working as a professional cook and as the primary cook in a food service establishment .... girl, you can righteously call yourself a chef. When I was in culinary school, the European chefs used to say that a "real" chef doesn't have to claim to be one, he (or she) is labeled one by his peers. Here you are among friends and supporters.

Hope this helps,

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 07:09 pm: Edit

hey damn it!
i never said that you need an school education to be a chef.
i said it sure helps with EVERYTHING.
so don't be putting words in my mouth.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 07:33 pm: Edit

in fact, i happen to think you should be quite proud of yourself for what you've done. educated or not.
and if anyone here can find a statement from me saying that without an education you can't be a chef, well.....i'll eat my hat and apologize.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 07:35 pm: Edit

You wear a hat?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 08:51 am: Edit

only duing sex, one of those Big foam one's.
it say's..."Pastry Chef's Rule!", on one side
and "Pastry Chef's have Bigger Rolling Pins"
on the other.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 03:14 pm: Edit

Pamie... 1st let me tell you that I am not a chef (yet) nor have I ever worked w/ one. If your relationship is good w/ your husband outside of the restuarant, that's great. However, if the problem boils over into your personal relationship, then you must make him understand that YOU started this, and that YOU call the shots. I'm sure that his pride might be hurt, but what is pride good for if it is in too much abundance? It will only hurt you in the long run.
There have been some good comments here and there. You'll have to excuse Spike as he is now into modeling and full of himself...lmao j/k spikey
But for real... tell him(Mario) that if he wants to help you, do this or that, but stay out of the kitchen. That's what it sounds like to me anyways. And that is IMHO

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 03:34 pm: Edit

Snuff it Snuffy! No Dr. Phils on the boards!!!

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 04:22 pm: Edit

PR", not not "Public Relations" it refers to another term having to do with the witholding of sex "P---- restriction!! Yes, this works better then Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil!!!

lmao, like that's good advice... I"m only 25 and I know better... sheesh

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 08:00 pm: Edit

hey snuff,
model this!

By Winddove (Winddove) on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 12:10 am: Edit

Hey there...Canolli's were a hit...thank you Lady Cake. Like I said...blind here...should of thought of that. Bah Dah on my part. Made a Rum Chocolate coating with fresh chopped Peaches in the cream and sold out...yes yes...I know...I used a light film of White Chocolate. I sprinkle them with Macadamia Nuts I said ...sold out. I had two returning customers within a couple of hours. I was freaking out. As for the rest of you...Nope...don't wear a hat...I wear "sticks"...and...yes my hair is down to my butt... It's sprayed don't ruffle your feathers. My Mario wears a hat though. He has these lil’ black curls that just like to fly off of his head... Snuff...talked to Mario...he has been a peach...since I shared a few tidbits from the newsgroup. I think it scared him. I did after all mess with his head and let him know I am talking to professionals. He is still very naive and innocent to this country's way....and it leaves room to play around with him a bit. Naughty girl I am I suppose. Ok...and nice day to you all tomorrow...and a Hello to you tonight. BTW.... does anyone here do ICQ? Let me know...and say "hi"'s my number... 7344936 Chat at you later. I have syrup to put over some Baklava for the weekend... Ciao...Pamie...
P.S. By the way...does anyone have any clever ideas for Puff Pastry...? I fill them with a Mars Capone Recipe...and Fresh Strawberries...and a Date Nut Rum mixture...but I am looking for something really different. I cut my pastern in squares, bake it...and then after baking it, slice it and fill it. I want something really different. Thanks for sharing...

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 11:01 am: Edit

( By the way, what your opinion, zabaglione cream, how to make it...what is it used for?)...quote from Winddove.
doesn't Mario know how to make it?
it's Italian, it's a basic.
yolks, a touch of white wine, whip like hell over a double boiler until firm and ribbons. yolks will lighten in color.
best container to keep it in is stainless steel.
any thing else will cause it to break down and become watery. it can be used as a sauce or main dessert dish or an add on/in to mousse, pastries, or you can serve it with fruit and biscuits.
it browns under the broiler great, nice color.
can be used as a nuetral sauce over fish, chicken, ect. by neutral i mean where it's not seasoned but used as a color enhancer.
it's NOT hollandaise! don't mix the two up.

By Winddove (Winddove) on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 11:41 am: Edit

Thank you Spike... I found that out here a day ago... No..Mario didn't actually tell me...maybe he's keeping secrets now...oh lovely...lil' beast he is... Me...I make this stuff all the time and didn't know it had a specific name. To funny. That's when it gets make something up...and someone says..."So..what's the name of that"???..and I say, "'s augh...geez....heck if I know". *smiles*. I make so many different custards, mousse...etc...that I just do it...don't name it. So much for being a professional...yes? Anyway...thanks for your help. Does anyone have information or feedback about cooking with Soy or Stevia with breads and pastery? Just curious...thanks. Enjoy your day everyone. I have to get to word...have the first of the month billings coming up. Ouch...don't like that a bit...

By Weekapaug (Weekapaug) on Tuesday, September 03, 2002 - 08:05 am: Edit

must get sleep ... eyes growing tired...ADHD has me in it's nasty grip

By Winddove (Winddove) on Tuesday, September 03, 2002 - 10:59 pm: Edit

Enjoyed tonight's "chatter"... Always a wealth of information...and for this I am grateful. Ta Ta...and sleep and all. Pamie

By Dustman (Dustman) on Thursday, September 05, 2002 - 02:46 am: Edit

I can say it,"chef Pammie",
First issue that I must address you are not the one that has go. Mario, the Italian fellow, sounds reminisent of a few people I have been unfortunate enough to work with.
Second issue Education? I am glad that I am not totally self taught. I worked my way up from the dishroom to executive chef.Granted I am an opportunistic and driven person who isn't content just doing " a job ". Your passion and skill in the culinary arts make you a chef. If it is your business then you make the rules ( except for taxes)Oh yea,education... Whatever...
Third issue DR. PHIL/ JANE /whatever..
I married a strong woman for a reason. It certainly wasn't her business sense that did it. I sure that the Italian fellow (aka. Mario) posesses what you need in some sense or you wouldn't have even considered it the first place. Money is , as far I am concerned, the least important aspect in a relationship. Oh, and business falls into that catagory. I love my wife,I worked with my wife,and it is best that we don't work together. I would try moving him to the front and if that doesn't workin conjuction with the PR perhaps it is time for the scenery to change. Good luck, break a leg, drop a knife, etc...

By Mbw (Mbw) on Friday, September 06, 2002 - 04:52 pm: Edit

I should have read this earlier. What you are dealing with is a power struggle that I had lived for over 3 years.

#2 HIS COOKING SUCKS NOT YOURS (You know it and are just to nice to admit it)

I disagree that he may be a good partner. His cluelessness as to what the market will buy, will sink you remember "The Big Night" great movie get it, and watch it with him.

As long as you allow him to live the fantasy that he knows what he is doing, or is good at it he will never learn. Best crush his little ego now than destroy the relationship later. You choose. I choose wrong. Better luck to you

BTW: I treated her as a professional even when she acted like a child to encourage her. Yeah right.. Bad plan.

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