I try to eat right before I leave to work so that whatever I ate will last as long as possible. I start my shift at 3pm, and I know that I won’t be eating again until 9:30-10 or so IF I eat “family meal”. Dinner service starts at 5:30. By six, the unpleasant hunger begins. By seven, I start getting light-headed and dizzy from my blood sugar level dropping. By 8, it’s like “don’t even talk to me”. A hungry Miss Kim is not a happy Miss Kim! This is around the time I start getting really grumpy. I start to feel weak…feel like I’m going to pass out from the hunger.Finally, when service ends, it’s time for US (the restaurant staff) to actually eat. The kitchen staff takes turns making the family meals. On busy nights, it seems like no one really has or takes the time to make the family meals. And we all end up going home STARVED! And even when they do make something for family meal, it’s usually garbage. A few times, some of the guys just threw some sausages in the pan and served that alone with leftover mashed potatoes. Whoever is cooking is usually too tied up, busy, and probably just wants to throw whatever together so that there is something for the staff to eat. I am guilty of being the same way too on some busy nights. I just want to get through the night and go home, especially when I am tired. I think the worst family meal I made was putting a sandwich together with whatever was available to use for family meal, - cream cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes on loaves of baguette (always leftover from the bakery). I think this was on one of my period days when I just wanted to get done and get home ASAP. I wasn’t even thinking lol. I just wanted to serve whatever as long as it was food so that the staff had something to eat. Didn’t think or care.
But on the contrary, on most other nights, I do care. I try to make something quick and decent. I like trying out new recipes when I can with whatever is available (some things are off limits for family meal). Even when I don’t eat family meals, on some days, I like to make it. Sandwiches are quick and easy. And there is a shitload of bread leftover on some days from the bakery..so sandwiches are often convenient.
I hardly ever eat family meals. I do, but I don’t. I’d say about 20-40% of the time, I do. And that means that most of the time, I don’t eat until I get home. It’s around 11-midnight by the time I can eat again. When I arrive home, the first thing I must do is take a shower. No matter how dying of starvation I am, I NEED a shower first, or I can’t eat. I feel gross, all covered in food and sweat. Washing up helps me relax and feel refreshed. It’s a psychological thing. I can’t eat in peace until I am feeling clean and relaxed. I’m weird like that lol. And with most places being closed at late hours (except some fast food, but I generally don’t like eating much fast food), I have no choice but to get my hands dirty again so that I can make myself something to eat. Most nights, I don’t even want to step into the kitchen after work, but what choice do I have?Family food is often times something too fattening and heavy, not too good for my health or digestive system. There was a time when we had nothing but pizza for two weeks straight. I thought I was going to puke the next time I saw pizza. I guess the morning bakers made some pizza dough and the kitchen staff used it for family meal.... WAAAY too much! And also way too often, family meal seems to be pasta. A crapload of Penne pasta is purchased in bulk to be used specifically for family meals. I love pasta, but too much of that just doesn’t agree with me. Tonight was my turn to make family meal. As I was pondering what to make, our sous chef was like, “Just don’t make pasta, please, -anything but pasta!” lol. I just ended up making a steak sandwich type of dish, which I didn’t eat.
So, by the time I got home, I was STARVING, AGAIN. Sometimes, I’d rather just eat a bowl of rice and Kimchi. It’s light, quick, and filling. I guess this part of me is truly Korean lol. The bowl of rice and kimchi is usually accompanied by other banchans (side dishes), but sometimes just Kimchi with the rice is sufficient to hit the spot. It’s more comforting than eating something greasy, heavy, and fattening.