I had this dumb little dream, right?
The dream was/is that I could do a variety of things that I love for a living (instead of being/working for a wanker) and earn a living from them. Even if I earn just enough to cover my bills, fund the odd night out, and keep my kitties tummies full (and perhaps even splash out on an annual camping holiday in the local park), then I could live happily ever after.
Here in the UK, we are still in the midst of a serious economic crisis, and whilst I understand the need for rules and regulations when setting up a food business, they don’t exactly encourage one with regard to giving it a go, especially when it comes to getting your premises approved.
People, I have to confess that, unlike other women my age, I don’t have a very big kitchen. That’s because I don’t live in a big house. That’s because I don’t have a job. Or a partner. Or a sex life. Or a….
Sorry, I digress a little 🙂
Back to the subject at hand….
My kitchen is pretty small, but in all fairness, that’s never gotten in the way of me producing a mean batch of sausage rolls*. Or banana bread. Or muffins. Etcetera, etcetera.
(*yes I make my own flaky pastry. No, NOT the frozen variety)
Nor have I ever poisoned anyone. Or even given them a minor dose of the shits.
This I know, because anyone who has ever eaten my fare, always waxes lyric about it afterwards and implies, directly or indirectly, that they wouldn’t mind some more.
So I am not, repeat, not dangerous.
But my local council and/or the FSA (Food Standards Agency) might beg to differ.
Whilst it is said that requirements differ a little from area to area in London, some of things I will supposedly have to do in order to bring my kitchen up to par, so that I can sell a bit of baking to my neighbours are as follows:
‘Store all business food/ingredients separately from household food/ingredients’
Not. Going. To. Happen.
For a start I don’t have the cupboard space!
Secondly, what happens if I don’t get any orders for a long spell and I run out of my own flour? Am I meant to run off to the supermarket and buy more, when there’s a kilo of the frigging stuff festering away in my imaginary additional cupboards? Ridiculous.
‘Keep all the refrigerated, business related foods in a separate fridge’
Oh sure. Perhaps a complimentary, matching Smeg chest freezer too? Not a problem. I’ll just pop out and buy them, then put them on the mezzanine level in the room in between the heated pool and the gym, opposite the in-house cinema. Wankers.
‘Have adequate ‘waste disposal’’
That had better mean a bin….
‘Have good ventilation’
Will a window and extractor fan do? If not WHY NOT FUCKING SAY SO?!
‘If there are any windows, they may need to be fitted with fly screens to ensure that food is not contaminated’
I am not a fan of flies (who is?) and kill them on sight, but let’s face it, they have been around since the dawn of time and will probably be around long after the human race is dead and gone. Plus, unless they want to screen ALL my windows (in which case they can fuck right off) my kitchen window is so small that adding a fly screen would probably lead to us all asphyxiating to death. Anyway, the pollution from the London traffic usually kills them off before they get to my floor, plus any unfortunate insect that has been stupid enough to enter these premises gets hunted down, killed and eaten by my boys.
Which leads me very neatly onto…..
‘If you have pets they cannot be allowed in the kitchen’
Anyone who owns a cat knows that you could live in Buckingham Palace, but just try and keep them out of the smallest room in there?
That’s the very room they must inhabit and no other, and they will do anything in their power to breach it. It’s their nature you see…..
Plus I’m sorry but my place is tiny already so it’s not fair on them, and I tend to cook when they sleep (i.e. during the day after their breakfast), so whilst I’m more than willing to sluice the place down ceiling to floor with bleach, don a white forensic bodysuit and scan the floor for stray hairs with a magnifying glass and a pair of eyebrow tweezers before cooking, I cannot and will not banish them 24/7. What if I only get one order a week? Ludicrous.
Plus (sorry kid owners!) my cats have never made me sick, whereas I have occaisionally come home with raging food poisioning after staying with families avec children, mainly because some of them neglect to wash their hands after going to the loo.
In fact, I once witnessed one little darling (who left the loo door open for our delectation) wipe himself until he got bored, then pull his pants up over his grubby bum, and smear his shitty hands on the wall. The parents did not bat an eyelid*.
(* note, might I add, not all of my friends are this exhausted/neglectful/inattentive)
Arrggh! Had my cats been there they would have given him their best disdainful glare and stalked off to wash themselves, so, enough said….
Rachel Koo from ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’ runs a mini restaurant from her tiny flat, and I bet she doesn’t have the French ‘Gateaux Gendarmerie’ sniffing around her skirts in search for bacteria. Or if they did, they’d just be looking to smear it on a bit of pain et du beurre, and dip it in their moules mariniere.
That’s what I love about the French. They don’t let a bit of salmonella put them off a nice, ripe, unpasteurised brie or a portion of steak tartare. Yummy!
The other obstacle that I thought you had to is already have a company registered in order to get your kitchen tested, but it’s all a bit ambiguous so I’m hoping I can just give them a name, pay for and do my food hygiene course and hope for the best that it won’t be a total waste of money.
I’m starting to think that it would be a whole lot easier (and much more profitable) for me to sell drugs with the dodgy geezers outside the tube than try to sell my baked goods from home.
Maybe I could deal in hash cakes, thus satisfying two very viable markets? Plus the ‘munchies’ would pretty much guarantee immediate repeat business!
Hurray, I’m gonna be rich! 🙂
In the meantime, all that I can hope is that my little domicile will be proved worthy and that my cats stay under the bed for the duration of the inspection.
Wish me luck….