Its a romantic idea, isn't it? Being an innkeeper. Many people confide to us happy vegans here that they want to be innkeepers too. They ask us questions like "what's it like being an innkeeper," "did you always want to be an innkeeper," and so forth. No, I didn't always want to be an innkeeper. Somehow I tumbled into this life here, and my philosophy is I'm going to keep doing it until the next best thing comes along. So far, so good.
But, let's talk brass tacks for a minute, ok? The one thing I wish other innkeepers told me before I took the plunge (ok, its 3 things, see below)
1) Keep a first aid kit in the kitchen.
2) Be careful with knives (see #1)
3) Do not disengage any safety devices on any kitchen appliances (see #1). The safety devices are there for a reason.
It was a rough morning in the kitchen. I still have all my fingers attached, however the other happy vegan is lucky that he still does too. He has a bad habit of being in the kitchen when I'm working. I've asked him multiple times to be careful in the kitchen when I'm working. Sometimes I think he doesn't consider my morning cooking is actually work. He's a happy morning person, he wakes up whistling and such. I find that annoying. I've told you before, I am not a morning person. If I could be running a bed & dinner that would be more up my alley. He thinks he knows what I am going to do "next" in the kitchen. He wants to help. Yes, there's been multiple stories of this before. Remember how he "helped" by taking the orange juice out of the fridge and loosening the cap, when all I asked was for the container? Then how I shook the container and in slow motion half a gallon of orange juice ended up from ceiling to floor? Remember how he ramped up the blender speed up, unknown to me, and the lid wasn't affixed properly so when I hit the "on" button an entire Vitamix worth of Celestial Dream smoothies blew all the way into the living room?
Ah, being an innkeeper.
So, today he thought it would help me to turn the faucet on so I could wash fruit. I didn't ask him to do this, and I've reminded him too many times to count that he shouldn't anticipate what I want or need in the kitchen. To no avail.
I had a handful of chopped fruit in my hands, with a paring knife. I spun around from one counter towards the sink, went to reach for the handle to turn it on, exactly at the same time he reached for the same handle. Unfortunately, I had the paring knife in my hand pointed straight out.
Guess what happened next.
So, he went screaming from the room, cursing me and my *$@#% knives while I finished the last minute preparations for breakfast. Then we got into a fight.
Yes, I felt absolutely awful (and still do) for stabbing him pretty badly. But I also got mad because kitchen accidents happen. They happen to me all the time. I'm constantly injuring myself because I work quickly. I almost lost a digit once because I was stupid enough to not use the safety device on my mandoline. I absolutely NEVER misuse any appliance, ever, (anymore), nor do I ever undo safety devices. Back a while I used to work in a place where lawyers were known to be. Product liability law was interesting to me because of the stupid ways so many accidents happened. Why would anyone disengage the safety shield on a saw or whatever was beyond me. But, people did it. Over and over again people were their own worst enemies with equipment. Then I found myself here doing the same thing, albeit not on chainsaws. I don't do that anymore. Despite the fact that I work quickly, I never take shortcuts; anymore.
I also keep my knives very sharp. My first culinary arts teacher told me that dull blades are responsible for more injuries than sharp blades. I agree.
I actually paid money to take a short class about innkeeping a year or so before we began looking for an inn. I've also read a few books on innkeeping. I've owned other small businesses, and also worked for others. Yet, I never got the advice I'm giving to you today.
Next time someone tells me they want to be an innkeeper, all I'm going to say is "keep a first aid kit in the kitchen." My next best advice would be "keep one in the garage too."