The Tale of the TBD Musketeers

This tale starts with a bored lady (that would be me) …

Unlike what history books might tell you – and against all common sense – boredom is the fuel behind any human celebrated triumph or mourned disaster. As hilarious as this idea may sound – boredom runs the world !!!

The year was 2013, my kids finished their metamorphose from needy babies to much needier but self-occupying, self-minded, self-centered beings … Working as a freelance from home – loyal to my decision not to make work the center of my life … I got bored – so very bored.

My shelves bowed under the load of countless cookbooks packed with mouthwatering recipes, books I would open daily to read, but never used for cooking.

I was cooking meat balls, schnitzel and pasta over and over and over … kids food, efficient food …

It was time to act – turn the dream of actually cooking those restaurant dishes into reality.

Boredom and Passion – a match made in heaven !!!

All recipes in those cookbooks shared a few characteristics: lengthy list of rare ingredients, lengthy list of dish components, lengthy list of instruction for each component, lengthy list of pots and pans to be used, long preparation time …

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No wonder it took so long before I shouted Eureka …

I needed some extra hands (and an urgent pedicure as above picture discloses) – actually, many extra hands !!!

This was a classic social media “no worries” challenge …

Opened my Facebook and wrote my very first post :
“I would like to assemble a group of passionate cooks (real one – not virtual) .
Not every day cooking but rather cooking based on cookbooks published by the best world restaurants and chefs (who mentioned Thomas Keller ?) …
Cooking that involves an endless list of ingredients, multi layers, multi tasks, piles of dishes to wash.
I’m looking for people who want to join me – people that will rise to the challenge of sourcing weird ingredients like pea shoots … ”

I admit I did not see that one coming :

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Those damn pea shoots scared everyone to death … or was it the piles of dishes …

Plan B – head hunting …
I prepared a well-organized list of every friend/colleague that I though might be interested to join. Educated by my first recruiting experience – I set the entry level criteria as low as the dead sea level. Even a short cafeteria conversion mentioning an omelette was considered as a valid entry ticket.

Then I started sending personal messages to the listed subjects …

You would not believe the range of excuses people will use to avoid washing dishes !!! Kids were the shield armor of most … others used humility and some wanted to “first see what you guys cook” before they take such a life changing commitment …

Luckily enough – I did get four Yes !!!

And honest to god – it was like winning a lottery ticket !!!

My four Musketeers were the best team members I could have asked for. Over the time TBD was active – they proved to be great cooks, great wine drinkers – and most importantly – the very best company !!!

The next step of the project was handling our group’s PR  – there was no way we were going to work so hard without earning our friends admiration. What’s a cooking group without its fans ?

When opening our group’s Facebook page – I could not come up with any “catchy yet descriptive – short yet roles on your tongue – sophisticated yet self-explanatory – outsmart yet not annoying” name … so I did what every Hi-Tech warrior is trained to do … named it TBD.

TBD (to be defined) is our secret weapon – like a ninja sword it defeats any cross department dispute … sprinkle it like magic powder on your documents to save writing time … use it to bury tasks … use it to stop endless arguments … use it to avoid talking to people you dislike … use it to get into agreement with people you do like … use it to avoid the challenge of finding  free time in your colleges calendars … just USE IT !!!

TBDs have only one iron-rule – they remain TBDs from “cradle to the grave” – no TBD will be actually defined … NOT EVER

Identity challenged sections\bullets\tasks occupy a large part of any organizational documentation portal – silent witnesses for generations of well trained personal fighting their way through the mouse race.

So, TBD we are – till this very day !!!

eggclub

 

Challenged by our successful social media exposure – our spouses decided to create their own club – football and beer – featuring “Weihenstephaner Filled Eggs” as their signature dish.

 

 

Then we started cooking.

Dough started turning into Agnolotti …

Before each meetup we would go over our cookbooks (Ok – I admit – we focused on The French Laundry by Thomas Keller – and yes – I was responsible) – chose recipes for a full four course meal (canape – entry – main dish – dessert).
We broke up each recipe to its endless list of preparations – divided them between us to be prepared before the due date.

Meetups were hosted each time at another castle. We would cook the final stage of each dish together – set the table – serve – take countless photos – eat … and then get up to prepare the next dish.

My dream came true … Not only we managed to prepare those complex dishes – we actually managed to have a four-course meal of restaurant quality dishes.

Team work – never underestimate it !!!

We managed to transform those guys – into that … (swearing we will never ever do that again) …

Made canapes …

 

Main Dishes …

Sweet treats …

Food was great – wine was great – company was outstanding !!!

And then we stopped meeting …

It became hard to coordinate the dates … One Musketeer got relocated to a foreign country … Work pressure … Kids pressure …

Our WhatsApp group is still active – we keep sending photos of our latest masterpieces – and we keep trying to schedule and meet again.  We will – I’m sure of it !!!

Love you all TBD Musketeers – Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno !!!

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