I am looking to do maybe 30 hours a week as a P.C. if this takes off. I have been seriously researching this career for 3 years. I have read 3-4 books on how to be a Personal Chef (I know I study too much) and now I have 2 potential clients who I asked to test my meals for one week first free of charge and then to provide me with an evaluation and let me know if they want the service. We have already discussed what it will cost. They are both pastors and that is the area I want to concentrate on first as I am familiar with working with them from a previous career job and I know they need help in the cooking area and are very busy! One asked me already if I would also consider doing a small dinner party next month. So, I am preparing 4 sample menus for him to pick one. It is only a few priests so it will be perfect to start and I will cook at his rectory kitchen.
I want this trial period to see if I can cook 20 meals in one day (it would ideally be 5 meals for 4 pastors), how long it will take to shop first and cook and package and how much it will cost-- are my calculations in the ballpark? And furthermore, to see if I like it and/or can bear it. I have no idea if it will turn out to be too hectic for me or not. At this point I do not have quick knife skills and many other things needed I guess. But I might be better at this than I realize, who knows.
It took me so long to start this as up until a few months ago I was managing my husband's business for 10 years. Now that I am not any longer, I am free to start something else. I have enough experience about the business side of things, so I not worried about how to keep track of costs, do bookkeeping on software, deal with accountants, quarterly taxes, what an LLC vs. sole proprietorship, etc. Instead, I am worried about how to cook well and yet freeze it without freezer burn and then hope it heats up correctly or how to use a pressure cooker if this is necessary!
I realize I am limited in speed and experience but as far as home practice and study I have put in a lot of hours. Regarding your question on sauce thickners, I will take a stab at it, promising I have looked nothing up!
I would say the following thicken sauces from my experience and reading: flour, corn starch, arrowroot and full fat cream. I know that half and half does not work, milk also not great and sour cream curdles. When I make home made creame fraiche this also does a good job. Not sure what the 5th answer could be or if any of these are what you are looking for. If I make a fool out of myself, oh well...!
Looking forward to your responses!