I’ve been thinking a lot lately about small business. I had a small online business that I ran for years and I’d like find a way to become self-employed. Since I’m up here living the dream in Little Bay Root, I’ve been thinking about small culinary endeavors, specifically food carts. The other night, inspiration struck as Mrs. Portmandia and I were eating our dinner in a rather unconventional manner.

My wife had made a cheesy macaroni casserole, not quite macaroni and cheese, but similar. As we dished it into our bowls, she grabbed a massive bag of tortilla chips that we had left over from our lackluster holiday festivities and we proceeded to eat our casserole as if it was some kind of cheese dip. There was liberal application of salsa as well. Struck by how surprisingly delicious this was, I realized that one could easily make macaroni and cheese nachos, or with a little imagination burritos or tacos.

I’ve already had some success with a macaroni and cheese chili that has received rave reviews from the missus. This weekend I am going to try a blue cheese and bacon macaroni and cheese dish inspired by my wife. A few conversations that I’ve had with co-workers have suggested that one could substitute macaroni and cheese into any dish that was garnished with cheese and many that contain it as an ingredient. Brilliant ideas are forming. I really want to figure out how to make a macaroni and cheese burger, maybe like some kind of cheese-tastic sloppy joe. Yum.

I’m not really worried about the logistics of running a food cart, as I feel that I am a long way off from actually doing anything about the idea. Even as an intellectual exercise, pieces are coming together for that possible future. It was suggested to me that I could rent a cart, thus severely reducing the initial capital investment. Maybe at some point I’ll start drafting a business plan, but for now I am far more intrigued with menu fantasies.

So I think that I will start exploring menu ideas. I’ve been wanting to cook a bit more anyway. Mrs. Portmandia would be pleased to let me take some of those duties from her and it is high time that I expanded my abilities beyond the bachelor necessities. So far my forays have been successful, but now I have a bit more purpose. How many ways can I combine macaroni and cheese with seemingly unrelated dishes? Certainly a worthy line of inquiry.

All this should lead to interesting crypto-hipster dinners. With any luck I can dovetail this into some of my other projects by inviting people over for dinner, inflicting my culinary mutants on them, and trying to make new friends in the process. Oh, and I’ll probably blog the whole process. I wouldn’t be much of a geek if I didn’t post it all into the void. Maybe all of this will pan out and someday I will be a successful restaurateur.