August 5, 2010
Yesterday was my final in basic kitchen skills and knife skills. Easy peasy stuff, even if the fresh tarragon really threw most of my class for a loop. I scored well, and I believe I’m in the top three of the class on that work so far. I’m hoping I can keep it up through the harder classes which really separate the wheat from the chaff around here. A friend and I stayed late after class to see what the Garden Club was all about since they were prepping for a fundraiser breakfast. We didn’t do much, and much to my dismay I found myself having an argument with an upperclassman about whether her carving knife was serrated. It’s not, it’s got a granton edge. She didn’t believe me and swore it was serrated and continuted to butcher some quick breads for the breakfast service. We didn’t end up serving those pumpkin breads at all. (As a total aside, after this I made a trip to my favorite restuarant supply, told them what happened and had a good giggle while I ordered a Forschner offset serrated bread knife to add to my kit. It appears I’ll need it.)
Today was the beginning of all kitchen, all the time. read more »
July 30, 2010
After a morning subjected to the wonders that is Culinary Math (I’m horrible in all things mathmatical and always have been), we were finally allowed to enter the “Temple”, also known as Skills Kitchen 1 and try out those shiny new Mercer knives. I’m firmly convinced someone is going to get hurt in there with the bunch I have in class, and I’ve taken to working on the tables furthest away from everything else simply because I won’t have bulls running through the china shop behind me while carrying extremely sharp cutlery. read more »
July 27, 2010
I’ve been cozing up with Michael Ruhlman’s The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America, and while I’m endlessly engrossed in it, I find work and school such a grueling combo that I often don’t get much read before starting to drift off. I also have a biography of Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame that I’m really interested to read. She is the mother of the cuisine style I hold closest to my heart – fresh, locally grown and true love and respect for food.
I am, thank God, finally nearing the end of my first class – ServSafe (Food Safety and Sanitation). We take the final tomorrow, and I am beyond ready for it. Food safety is important, by far, but most of this is old hat to me as I took the class and test for my food handler’s card through the county before starting school. This is identical except it also addresses the management side which is honestly a lot of common sense items.
The most dismaying part of going through food safety is that two of my classmates and I got sick eating that student catered buffet read more »
July 23, 2010
I learned today that it seems my highest level upperclassmen cannot cook. This is rather dismaying to me as they’ve been in school since January and still can’t tell crunchy pasta is under cooked. Today was buffet day in our brand spanking new student-run restaurant, and most of my scraggly class of newbie white scarves decided to see what it was all about.
I found out that I have entered culinary school leaps, bounds and a universe away from most of my peers.
read more »
July 23, 2010
I’ve been in such a rush the past few days it’s been hard to find a few moments to write. Culinary school is in session, and in full swing now. We’ve gotten our whites and checks, been through our first neck kerchief ceremony, been issued the first two of many textbooks, and been through a few days of class.
I’m not sure about my classmates. There are quite a few – the majority, in fact – who idolize Paula Deen. I don’t have anything against the woman for sure, it just seems like they will need to learn to love to step the game up a bit more in my mind. Most are younger than me, which I did find a little surprising. Then again, the older students are probably the ones taking advantage of the night class program.
We are a rowdy bunch – and I think reading “Kitchen Confidential” helped prepare me for this reality. read more »
July 16, 2010
Things are about to change, o’ Internet.
Monday I start school at last. Monday I’ll be handed a stack of books, knives, and a set of chef whites and be thrown into the chaos.
Honestly? I’m terrified.
My first day of class will occur on the tail end of a twelve-hour shift at work, immediately followed by another six hour-shift at work. Caffeine and adrenaline will be the name of the game. But this crazy schedule is my sacrifice to follow my dreams while keeping a roof over my family’s heads. Will I crash and burn? Who knows. The unknown is vast right now, and if I told you it didn’t scare me I would be lying. I’ve spent my life slotting everything in perfect little boxes of a predictable nature – and this is going to throw it all off. Mondays and Fridays clash with my work schedule, so I’ll have very little sleep both days. It’s going to hurt. It’s what I have to do, however.
So here we go….time to hang on for the ride!
June 22, 2010
I’ve been bad. Life simply got in the way (and rather quickly at that) of me posting regularly on here. I had to push back my entrance into culinary school until the end of July, which while it was a dissapointment, it was done to preserve my sanity while training at work.
I’ve spent the day finding new incredible food blogs to follow, and I thought I might mention a few of what I found. For those that don’t know me, I grew up in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. I was surrounded by lots of diverse culture, and most of it was generally asian – high percentage Chinese and Vietnamese. I am actually 25% Japanese myself, so I’ve always had a fundamental love for asian foods and flavors. I have fond memories of working for a friend of my mother’s, a lovely Chinese lady who always brought by some char sui bao (a Chinese bbq pork filled steamed bun) and other dim sum treats when she dropped off the paperwork I would sort and stuff into envelopes. My mother, sadly, was adopted as a toddler, so she didn’t have many authentic Japanese recipes as I would have hoped for, but the cuisine around us tended to fill in the blanks for me as a child. These days living in Oklahoma (where exotic seems to be a description for stopping into a local tortilleria at best), I have really found I miss authentic asian cuisine. read more »
May 1, 2010
I promise I’ve been cooking, I’ve just been a little lax on photographs and posting lately!
I was turned onto this recipe from a friend in Arkansas as we both mused over what to do with a sack of Morningstar Farms crumbles. Unfortunately, Morningstar Farms products are my one cave to highly processed foods, and even worse Kelloggs refuses to say if they use GMO soybeans or not. We don’t eat them often, but they do still play a part in my family’s diet.
These sloppy joes were fabulous! In fact, I am not much of a Manwich fan, but these I could not get enough of! read more »
April 26, 2010
Some nights you just get a little lazy. This was my night to be lazy.
I love pizza, I really don’t know many who don’t. The thing about pizza is that it can take on so many crazy forms with very little effort! It’s also a great vehicle to get picky eaters to partake of vegetables without even really knowing it. I make my own white-wheat crust for my pizzas using the recipe off the back of the Hodgson Mills brand flour. It works every time without fail, and produces a lovely light crust. Even simpler? I throw everything in my $15 Craigslist sourced bread machine on the dough cycle. No excuses for buying crust! I originally had planned on adding spinach to this pie, but my well meaning husband came back with a mystery plant from the grocery store on the way home from work, so I had to drop it from the ingredients!
This pizza is absolutely supurb right out of the fridge the next day, so it makes a great weekday lunch item. read more »
April 25, 2010
So I had great plans when I started this recipe. I took a trip to the local grocer with a list in hand for the original Jamie Oliver creation of “Parmesan chicken breasts with crispy posh ham” only to find my budget precluded the purchasing of prosciutto and fresh parmesan while still allowing for the extra cost of humanely raised chicken. (I use Smart Chicken when I can’t get to the farmer’s market and buy locally.) Not to be dissuaded, I made some on the fly adjustments that seemed to turn out quite well. read more »