Wednesday, May 31, 2006
"It tasted like dirt!"
That's the quote of the day by Chef 2 about my Espagnole sauce. She was right...it did taste like dirt, and I have no idea what the hell I did to make it taste that way. The one thing that I didn't do that Chef did during his demo was add in a little demiglace...surely Espagnole is not supposed to taste like dirt without it? It's kind of confusing to know whether or not we can step outside the box per se on the practical sheets he gave us. Murphy's Law says that the one time you do it like he demoed and not like the sheet says, that's the time you get counted off.
I did beg Chef 2 not to taste it, because I remembered how much she said she liked sauces in our 100 class. She said that her favorite days were when the Principles class had sauce demos, because she could just eat sauce with a spoon and not need anything else. She might think twice about tasting student sauces after my Espagnole.
There's probably a reason they call them the "mother sauces," because they sure were a "mother" to make.
One of our number was absent today, which always strikes fear in the collective class heart (well, except for Mr. Big Stuff, but more on him later). This was the 4th day of the final, and it seems nutso to quit now, so we were all fearing the worst for her. No one heard from her all day that I know of, and she seemed fine in Tuesday Dining Room Mismanagment class.
My knife cuts were crap, too. The sauces took way more time than I ever anticipated, and there's was not enough time to cook out the tomato sauce so its flavor would mellow. The Mother Hen and I were discussing this method of testing this morning, and to us, it makes more sense to test us at the time we observe the demo. Give us the written test and let us make sauces then. The same goes for soup, etc. Chef did a little of that, but it just seems that every single person is overwhelmed every day of the practical, and not a single one of us can finish in the allotted 3.5 hours.
One more day of this crap...one more day of this crap...
Because we were late finishing our cleanup, the Regional American Cooking class started, and it looked like they were having so much more fun than we ever did. They get to do presentations on various cuisines and then assign recipes to their fellow classmates and cook them. I cannot wait to take this class next quarter.
Mr. Big Stuff...almost forgot about him. We have this younger (to me, everyone is younger except for Dimmer Switch) guy who is working in the industry. He started in front of the house and has moved to a line cook position. This has swelled his head a bit, and he's really starting to piss the rest of the class off with his attitude and behavior. He's totally thrown that whole teamwork concept out the window and spends a fair amount of time in obvious brown nosing of all the chefs. Today was the straw that seemed to break most of the class' back. We have to get to class 40 minutes early (that's 6 freakin 30 a.m. for those of you who have been following this saga) so we can set up our stations and stage the common ingredients that everyone will be using, i.e., get the clarified butter out of the fridge and warm it, turn on the hot box we store food in, get the flour bin out, get eggs and milk, etc. Big Stuff got his personal station set up, brought out one tin of olive oil, and then proceeded to stand around and do nothing else while we all scurried about to get stuff on the table. He also made smart remarks to his table mate about the messiness of her station (like it's any of his business and his was none too neat itself), knocked my tomato sauce spoon onto the floor (didn't even slow down much less apologize), kept elbowing the Mother Hen while they were at the range...all in all, making a perfect asshat out of himself. Then, he bailed out on the dishes again...he's not washed pots and pans in weeks, and that's what really put him on the class radar. It is slightly amusing, because you really can see through most of the games he's playing with himself and others, so it would be easy to ratchet the stakes up a notch or two and put him in a playing level that he's never been on before and before he really has a chance to grasp that the rules have changed. (Snicker.) That old saying about "old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill" might just be tested...if I get enough energy saved up over the break. I tell you, I'm getting mean in my old age.
From the The More, The Merrier Department: I went to the doc today because I'm still having some sinus crap...he had given me some antibiotic last time that became know as the "Omnidroid Pills" (from The Incredibles), and while it worked a previous time, it fell flat or I've got something else. Anyway, long story short, he asks me about school and some extra details, because he has a friend who has a dream of being a personal chef and has applied to the Extremely Expensive Art College and was looking for a less expensive alternative. I told the doc that I would be willing to chat with his friend about the Fine Technical College options and gave him my email address. I told him that this was probably a bit irregular with the patient privacy thing, but I looked at as "misery loves company, and we sure could use some more company."
I promise to regroup after next's Tuesday final and kitchen scut work and stop being so whiney about class...aching feet make one uncharacteristically cranky (yes, I said "uncharacterstically," so you can ignore any snarky comments left by The Man).