Friday, April 06, 2007

TGIF of a very loooong week

Yikes!! It's been a thousand years since I've posted, and it really looks like, as The Man is fond of saying, "Season 2 of Poodlevania is just not nearly as fun as Season 1." Maybe it's time to jump the shark and bring in Cousin Oliver (obscure Brady Bunch reference) to liven things up. Or not.

I could use some livening up, that's for sure. I've been dealing with family issues for the last couple of weeks...or a family issues, since we're pretty small now. The Mother Who Never Cooked went off and had a mild heart attack the day after I left from dancing attendance on her a couple of weeks ago. The kicker is that she didn't tell me or have anyone call me for 4 days. Yes, that's right, 4 days. I just happened to call on the day she got home, after having called for 4 days straight with no answer and phoning her friends and leaving messages for them to have her call me, and she grudgingly tells me what happened. And, seems pissed off that I wasn't there, to boot. Bah! How can I be there if I don't know where to be? I'm so not psychic, especially when it comes to TMWNC. And, it's really a moral dilemma when you have this type of conversation with someone who is pushing your buttons for all they are worth, and you want to scream at them, but you know it would be bad form because hey, they just had a heart attack! (I'm going to get permanent dents on my head from holding it in my hands.)

The people at the new job have been really great and have been letting me "work from home," i.e., her house this week, while I run her to and fro from doctor offices. She was back in the hospital earlier this week, because they suspected a blood clot in her leg, but luckily that was a false alarm. And, she does get a point or two for leaving the following message on my voicemail: "I've got to go to the hospital, because they think I have a blood clot. Will call you when I get settled." That's a real day brightener, for sure.

And, after we go see the bajillion medical personnel we need to see, she still tries to self-diagnosis and WILL NOT ADMIT THAT DIABETES MIGHT BE THE ROOT OF ALL, yes ALL, her problems. When a discussion of your diabetes comes up during every visit with a medical professional, and they all tell you that diabetes is the "silent killer" (my new favorite phrase), and that most, if not all, of the symptoms you display can be related to diabetes, well, heck no, it can't ALL be diabetes, can it? Jeez! (Now, I'm really going to have dents in my head from banging it on the wall in frustration.)

Enough of head hurts from the banging.

Anyway, I spoke with The Chiclet earlier in the week about class, and she was full of stories. She's taking Cuisines I, which is the first of the really advanced classes. That class will probably be cooking for the dining room during service, so I really need to try and have lunch there one day.

They had a 3-day practical that was a real knuckle-biter. The first day, they got a cooking method (braising, sauteing, etc.) for the protein and then given a piece of protein and a vegetable. You could only use salt, pepper, and oil to cook with, and nothing else. Then, the next day, they basicall did the same thing with a different method, a protein, a few more spices/ingredients, and they all got onions as the vegetable. Head Chef, who's overseeing, but not necessarily teaching the class, said he did not, under any circumstances, want to see sauteed onions. I think that threw everyone for a loop, because they had no idea what to do with the onions unless they sauteed them. She said most everyone did a variation of some sort of sauteed onions and tried to pass it off as something else, which sort of sent Chef into a tizz. He ranted at her about why she didn't make a carmelized onion custard or something more creative. It really sounded a lot like one of the Top Chef challenges, and I probably would have turned blue and exploded from the pressure. According to the Chiclet, the practical was designed to make you cook by a method and not by a recipe, or something like that.

I must confess that I really like to use a recipe, at least for the first run at something new. And, I sort of treat recipes like I treat phone numbers these days, as in why memorize them if something (like my contact list in the phone or a cookbook) else will remember them for me. But, once I've cooked a recipe, then I feel free to improvise and embellish upon it. Maybe this makes me a good cook, maybe it makes me a mediocre cook, who knows. I understand the techniques involved, so those at least are ingrained in my brain, but I think I really would have stressed out over the class practical because I woudn't have been able to think of a recipe off the top of my head, and would have sauteed onions just like everyone else. What can I say? And, I surely would not have thought about a carmelized onion custard, because we all hated doing vegetable custards for the last 2 classes, and they never ever ever turned out properly. Ever.

Even with the onion debacle, the Chiclet did well on the practical, as did Mother Hen, which I was really proud of her for that. She had been having several crises of faith about continuing in the program, because she felt that no matter how hard she tried, she was somehow lacking in the instructors' eyes. Her hard work has paid off, which is fantastic for her.

Thanks for hanging in and checking to see if I've posted. I'll try and work on enlivening Season 2 a bit more and with more regular posting.


Linna said...

Poor baby. I'm glad your mother is doing better. It's always challenging when suddenly you are the parent and they become the child.

Lin said...

Lin wants more BLOG! :-)