Whirlwind is the perfect word to describe the past few weeks. School started, my job ended, and I had family in town. A wonderful whirlwind it's been!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to culinary school!! I am having a ball in the kitchen and learning new techniques, history, and the science of cooking. Each chapter I read (it's about 4 so far in each book - so about 8) I find something fascinating or find myself saying, "Oh, that's why!"
Last week was our first week cooking -- besides the play dough we made the first week of school. Yes, I made mine orange and it was to practice our knife cuts. I am a little ahead of the game since I learned some knife skills at the restaurant, but I tell you the larger the dice the harder it is for me. I guess I am into the small detailed work. We also practice on potatoes and carrots. Carrots are difficult to cut (people cut themselves on carrots quite a bit), but since I cut about 4 lbs of carrots into brunoise over the summer -- I am pretty much used to it.
Sandwiches are the first project we worked on because they may use many pieces of kitchen equipment such as the grill, stovetop, oven, mandoline, deepfryer, etc. My team made a Pan Bagnet sandwich that contained tunafish with capers and green onions -- topped with thinly sliced tomatoes, red onions, and roasted red and green pepper. It turned out really good -- which surprised me since I am not really a tuna fan right now. The next day my team made french fries -- they were super yummy!! Nothing like fresh french fries in fresh oil! Mmmmm...
In my Pro Cook class we have to have our meal prepped and ready to go for "family meal". Yes, we get to eat our classwork. :) Our teams talk about what we made and then enjoy! Cleanup time is next -- we all participate in this and my class is really good about keeping up with the work.
Baking is similar style -- we have to have our items baked off and ready to go for roundtable. Then we get a bag we can fill with baked goods to take home. Yes, BF is very excited about this part! Last week my teammate and I made Spicy Banana Bread, Morning Glory Muffins (with carrots, apples, raisins, pecans), and southwest Corn Muffins (with cheddar cheese and red peppers). Other groups made gingerbread, poppy seed bread, sour cream muffins, blueberry muffins, cheddar bacon muffins, and streusel topped muffins. All this in about 2 hours!!
I have 3 tests this week already and I am nervous! I know I will do ok, but I am not sure how the test styles are going to be. Once I get through the first one I should be good to go.
I will fill you in on more adventures later, but until then -- bon appetit!