Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Top 10 Most Interesting Things About Culinary School

#10- Ripping the arms off a lobster before putting it out of its misery isn't as fun as one might think. (No babies or lobsters were harmed in the writing of this blog entry.)

#9-  The French are even more annoying once you start to learn their language and the French codification of cuisine.

#8-  I've annihilated more potatoes and carrots than I care to admit.  We could feed the homeless in St. Paul for a month on the veggies we've wasted in class.  Sad, but true.

#7-  It is possible to get tired of mashed potatoes- after you save 25 pounds worth of fancy shaped cut spuds, you'll understand my tater-pain.

#6- I like veal and lamb, and feel a little guilty that I do.

#5-  I think turnips taste like toe jam.  No, I have never actually consumed toe jam, but I have in my mind an idea of what I think it would taste like, and turnips fit the bill.

#4- Cutting yourself while cooking at school doesn't hurt as bad as it does when you cut yourself while cooking at home.

#3- You are either a pudgy chef, or a skinny chef.  There doesn't seem to be a happy medium.

#2- Although I find the French immensely annoying, I do admire their love of cream and butter.  Long live yummy fats.

#1- I will never eat store-bought mayo again.  Homemade is the only way to go.  I mean look at that beautiful emulsified yumminess!

And, just a few more for posterity...

  • I never knew I was capable of making and memorizing SO MANY FLASHCARDS!
  • There may only be one way to skin a cat, but there are several ways to cut a carrot.
  • Fresh Salmon is simply amazing.  Forget grocery store fish people- seriously. 
  • I make hounds-tooth check pants sexy.  Just sayin'...
  • Getting up at 4:45 am isn't getting any easier, but I wake up excited to start each day and thankful for the blessing of being able to live my dream so I deal with it.
  • There are some cranky looking Chef Instructors at my school.  Not sure how anyone can be grumpy when surrounded by that much cream and butter.  I walk around with a Perm-a-Grin for crying out loud... couldn't smack that smile off my face. 
  • Never try to make lamb stew for the first time on memory from how your Chef Instructor made it in class.  invariably you will forget several steps and ingredients and the turnips will make your stew taste like dirty feet.  Again, I've never sucked on dirty feet, it's just that if you've ever eaten a turnip you'd understand.  And, if you like turnips, forgive me, but you need shock therapy cause somethin' ain't right with ya!  ;o)
  • Once you go through Sanitation classes, you will judge the movements and actions of every waiter, waitress, hostess and chef at every restaurant you go to, and you'll never want to eat at McDonald's again.
  • I suddenly leave the house with less and less makeup on every day, and I'm not bothered by it.  I know...if you had pearls on you'd clutch them, right? 
  • Whisking egg yolks and clarified butter builds muscles you didn't even know you had. 
  • Clarified butter.  Oh.My.Gosh! 
  • I get to carry knives around...legally.
  • I still hate tests. You would think after taking about 2-3 per week that I would start to enjoy them, but I don't. Despite knowing all the answers I usually forget that I do at least one question per test.  Yes, I'm that anal and want 100% on everything...sue me. :)

Well, that about sums up the past 6 weeks of classes.  It's been intense, insane, challenging, fun, exciting, fun, cool, sad (sorry Bob and Hermanetta the lobsters) and nothing short of amazing.

I can't wait to share more culinary school adventures with you guys.

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