October 19, 2006

Culinary School Updates...

I have not posted for a while on how school is going. That is, in part, because it is taking up any extra time I might have had to post before I started. LOL We reached the midway point in the semester last week. I have been doing well on my tests and moving right along through the labs. I am learning so much I am not sure I could put it all down here.

The last two weeks we have been working on frying and all its forms. We actually got into the kitchen last night and fried chicken, wings, vegetables and fries. We have had a demo in sauteing and one member of our team fabricated a chicken (cut it into 6 pieces) and then we set to work preparing and frying everything. We got to eat after class last night! YUMMO!!! One of the ladies in the class brought a Korean Squash from her garden at home and we used that for the temporah. It was amazing!!! She is bringing me some tonight to class for me to enjoy with my family. She has been a good friend this semester and I am hoping we have some more classes together after this semester. She is 60 years old and spent the last 30 years as a nurse. She is going back to school to find a new challenge. She is my hero!!! I hope I am as sharp as she is when I get to 60...

I have noticed that the way I cook at home has been changing this semester, too. I am trying new things. My Mom is visiting this week and when the family sat down to dinner last night I heard her ask Dan if I had any dressing for the salad in the refrigerator. He told her, and I quote..."She'll bring it in a minute." To which she asked, "What kind?" and he answered, "I don't know but it will be great!!!" I LOVE THAT!!!!!!!!!! It was an orange/pecan dressing, btw... ;)

I have also been working the dinners on Wednesday nights that the college puts on to raise money for our program. Chef has put in charge of the cold station two weeks in a row. We have been doing lots of beautiful plating and making some really great salads and cold soups as well as amuse-bouches (a one bite sized meal starter that comes before everything else). We have done some really nice cold entrees, too. I am really enjoying the cold station. I am a bit afraid of the hot station because it is pretty intense in that kitchen area. Maybe I will get some more confidence built before having to serve there. I also like working the food instead of serving the customers. Those of you who know me know that I am a behind the scenes girl. :) I can schmooze when I need to but do NOT prefer it.

I also had a chance last night to register online for my classes for next semester. I was going to take American Regional Cuisine but the time it was offered was a bit of a pinch so I went ahead and signed up for International Cuisine and the Garde Manger class. For those of you who do not know what Garde Manger is - it is the presentation class. We will be learning all about plating and presenting food as well as some sugar works and ice sculpture techniques. It will be quite fun, I do believe. I also wanted to take baking but the time it was offered was tough, too. I will have to wait to take it in the fall of 2007 when I start the pastry program coursework. I am really looking forward to starting that. That is TOTALLY my thing!!!

This weekend, I will be working on my kitchen design project for my Safety and Sanitation Class and start building my Standard Operating Procedure as well as a HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). I am using a Visio program and it is REALLY COOL!!! It lets you draw out your kitchen design to scale just like an architect would on a plan. If I can figure out how to share that with you guys I will try to put that up at the end of the semester.

There is not much else happening with school. I have a few chapters to read this weekend, too, and that is about it. I will have a test next week sometime in my Safety and Sanitation class but it won't be a midterm. He opted to just test us over the last three chapters we are working on. We will only have two chapters left once the test is done and then we present projects and work toward the final exam. I cannot believe how quickly this semester is flying by!

Well, thanks for reading and I will post some recipes for you on Friday or over the weekend when I can. Have a great day!!! :)

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