my first week of culinary school.
I started! School has begun; and what is that? Homework you say? And then some. I conveniently forgot that I would be assigned piles of reading. The good news? It is all about cooking, so I love every word. Just a shift from my usual perusal of cookbooks, cook magazines and food blogs to instructor given, culinary driven textbooks. The first week was an eye opener, the usual overviews of 'what you are going to learn, what you are going to do.' You know, where you jump into class bright eyed and bushy tailed, only to crawl in to bed later, dog tired. But it was a good tired.
The photo above is a biscuit: my first recipe and kitchen experiment at culinary school.
I am tickled to pieces because I am more in my element with cooking, than I am with baking (and lets be frank, more the home cooking than the restaurant cooking where for all practical purposes at this point I would end up in a heap on the floor, buried in flying pans and fancy sauces: boy, do I have a lot to learn!). So I am particularly excited to learn all I can in my Intro to Baking and Pastry class.
Later this week, we will be making muffins and zucchini bread and I believe, rolls of some sort. My favorite part is hearing about the chemistry involved with baking. How you can take flour and sugar and butter and treat them in so many different ways to land on different results. With biscuits you barely, barely mix it and the butter stays in chunks: corn kernel size at a minimum. Just so you know; and that makes two of us.
I could go on. My other class is Culinary Concepts and Theories. Which means, we are learning about the history of cooking, the chefs who brought it to be, the brilliant minds topped with tall, white, pleated hats. So if you hear Boulanger (credited with the first restaurant in France, 1765) Marie-Antoin Careme (sheer brilliance 1783-1833), Escoffier (Grandfather of Cooking), or Alice Waters (American Culinary Revolution 1970's and 80's), you will know they are world-renowned chefs. There are of course, many more.
Oh, and since I learned microwaves are ONLY to be used for heating butter (tsk, tsk), I just reheated last night's steak, onions and black beans over the stove... with a cracked egg on top... and greens under. It was yummy.
And here is a fun tidbit: the height of a chef's hat denotes their skill and experience, their hierarchical role in the formal kitchen. Which means, my white chef hat looks more like a beret: a floppy little topper with just enough material to get the job done. I am so the peon... I figure when I am at home I should wear a hat so tall I have to duck to walk through doorways, and if I really stretch high, it brushes the ceiling. That should offset the flimsy with a bit of fanfare, don't you think?