Saturday, July 26, 2008


Two finals Friday - Sanitation and Culinary Skills I.
Here's the thing: I have never been good at studying. oh, I know exactly how I should set up the environment, and different techniques because of my training, but I am not very good at applying them to myself. I'm just not very motivated to study. Kind of ever.
Anyway. Sanitation was 90 questions for state certification. There were some things that had probably been in the book, that I never bothered to read past the first day... But I felt like I knew most of what was on the test.
Culinary - 36 questions. T/F, Fill-in-the-blank, Short answer, and slightly longer answer. Ha. There were so many things I had no idea. Luckily, one of the students had taken the test earlier in the day and was kind enough to share that we had to know the different parts of an egg - or I wouldn't have gotten any of those points. I guessed on some things, and found out later they were right. I might have managed to pull off a B. That's fine with me - Tennessee said it was only worth 5% of the grade.

Then the practical: 2 French omelets, 1 over easy, 1 poached, and fettucine.
Look, I did it! I actually managed to correctly make the egg dishes!! Yay me! Doesn't it look pretty?

My second, when I flipped it, all the uncooked center fell onto the tabletop, which was a lot easier for me to clean than getting it off the plate before I presented it to Chef K...

I forgot to take photos of the other eggs. My over easy was good, but it took two tries - the first yolk cracked badly when I flipped it, so I tried again. Similar thing happened, but not as bad, but time was up. I asked Chef why it happened, and he says I flipped the egg too high. I think I do that because I'm afraid the egg will miss my pan and drop on the stove.

My first poached egg - wow, that was really weird. My water turned a very strange dark grey! Chef couldn't explain it, but I told him I thought it was a bad egg and asked for two extra minutes. I got marked down on the second one because I didn't cut off the strings, but I was out of time. Oh well. I'm glad I learned how to make this - it's really good on an English muffin and pretty easy. I don't care if mine at home have the stringiness...

It must have been a slightly off night for me in terms of completion, because my fettucine erred at the last minute too. My dough was perfectly rolled out, but when I went to cut it into fettucine, because I did it by myself instead of getting help like I done for about four others, it stretched in the machine and got too thin. So ten minutes before it was due, I had to put it back through the machine from the beginning. Which I probably rushed through, and apparently should have gone to level 7 instead of stopping at 6, because Chef said the error was that it was too thick. One more run through would have fixed that.

A group of us went out to a drag show after class - it was really fun! Although there was a really mean one who harassed me because I was sitting in the front row and didn't tip him/her. Wrong move, buddy - as a psychologist, I cannot reinforce negative behavior that way! But I was told that she's been doing this for 40 years, and that's just how she is - she chooses one customer each show to treat that way. More hilariously, Nemo was loved by the singers! He was sung directly to, asked what his name was, and told how cute he was... can't say any of us disagree, he is a cutie, and since he's so laidback, he handled it really well. And Irish is so generous - she covered the required first two rounds for everyone!

Lessons learned:
Sometimes, quitting for a time period is the best option - I think the break on egg day helped. Because, look, once I was calm, I was able to cook properly!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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