Well after staying up till 1am trying to finish various readings, I jumped out of bed at 6:45am and caught the 7:33am. I was so college minded, I threw on a sweat suit from my high school. I at least covered it with a pea coat. 🙂
I arrived to the train station to find my class mate on the same train. So I kind of have an unofficial train buddy.
So since I did not have breakfast but rather a mish mosh of snacks in my bag, I bought an almond croissant. Yummy. I had part of it as class filled up and then at our mid morning break.
We had a visit from the career services peeps to start class. She was a little weird at first and was right up there with Suzy smiley. She wanted participation like a baby needs milk. After her 1.5 hour spiel we started with cutting. Cutting, after all, most of us are always shopping veggies. Yeah until you enter the Chef. So I cut onions, carrots and celery for something called mirepoix.
Mirepoix is a simple combination of onion, carrot and celery used in nearly every traditional French stew and many other dishes.
Boy did we make some. If you finished early you could make some extra carrots.
Next we peeled potatoes and went through a process to get medium diced potatoes. Easy right!! Well I got maybe 15 pieces out of two potatoes and some people got less. You cut and cut until you get an almost perfect square. I was a little disturbed today because it was not a “save” day. — The days of your unused pieces being usable pieces, for whatever. With all the hunger and problems in Haiti, I was like, did I just throw away 3/4 of a potato. (just my commentary) We used the carrots though. The chef collected them. We then spent about 30 minutes viewing, smelling and tasting herbs. I took a piece of all, put in my notebook and hoped to remember them all later by smell. Well after all the crap we ate later, that did not happen. I did however make a nice fridge hanging. I lined plastic with all the herbs and plastic sealed them–first class souvenir.
We broke for lunch. At lunch we (students) scrambled to look for information for our paper. After chatting with some other students in other classes, they could not believe that we had a writing assignment. Of course at this time the library does not check out books. You can only photocopy or do your work right there. Photocopy not working–have to wait till weekday staff can change the toner. (okay) It also closes at 6pm. Perfect for full timers and those that have class till 5pm. We get an hour on Saturday and Sunday.
We then cut potatoes, garlic, parsley and cilantro. That was a fun. You know when you see the chefs cutting with this wrist action that looks so cool, we were able to do that. We cut the leaves down to almost the stuff you buy in the jar.
All the while, people kept coming in and bringing the chef little treats, yeah, cinnamon buns, (what!!) something with a sauce and a burger. HELLO-as Brandy says, What about Us? After that I noticed some more pastries on the top shelf. So anyway, then we moved on to learning about cheese. At about 3pm we started to taste cheese. This would have been a lactose intolerant person’s nightmare. My favorites were: the Explorateur, a soft ripened cheese from Expernay Province in Champagne, France; Manchego Cheese, a semi hard ripened cheese (from sheep’s milk) from Spain, and of course the old favorite, a hard grating cheese, Parmaggiano de Reggio Emilia, from Reggio, Italy. Some of the others smelled of oldness and the outside rind was unbearable. (Rind–the covering on cheese which is sometimes edible) At this time, we were smelling something amazing next door. It was a nice warm smell, like the kind you have in a nice fireplace lit and warmed log cabin or G MAs house.
After all that cheese I craved a soda. Anything sweet and obscure was needed to take away the aftertaste. I scarfed down half a granola bar.
Personalities of the day: this Asia guy who kept saying that all of the cheeses could be rated against Mozzarella. He is also not a habitual note taker so far. The Chef also gets a shout out. He really likes cheese. I saw him down some cheese bombs–Mozzarella made from water buffalo milk. I was heaving as it was nice a wet. I am glad his stomach could handle it.
Next week, who knows what will come next.
Cheers and Enjoy life.