Cooking Class 7

I was late for class on Saturday. I was working on a paper and well, an idea “unhit” me right before I had to leave. I took out the paragraph and realized I was running about 20 minutes late. So I arrived in front of the building around 8:50am and I had to be in the class by 9am. I took the slow elevator up to the 5th floor and had 5 minutes to change and be up to the 14th floor. I also thought that my quiz was going to be in the second half of class, so I could study a little during lunch. When I got to the door, the door was closed. Not locked, just closed but we have glass doors so I could see inside and all was quiet. I got inside and there was a QUIZ going on. So I did not get to review.
The quiz was a minor hick up and I have already settled with my results. So onto the fun stuff!!
We began with our normal facts part. Then we did the following: pork rack, ham, lamb rack and leg of lamb (remember the story “Lamb to Slaughter.”), watched a pork loin demonstration–the whole thing- and then a rabbit. Those things are huge, except the rabbit.  The pork rack was the easiest. We cut from a rack. Then we had to “French” it. That is when the end bones are cleaned and so it looks like a pork lollipop. Then we did ham. There are two pieces that come off–Daisy Ham and another one I will remember after I shut down my computer. We had to take out a bone that was odd shaped. It took two people as it was time consuming and frustration sets in for these kinds of things. There was also constant flipping and moving to get the right angle to cut and to not cut away the meat. When we finally removed the bone, it was like climbing a mountain, when you throw your hands up, or the stereotypical scene of when the cannibals have a head or brain in their hand that they are offering up to the gods. 🙂 We were then supposed to chop up the meat into cubes for stew. Well that did not happen. We all ended up just putting in a big tub and then the tub disappeared. That took us to lunch. We got 40 minutes. It was 1pm.

My lackluster planning and feeling of, “I will figure it out later, I have some change on me,” led me to realize that I was famished by lunch time and I did not want to go outside for lunch. I guess I was kind of pooped, so extra energy to change would be bad. So I got my wallet and remembered the vending machines down our hallway. I could not remember if it was just soda or snacks. I took my chance. I had 2 bucks, so ended up getting some honey pretzels and a bag of baked lays bbq chips. I had some water, and so that and the “snacks” became my lunch. Healthy, wholesome goodness.

After lunch, we tackled more of the rack of animal. We did the rack of lamb. That cutting and then “Frenching” took a while. I wanted to move on and the Chef did as well. It was messy and all that. I had paper towels to take all the stuff off of my knife. I was working that. Then we did a leg of lamb. Okay so that was some work. The leg of lamb weighted about 8 lbs or so. There as a huge layer of fat and this bone inside. There were two bones and one had this interesting shape at the connecting point. I shimmied the knife in joints, up the knee and down the legs. I can say I spent about 45 minutes here. Chef showed up this in parts as he knew we would muck it up most definitely. I was to preserve the TOP ROUND. I even called the chef over each step of the way. At times my whole table thought we had butchered the meat. Even the “pro” in front of me, called him over and mentioned that she was absolutely stuck. I had to find the joint, cut inside it, and wiggle the bones out. Getting the bone out was another one of those moments with the ritualistic raising of the body part and the pumping of the fist. (like “Lets go Mets/Yankees/Saints”) The same was true. After that I was physically and mentally exhausted. Then we cleaned up and moved on to rabbit. That was not bad at all.

The rabbit arrived packaged fetus style. It had the hind legs tucked into the upper cavity of the body. That is a position you never want to see live. I had to block out the reality that I was playing with wabbit. I just did the cuts. (Legs, Fore legs, cut off the tail bone, cut the body into 3 parts, cut away from the upper portion containing the ribcage and cut away the flank, which is the side skin.) That is it for rabbit. Oh, actually, RABBIT FACT: Rabbit is considered poultry. Why? So they say, it has many of the same characteristics as Chicken, is raised like chicken and taste similar. The last part I am not too sure about.

Man what an animal filled day: your large run you down animals, to your small, run away from you kind.
Oh, we had dinner after. I will follow up with a restaurant review and then Sunday’s hectic class.

Enjoy life! Eat well.

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