Day 6 & 7


Or, it was, anyway. Sam’s now the newer-than-me-new-person, he’s a year into MCI and I walked into his 3603 class every week for lunch, that was wayyy back when Kuya Miguel was still around. At any rate, Sam had the apron and the hat and the tour, and I, having had none of those things up until yesterday, protested. Jared admitted to the conspiracy. “Let’s not give her the apron or the hat or the tour, we’ll make her really mad at us and see if she can take it.” Fun.

Actually, the only thing I really wanted was the hat. I prefer black all around – though I admit, I occasionally envy the length of their aprons – and I like to discover things; a tour would have dispelled the otherwise-terribly-captivating sense of mystery which I am still enjoying. Well, yesterday, I got the hat, and therefore, I am quite satisfied. The question was whether “all [my] hair” would fit under the cap. FLASHBACK. My first day at MCI, Chef Neace (whom I had not officially met yet at that point) yelled from the other end of the hall, asking whether “all that hair” fit under my hat. Extremely intimidating. (And of course, he doesn’t remember it.) So this hair under the new hat thing… very amusing. Especially since there’s 13+ inches less hair to be trying to keep up this time around.

I made it onto the fourth floor two days ago. THAT was a blast. I walked in, dropped my stuff, and yelled to Ricky Bobby that I was going upstairs before I clocked in. (Oh, yes. I have a clock-in number. I forgot to blog that.) Dude man! best part of my day =) Actually, I was the tiniest bit apprehensive, because I could hear things upstairs and I wondered if anyone was up there, but the Narnia door (as I’ve dubbed it) was closed and it was dark, sooo… When I did figure out what it was, I was slightly relieved. There’s one of those weatherproof blue sheet thingies up there, right over the door that would have otherwise allowed me to step out onto the roof, and despite the heat, there was enough of a wind blowing to make that thing flap around and make loud flapping and rustling noises. It’s not a finished room, either; rough, particle boards jutting out from the walls and greatly restricting walking space, which was covered by wood chips and I’m guessing sawdust? It’s nice and homey, and I’d love to be up there in the fall, just for an occasional breather or something, you know?

I had a choice as to whether I wanted to work pastry or garde on Friday, and I chose pastry, but then they let me go at 6! Short day. It was a strange feeling… I was happy to have a night off, I guess, but there was something about being worked up and ready for a long night… and then not having to face it… that was just completely out of rhythm, is the best way that I can think to put it. Oh well.

I’m pickling watermelon next week! I was supposed to start it yesterday, but Jared looked up the recipe on his phone and found that it was supposed to be a two-day process, so it has been postponed until Wednesday. I’m excited =) I’ve never pickled watermelon before, and the only reason I know that it’s done is because I read the Little House on the Prairie series! Hahahaha. Yes, that is the extent of my exposure to pickled watermelon.

The other week, when I was upstairs working with Chief, he had me taste some of the wine. I didn’t care for the Cab Sauv, and I told him so and found that he didn’t care for it much, either. The Sauv Blanc was ok, but I’ve had better. And then there was the eau de vie… peach, raspberry, and blueberry. The peach was my favorite. Raspberry close behind, but I think if you don’t eat blueberries regularly, you’d really have to think about the blueberry being blueberry. Delicious, and that’s putting it mildly.

Oh, yeah, I’m called “Ais Ais baby.” Regularly. By both Chief and Jared. As in, they introduce me to people as Ais Ais baby, and I will be at my station and hear, “Hey, Ais Ais baby? Can you [do-so-and-so] for me?” from the other side of the window. I’m getting pretty good at rolling my eyes too fast for people to catch… *strikes a pose*

I drove around for fifteen minutes looking for parking on Thursday night, and finally defaulted to the public parking garage. I was told off for that. That is, I went to Matt to ask for change for a $20 because it was all I had on me and I needed smaller bills to get the token, blah blah blah. Doug was there and asked why one earth I’d parked in the garage. I explained and he asked incredulously if I’d gone up so-and-so a street as, apparently, there’s always parking there, and I said it was a bit far to be walking in the dark by myself, blah blah blah, and he said I should have one of the guys walk me out. I said it was ok and it was an inconvenience but I’d only done it (paid for parking) this once. “Yeah, well, don’t do it again.” Nice to know Doug thinks I work with gentlemen. Hey, that’s sarcasm. I assume everyone’s a gentleman until they prove me wrong, or flat-out deny being so even though their actions suggest otherwise. Yep, it happens. Why you wouldn’t want to be thought a gentleman when I think you’re a perfectly nice person already is beyond me…

Jared and Ricky Bobby made gnocchi yesterday! and used the gnocchi board. I guess it’s that part that actually deserves the exclamation point. The point is… !!! they used the board, and now I completely understand. It’s a tedious process, but it’s the sort of mindless repetition – much like washing dishes – that I could see myself doing and having enough presence of mind to sing meanwhile to pass the time. If I ever get the chance and all that. I still haven’t seen the orange only-for-certain-eggs saucepan used yet, though. It’s on my radar.

“In the hole” confused me terribly when I was on garde/pastry the other night. In this kitchen, everything goes on one ticket, and it’s called out all at once. If it’s “in the hole,” it means it’s the next course, and I just need to have it on my radar, maybe set up bowls and some components for it, but otherwise not start it until I’m told to “pick it up.” At the Summit, hot, cold side, and pastry all had separate ticketing stations, and it was up to the servers to punch in each course as it was needed, with great attention to timing. There are pros and cons to both systems, I don’t particularly mind or like one over the other. I just take it as it comes and enjoy. I like learning this new lingo and learning to work with it.

Dude man! I am getting pretty darn good at quenelle-ing things, if I do say so myself. Yesterday, instead of butters, we had the cannelini bean/olive tapenade spread, which I quenelled [with two spoons] and drizzled with oil and balsamic. We had plain butter whipped and quenelled [with one spoon] as backup in case anyone asked for it, but only one table did.

Jason ran me through making the truffle pear puree for the cheese plate. The pears foam in the oven. It’s like they’re some sort of rabid creatures… Lol. It’s nice working with someone in the Culinology program. We talk about it fairly often.

Mother passed on this article the other day. This would be an extreme case, I think. There’s varying degrees, of course, depending on where you are, and on your own personality. But I share because of its prompting my reflections, my wonderings as to how many of the people I’ve met since I began on this path would say the exact same things. I don’t foresee any possibility of my being pulled quite that far into it all, just based on the fact that for the next three years, school will of course be first priority at all times. It helps that asking for Sundays off wasn’t an issue at all because we’re not open Sundays in the first place.

End week 2, and it’s still so surreal.


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