Ginger Garlic

Google “lemon ginger oatmeal” and I’m pretty sure there’s enough proof that this flavor a) exists, and b) is liked and accepted.

I was told on Monday that in trying to make lemon-ginger-flavored oatmeal, that a) ginger in oatmeal doesn’t work, and that b) I had completely bombed the exercise.

Google says the real world disagrees. And my taste buds protest.

Google also disagrees with all my extremely unsupportive classmates who basically told me that I should stop being Asian for the class in question.

And Jason agrees with Google.

Which is closer to the actual point of this post, but I have to set the stage a bit. Aside from being told that ginger doesn’t work in oatmeal, I was also assured that my reputation could very easily be completely ruined by getting on the wrong side of certain individuals, and finally – and this was really the last straw – I was reprimanded for cleaning up after others. Two half sheet trays and a roasting pan had been left on the drying racks in 010, and I put them away. They belonged in places in the kitchen that I otherwise would not need to go for class purposes, and because the roasting pans caused some slight noise, my motives for being in the back area were called out and questioned. “I was just putting some stuff away that was left on the drying racks.” “No, we don’t do that,” I was told in a highly incredulous and extremely disapproving tone. “Leave that stuff alone, don’t go cleaning up other people’s messes.” “Sorry,” I couldn’t help retorting, “Old habits die hard.”

Grumpy Ais vented to Mum, and fully intended to vent to Jason at work the next day.

As it was, Ais had cooled down considerably by the time it was time for work, and resolved to not burden Jason with her grumpiness.

The resolution was unnecessary; Jason’s first other-than-work-related question was, “So how much longer do you have to deal with ——-?” Well, then it all came out.

It seemed fitting that the next thing Jason taught me to do immediately following this conversation was to make ginger/garlic paste, and involved five pounds of ginger.

Anyway, backtracking a bit, last Thursday was trial by fire – literally, courtesy of the tandoor. I walked in at ten to 11 and was greeted with, “Oh, you’re early.” Chef thought I wasn’t coming in until noon. I offered to come back, but what ended up happening was that I was told to make myself at home, familiarize myself with how the storage areas had changed, and given a couple of things to do while waiting for Jason to come in. Chef told me he was going to be in and out running errands; he went and locked the front door again saying that Jason had a key, and I didn’t actually see him again until nearly two hours later.

Just as I predicted, the first work-related thing that Jason asked when he came in at 12 was if I’d set up sanitizer buckets.

He then proceeded to make chai tea for us to enjoy during prep. I was wondering aloud what he was up to with galangal and a french press… It just seemed at first glance to be such an inexplicable combination…

Service was strange and comfortable all at once, the strange being Lauren and Matt where I was once used to seeing Jared and Rob respectively, and the comfortable being Jason training/tag-teaming me on garde and the tandoor while working middle. Chef called tickets, was in and out of the kitchen occasionally when things were a little slower, and joined us on the line as needed throughout the night. I vaguely remember Chef mentioning at around 8pm that we had done 50 or 60 covers so far.

Lauren’s incredible. After hearing her name so much and hearing this and that about her here and there at Daveed’s, it was great to have a chance to work with her for that one night. As Jason so simply and aptly put it, “She’s cool.”

Fast-forward again to Tuesday, Jason was prepping over at saute and I was washing dishes, and I accidentally said, “Yes, Jared,” instead of, “Yes, Jason.” I don’t think he was too put out by it… I did apologize profusely, but that’s nothing new.

Chef and Jason bicker like Jason and Rob used to, only the entertainment level of it has grown exponentially, for a few different reasons: There’s that much more of it going on, Jason has that much more to say, and most importantly, as far as I can tell, Chef never actually gets on Jason’s nerves and vice versa, thus making concealment of my amusement completely unnecessary. They’re friends, as, I believe we have determined, it was never really possible to be with Rob.

The bickering and backtalk is infectious. That’s probably a really bad thing, but c’mon, we’ve got to be healthier on some level considering all the laughter which results. “Hey, Ais, do you like onions?” “… No, but I bet you want me to like them, don’t you?” Jason and Matt and I were all downstairs, Matt was making naan dough, and we were all tearing up over the fifty pounds of onions that Jason and I were peeling and quartering for onion gravy. “So basically you brought me down here to suffer with you.” “That’s right. Somebody has to.” “Yeah. Thanks.” At least he didn’t give me too much flak for having to get me a milk crate to stand on so that I could actually see into the humungous industrial blender that we were making ginger garlic and tulsi marinade in. Jason’s now the tallest in the kitchen – crazy, I know – and Matt has to stand on a milk crate while working the naan dough.

I love it.

I also love that we apparently use wok spoons as measuring devices. Total win.

Posts on Daveed’s got A Whole New World, and the Garden Cafe got Summer Skin as their respective category labels. For this newest culinary endeavor, I’ve decided to go with Ginger Garlic =)


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