Wednesday, January 27, 2010

chop, slice, score

Let me give you a quick story about filling out your cooking school knife/junk kit. You need a really good skimmer; you do loads of clarified butter and if you don't have a good skimmer you might as well go sit in the corner. You need a tourne knife because doing tourne potatoes is a skill that needs not only practice but good equipment. What else? Right, a good lemon reamer - I have a juicer at home but I'm not carrying that thing back and forth to class. I also picked up a French-built baller for doing Parisienne potatoes. The Parisienne cut is essentially doing a melon baller move; but, with raw potatoes they are an absolute bitch; my teammate and I sorted out angles, edge of table leverage, and cussing as we did our practice last week. Seemed to me that even though the angles will never change, a good, sharp baller would be solid gold. Oh, and I had to buy a new whisk since mine somehow disappeared last week. Along those lines, what I learned right quick from a guy on my team who works at a place in D.C. is this: tape your kit. Especially since we have 17 of us in the same kitchen with the same kit it's essential to be able to see and ID your stuff from distance. He'd white-taped his gear and I've now white-and-red taped my stuff - no issues from now on.

I have to take a second to throw in an Onion piece that is so very true. Here, go off and take a read. My favorite place when I was living out in Nevada was stocked with the coolest coffeemakers anywhere. The owner in Fallon always hired the most interesting crew and there was definitely one that fit the mold of "guys showing up to see her" barrista. (Actually, there were three or four over the years but one certainly stood out.) It's pretty funny to read this and not wonder at all about what the staff meeting was like when they came up with this idea. In fact, I never even knew her name. Is that misogynistic?

L. did her first day of school today and everything seems to have gone quite well. She reports that she's got only 8-10 kids in each class, her teachers are cool, and school isn't so bad - I can't ask for much more than that. After dropping her off, I wondered just how it is that I've been so lucky in life...that comes up often of late.

The funniest part of the day occurred while she was being "shadowed" by another student who came upon H. and stopped to introduce the two of them. H. immediately let her know that he already know, and in fact lived with, L. and had known her since they were four. I think the shadow thought it all a bit strange.

The Caps have won 8 straight (longest streak in a quarter century; and won 10 of 11) and look nearly invincible right now. Obviously, the playoffs are what count but they are gelling quite well right now and the (Spring) future looks bright.

L. and I, the 51, caught a very nice rendition of Rent at the Keegan over the weekend. If I can muster up the time for a review, I'll pass it along.

love to all.


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