Whew! It has been an exhausting yet fun adventure in class the last couple of weeks. I stopped cutting myself so much and started burning myself a lot. Hopefully eventually I won't even notice these things because my skin will just toughen up.
We went through a serious heat wave this week which brought our class room/kitchen up to almost 100 degrees while we were cooking. I had to wash my face every time I washed my hands to keep from dripping sweat into my soup. I turned as red as a turnip and felt like I must be going through menopause.
I also got in at least 3 fights with my classmates over random, stupid stuff. I'm sure the heat and activity in the kitchen raised our stress levels quite a bit. But after a few days it has seemed to calm down and we're on a smooth road to heaven.
Seriously, twice this week I have enjoyed an incredibly rich afternoon snack of a freshly made shrimp bisque. Three times I've had a delicious clam chowder and two other times I had a freshly baked French onion soup. On the count of three, let's all say, "YUM!"
Before we got into soups we were doing a bunch of sauces. The first day I became completely nauseous from all the butter I ingested through having to taste my sauces. They were absolutely delicious but the combination, without food, was pretty deadly. One day I made a Bearnaise sauce, which is a rich small sauce made from Hollandaise; a mornay sauce that had parmegiano reggiano, Gruyere (like Swiss) cheese and lots of cream and butter; AND a beurre blanc which is basicually pure white butter in reduced white wine and shallots. I made all three in the same day two days in a row. Although it was a bit tough in class, I have to admit, bringing this stuff home and pouring it over white fish, asparagus and rice was awesome!
In my attempt to broaden my culinary experiences, when I eat out (which isn't often lately, on my student budget) I have been trying to choose new and exciting things that I think would be fun to eat as well as write about. I have begun to see that sharing these experiences with others in a visual fashion is extremely difficult. The phenomena that occurs when the food arrives to the table has almost hypnotic qualities and, not matter how hard I try to remind myself or get others to remind me, I ALWAYS forget to take pictures until after I've eaten half the dish.
The same phenomena occurs in my cooking class. I get finished making something, and am so excited after having my chef instructor grade it, I simply dig into it and then store the leftovers away for my mom. She's taken to texting me several times mid-class to remind me to take pics and send them to her. Sigh.
Anyway.... today ends the adventure of soups and sauces. I got a 56 out of 60 grade on the soups I did today: Clam Chowder (below), French Onion Soup (below) and a beef/veal Consomme.