Friday, June 30, 2006

I Hope Drool Doesn't Stain

The past 6 weeks of class have been relatively painless. All book work and only 2 hours per night. On July 10th, I start my next lab class. 6 weeks, 5 hours a night, in the kitchen, meat cookery. Up until this point, I’ve been seriously stressing about who the Chef Instructors would be, and hoping beyond hope that it wouldn’t be the same jackasses that taught my last lab class.

I arrive at Nutrition class last night and realize we have a substitute for the night. Disappointment sets in. We have a final today and I was really hoping the teacher that writes the final would be there to go over the material. And then, the substitute turns around to face the class. He is tall. He is smiling. He has dark brown wavy hair. He is built. He is HOT. I lose track of the fact that regular Chef Instructor is absent today, and get used to the idea of spending the next 2 hours with some seriously beautiful eye candy.

He kicks off the class by introducing himself, giving us a little background on his culinary experience and then letting us know that not only will he be our Chef Instructor for the evening, but that he will also be our Chef Instructor for our upcoming lab class.

Party over here. Party over there. Shake your derriere. No jackasses. Just 6 weeks of Chef Instructor Hot. This. Is. Going. To. Be. Fabulous.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Corn Cob Protocol

So now that corn on the cob is in season, I need some help with the proper buying technique. Until about 2 months ago, the only corn I ever purchased came in a can with a lot of murky juice. Being that I'm in culinary school and all, I'm venturing out into the fresh vegetable arena.

At the grocery, I'm noticing that a trash can is located within 2 feet of the fresh corn. People hover over it and feverishly shuck their corn. I check the price. Maybe it's by the pound. People must be disposing of the husks to avoid excess weight. Not true. The corn happens to be priced per cob.

I go to a different grocery. Same routine ensues.

Obviously I'm missing something. All comments and feedback are welcome. I'm in desperate need of understanding corn cob etiquette.

Fa La La La La

Tonight in supervision class we discussed the importance of communication in an employer/employee relationship. Chef Instructor stressed the need to seek out the best way to communicate with each individual employee in your restaurant.

Among the suggestions were: written training manual, employee meetings, posters on the wall and…..singing. “Sometimes a song can get your point across,” says Chef Instructor.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to sing the recipe for macaroni and cheese.

For starters, who does that? For finishers, do people actually do that?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I Don't Do B's

On Thursday night, we got our Nutrition midterms back. Upon seeing my grade, an 84, I think I made a sound similar to – EEEEK. I don’t do B’s. I do A’s. Getting a B is unacceptable.

Out comes my notes and book as I meticulously examine each question I got wrong and search for a reason that it’s not really wrong.

Me (hand raised): Um, on number 31, you said the answer is avocado, and I put olive.

Chef Instructor: Ok.

Me: Well, I’m looking at the book right now and it also says the answer is olive.

CI: Hmmmm (scratches chin). You know, I think you’re right. Ok, I’ll give you points for that.

Fellow classmates: Sweeeeeet! I missed that too.

Me (hand raised again): On 34, you said the answer was olive oil and I put palm oil.

CI: Ok.

Me: Well, I’m looking at my notes from your lecture, and I think you said palm oil.

CI: Yeah, you’re right. Ok, I’ll give you points for that one too.

FC: Allison, you rock. You just brought me up to passing.

Me (hand raised for the third time): Ok, so on 43, I put USDA Food Pyramid and you’re saying the right answer is the Latin American Food Pyramid. According to the book, neither is correct. I’m thinking this was just a badly worded question.

CI: (After rifling through the book, notes and some head scratching) I agree. It’s a badly worded question. I’ll throw the question out and give you points for that one too.

FC: You’re on fire. If you keep it up, I might actually get a B!!

CI: Allison, anything else?

Me: No, I’m done. I just lobbied my way to an A.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You’re Just a Girl

So I volunteered to help out the parental unit with a promotional event for his business. Yes, I volunteered to wear a head to toe polyester gecko costume, complete with lizard head and feet in 100 degree Texas heat at a baseball game. What the hell was I thinking?

Little kids galore loved the gecko. I received more hugs in a two hour period from strangers than I have in my whole entire life, from anyone.

For those of you familiar with the gecko, HE often appears on TV commercials talking with a lovely BRITISH accent. Being fully aware of this fact, I did my best to avoid talking while in costume – I’m a girl and a horrible accent impersonator.

While doing my thing, some older thugs – maybe 15 or 16 years old, ambushed me. They were pulling my tail, beating on my head and otherwise acting foolish. Fairly immobile, I start waving my hands at the parental unit for backup. When he didn’t see my flailing arms, I started to shout for assistance in my girly, Texas voice.

Upon hearing my voice, the lizard abusers made a quick exit. But not before pointing out (with what seemed to be disappointment), “Oh…you’re just a girl.”

Yeah, I’m a girl. In a lizard costume. And next time, I’ll kick your ass.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Chicken Powder

Determined to concoct a delicious vegetarian birthday meal for my friend T and her new beau, I modified this meaty recipe with the following ingredients:

Shrimp instead of Sirloin
Shrimp Ramen noodles instead of Beef Ramen noodles

I had 2 hours to whip up dinner between work and school, so I had to opt for something quick and easy. I thought I had met those requirements with this dish, but alas, I had gone horribly awry.

Thanks to T’s prompting, I checked out the ingredients of the Shrimp Ramen noodles. Among wheat, flour and salt is a glaring carnivorous ingredient – chicken powder. Vegetarians, run for cover!!

T saved me from complete and utter mortification by saying, “I ate a bit of pork at Christmas. Keep cooking and we’ll never speak of this again.”

Sunday, June 11, 2006


My friend S recently passed on recipe that I fear I will make way too often and then burnout on it way too soon. It’s super easy and super yummy! No cooking skills required!

Easy Asian Beef and Noodles

8 ounces Ribeye
1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
1 cup green onions, sliced 1" thick
2 cups packaged cabbage and carrot coleslaw
2 packages beef flavored ramen noodles
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Trim fat from steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and green onions; stir-fry 1 minute. Remove steak mixture from skillet; keep warm. Heat remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Ad slaw; stir-fry 20 seconds. Remove slaw from skillet; keep warm.

2. Remove noodles from packages; discard one seasoning packet. Add water and seasoning packet to skillet; bring to a boil. Break noodles in half; add noodles to water mixture. Cook noodles 2 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in stead mixture, slaw and soy sauce. Cook until heated through.

3. Serve with lots and lots of spicy chili sauce.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It’s Like A Comedy Routine

Aaahhhh, Nutrition class. Between the chick next to me who was crocheting, the guy down the way throwing pennies across the room at the wall and the glutton eating a plate of crepes that had been sneezed on, class was very interesting.

Two new things I learned (of course, completely unrelated to the subject matter at hand):

-Spider webs stop bleeding – I have done extensive web research on this topic with no conclusive evidence. If any of you out there have real life examples of this, I’d love to hear about it. Please send video footage.

-A great website that documents all the restaurants you should map out on your next cross country trip. Makes me want to take a road trip!

Waaaay Too Much Information

Now that the first lab class is over, I have two new classes – Nutrition and Supervision in the Hospitality Industry.

Nutrition is interesting. Supervision is not – unless of course we focus on my fellow classmates instead of the subject matter at hand.

Last night during a break, the glutton decided to share his weekend “sexperiences” with the entire class. Apparently he lives in a trailer. And apparently the trailer is no longer level with the ground. It is now tilting at a 45 degree angle due to his wild escapades. His version of the story - “Well I’m at about 275 and my girlfriend weighs about 325.” That explains the off kilter trailer, but it does nothing to contain the wild outbursts and chiding from my fellow classmates:

“Did you find a ham sandwich in all those rolls?”
“How about a turkey leg?”
And in true Road Trip style,
“Did you hold up her animal print underwear afterwards and proclaim to have killed a cheetah?”

And they went on and on and on. All the while, the glutton laughs and willing participates.