Week 8- Skills

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We are to the point in Skills class where we are plating things properly once we have finished cooking them. We are given a "menu" to prepare with at least two complete plates of food. Chef is now checking to make sure we are plating correctly as well as making sure that our food tastes how it should. He helps us with plating when we need it, all without making us feel like idiots. I'm sure this is hard for him sometimes. Haha.

This week we made pan fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and collard greens for one plate and trout meuniere with fried green tomatoes for the other. We tend to do things more as a team instead of individually unless he specifies otherwise. This week, I was especially thankful for that.

I have a confession to make. I got a horrible, horrible grade on a quiz. It was a quiz over vegetables and sometimes the questions he asks are in the tiniest box off to the side of the page or one little niblet of information buried deep in the reading. If any of you know me, you KNOW I read and study. Chef and I have had conversations about the questions on his exams. His point is that if he puts things on there, and we get them wrong, we will remember it from then on BECAUSE we got it wrong where we probably wouldn't remember that piece of information otherwise. I get his point. I just get irritated that it affects my grade. However, all that aside, I approached him after the bottom dropped out of my stomach when I saw my grade and asked him what I could do to bring that grade up. He, apparently, had been expecting me to approach him because he was kind of laughing at me. He told me to put on a pot of chicken stock and that would help raise it. I jumped on that as soon as it was out of his mouth. Then I asked if that made it an "A". No. Get the three people who need to do make up labs to fill out the learning contract and turn it in to Ridsdale by the end of class and it will be even higher. Done. *Although Curtis was giving me a hard time about it because I made him mad by telling him I didn't like his new whisk tattoo. I know, I know. You hate me, Curtis. It's ok. I hate you, too. I think you really hate me because I stayed in longer than you at poker, though.*

Back to the point, I was running around doing these extra things. I guess my whole team was feeling kind of lazy Friday, though, so it didn't really matter. We all were working at a leisurely pace but we still managed to get everything done by 10:30am. I made the mashed potatoes and helped season and bread the chicken. Curtis made the green tomatoes and fish and Natane made the collard greens and actually pan fried the chicken. I plated with the help of Chef and made the sauce, again, with the help of Chef since the pan was washed with the drippings before it was realized it was needed to make the sauce. So we made a sauce from sherry, butter, shallots, parsley, salt and pepper. It tasted amazing and we used it with the fish and with the addition of a little cream, with the chicken, as well. I like how he will go out of his way to help us do that something extra to make the plate awesome instead of just, "You're in Skills, it doesn't matter how the plate looks." I'm glad he helps us practice our plating skills from the beginning so we can get in the habit of doing it correctly.

Here are our finished plates.

We didn't have school Friday because of Memorial Day. Marc and I were able to have Thursday night, Friday, and Friday night ALL BY OURSELVES because friends of ours agreed to take the kids so we could have some time alone. Amazing! It was like being able to BREATHE for a day because the only people we were responsible for were ourselves. We haven't had that in almost five years. It was SO needed and I feel so refreshed. It was a day where we didn't think about what someone else needed or schoolwork or work *for Marc* or anything. We were just...together. I love how after almost 6 years of marriage, we still LIKE being together. I know I CRAVE time alone with Marc when we don't have it for awhile. I am so thankful for that. It's especially important that we stay connected with how busy we are and I am continuously grateful that Marc feels the same way and that we give it such priority. I <3 you, Marc!


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