Week 4- World

Friday, August 6, 2010

I've been hesitant to write about this week because I am kind of at a loss as to what to do about a certain situation. I was trying to work it all out in my head before posting so that I could wrap it all up with something positive for next week. It is now Friday, though, and I need to go ahead and write before my head gets filled with the things for next week.

This week was good, for the most part, but frustrating in certain aspects. I decided to try to lay off a little this week in World. I asked my friend if she wanted to be the leader this week and she didn't seem too enthused. People tend to naturally look to me as leader, I believe, just because I am usually the most prepared. I didn't WANT to be leader this week, it just happened. The two girls joined our group this week who did not complete their dishes a couple of weeks ago. I didn't really want them to be a part of our group, but I didn't really know how to go about saying that without making people upset. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and work with them instead of causing social problems.

This was a mistake.

I let the other people in the group choose their items and I took what was left. Chef had us write on a huge piece of paper which items we were each doing. The couscous was "left for whoever had the time to do it." The menu was broken down as follows:

Person A took the chicken with rice and the baklawa.
Person B took the broad bean dip, the toasted bread salad (which she realized after the fact included making a flat bread), and the apples in orange juice.
Person C took the kibbeh soup and the fish with hot chile sauce.
I took the flat bread of the week, the yogurt drink, red pepper and walnut dip, and couscous.

Before everyone started cooking I reviewed with the team which items had longer processes, such as the kibbeh having two items that need to chill for an hour. Also, I made it clear that we HAVE to have gloves on when preparing foods that will not be cooked prior to serving. Chef caught one of the girls without gloves on at some point in the day. So frustrating.

Person B finished the broad bean dip and ALMOST finished the salad. The salad itself was completed, but the bread wasn't finished until midway through presentations. The apples in orange juice was not even began.

Broad bean dip with my flat bread-

Toasted bread salad minus the toasted bread-

This is the other team's apples in OJ-

Person C did not complete EITHER of her dishes. The chicken with rice was not completed, either. All of this despite my checking on everyone throughout the cooking process to see if they thought they were going to finish on time. I don't know what else to do. I am at a complete loss, really. I try to help by breaking things up in an order so everything gets done on time and people get pissed. I try to back off and let them choose and things don't get done. What. Am. I. Supposed. To. DO?!?!?! Incredibly exasperating. I'm contemplating approaching a former teacher to get some advice so it isn't like I am "tattling" on my teammates.

These are photos of the other team's completed kibbeh soup and fish with chile sauce. I didn't enjoy the fish as it had too much of a tahini flavor to it.

As far as the actual dishes go, as I said earlier, I prepared the flat bread, the red pepper and walnut dip, the yogurt drink, and the couscous.

I enjoyed the red pepper and walnut dip. It had a unique flavor that I found appealing.

The flat bread I prepared was served with the dip. The flat bread recipe had some glitches. In the ingredients portion of the recipe, it lists one quantity of water. In the actual procedure portion of the recipe, it lists another quantity. When I asked about it, the teacher informed me that another girl tried to make the recipe already and it came out far too sticky and she had to add a large quantity of flour to the recipe to make it work. The girl also gave me the tip to mix it by hand instead of using the mixer. I did this and also added the water gradually which seemed to help. I didn't end up using quite as much flour when finishing the dough off as the other girl needed to, apparently. I also took some creative liberties and formed a portion of the dough over a small cake pan to make a bread bowl. I, initially, had the idea of using this to hold a dip, but the bowl ended up being too large for the amount of dip that was made. I used it, instead, to hold the remaining bread that was made. I then shaped the bread into various shapes before cooking. I made hearts, squares, triangle, and circles, just for a little variety. I enjoyed how they came out.

The Tan (yogurt drink) was absolutely disgusting. It was plain yogurt mixed with water and salt to make a beverage. I'm not a fan.

This recipe also had a flaw. The syrup ended up turning into more of a hard candy in both teams making the dish incredibly hard to eat. There also wasn't enough moisture so the pastry was too flaky. This was definitely a failure of the recipe, though, and not of preparation.

Next week we are moving on to Greece.


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