It’s been two whole weeks of culinary school and in case you’re wondering, I’m STILL in love with it. When I made the split-second decision to go, I didn’t really take the time to consider all the drawbacks. Things like having to wake up at 7am after a year of sleeping in till 8, 9, or sometimes even 10 and then working in my pajamas if I wanted to. Or the 45 minute drive up to school when I really don’t love driving, especially not during peak hours. Or the fact that I couldn’t make my own schedule anymore and I would have to rush to get work done.
But as it turns out, all of these “drawbacks” have actually been wonderful! Now that I’m getting up at 7am, I sleep better at night, get to hang out with Josh for a bit before he leaves for work, and I feel much more awake, alive, and accomplished. The 45 minute drive has actually been rather nice as it isn’t too busy, the mountain scenery is gorgeous, and I have a chance to listen to audio books. And as for not having much time to work, I’ve learned how to be fast and efficient and make the most of my time, something that will be very useful once I’m done with school and go back to my usual routine. Though now I know that I’ll have time to take on other projects and work because I’ll be able to manage my time better!
But let’s get back to talking about culinary school, shall we?
I cut my finger again, learning that I need to really hold onto my knives while I’m washing them (duh, right?). I had the routine down so I bandaged it up, ignored the sting, and went on my merry way. It was all fine and well until two days later when I was mopping up the kitchen and noticed that I was mopping up spots of blood. Then I see that blood is dripping down my hand- my cut had burst open again. At least I’m getting good at ignoring the pain?
Speaking of cuts, our instructor bought us some handy-dandy anti-cut gloves that protect your hands. I can’t help but think he brought them specifically for me since two out of the four cuts we’ve had in class have been mine. But they’re greatly helping my skill as I now have the confidence to just DO IT and not worry about cutting myself since I’m protected. It has really helped! I was freakin’ amazing at cutting my artichokes.
We started off the week with more soups. I’m becoming a master at french onion as my instructor asked me to teach my classmates what I learned from making it last week and I managed to make it at home as well!
We also learned how to make hollandaise and bechamel sauce which was making me crave eggs and croque madames and eggs benedict. And guys. I rocked my hollandaise. You would drink my hollandaise and like it. Unless you don’t like butter or are scared of getting fat. Then maybe not.
And in answer to my egg cravings, we spent one whole morning learning how to make eggs in a variety of ways. I mastered my classical french omelette and got a bit creative, making it croque madame style with a ham and cheese filling and our leftover bechamel sauce on top. Yummo.
The second half of that day we mastered potatoes and I think I’m going to have my mashed potatoes baked Duchess style forevermore. So fun and so delish! Though fried mashed potato balls were pretty amazing too. But now I’m sick of potatoes and eggs for a while. Bring on next weeks breads, cakes, and pastries!
I only have two pairs of compression socks so two days of school are bliss and the other two days are hellish. Rolling my feet over a rolling pin is getting pretty old and we’re going to need a new rolling pin soon… Someone send me more socks?
On Thursday, we took a field trip to five different food businesses here in Salt Lake City to learn about their processes, hear their story, soak in all of their advice, and sample their goodies. This included Utah’s only New York style bagel shop, a handmade jam company that uses only fresh fruits creatively, our city’s fabulous gourmet foods market, a local farm that provides herbs and produce for local chefs, and a charcuterie and butcher shop. I’ll share more details another time (yes, it was THAT good) but to sum up, I’ll say that I kept having to stop and check “Is this really my life right now? Being in culinary school where I’m required to meet incredible people in the food industry??”
And so I finish up week two of school feeling so tired, but so inspired and happy. In the three years of college I managed to attend before dropping out, I never once felt like this; where each and every day is wonderful and I’m eager to learn more more more and I actually feel like I belong.