So here we finally come to one of the big humps in this stint of Culinary School. The practical exam. Practicals pretty much consist of combining alot of the skills we've learned into class and using them in a dish. Back when I was in the Skills class this involved doing all the vegtable cuts on a carrot (and then using the said cuts in a salad), make a salad, make a stock, use the stock to make velute. Bone a chicken, use the breasts from said chicken to make a breaded Chicken Cordon Bleu and then combine them all to make a meal on the plate. Its actually alot easier than it sounds although at the time I was scared shitless.
For Banquets and Caterering its a bit more complicated. We have to make two forcemeats (a gallantine and a ballantine), tournet our selected veggies, pick a starch to "mold" as a platform. And then Aspic it all. Aspic'ing is the practice of putting a geletin on it to hold it together. Its used for display purposes and to give it a shine. In other words, a skill we won't be using much in the real world. I'm not too confident in my abilities of making the forcemeats, I suck at tournet'ing and suck at aspicing. On the bright side, I'm good at everything else. So who knows.
My big concern (aka this is where I get contemplative) is that I can sometimes get overwhelmed which sometimes leads to a lack of confidence. Which is ultimately what led to me dropping out the first time. I tend to compare myself to others in class as opposed to just focusing on my own. I've been getting better at asking for help when needed which actually led to a bit of a closer friendship/mentorship from one of my teachers. As well as becoming somewhat good friends with a guy in my class. I need to keep telling myself "I know I can" and as long as I try my best and am not half ass'ing it, then thats what should make me happy.
Work is going good. I'm getting about 22 hrs a week which comes out to about 360 or so dollars every two weeks that I somehow make last. Damn it sucks living pay check to paycheck again. But thats life.
On the brightside, my birthday is in two weeks. Not only (in theory) do I get to get plastered for free. But hopefully I'll be getting a few new cooking related books. Despite being a big Bourdain fan, the Les Halles Cookbook DID NOT make it on the list. Only cause I know that if my mom puts two and two together that thats the "unofficial" cook book of one of my favorite chefs, I won't be getting it till Christmas (thus why I probably won't be getting Mario Batali's Italian Grill until then). So I'm totally using the inevitable b-day money I get to get it. heh
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