A New Beginning.

It is here.  Tomorrow is my first day of culinary school.  Months and months of plans, decisions, visits, tears, hope, and excitement finally come together tomorrow. 

I am so freaking excited.

To finish out the weekend recap, we had a wonderful time in Indianapolis.  Friday we basically spent all day doing my favorite thing there – hanging out in the Malone kitchen.  Something about my in-laws’ house is so welcoming and comfortable – I really do feel like it is a home away from home.  Casey and I got to Indy around 10:30am, and we hung out in the kitchen talking until Eddie got home from work after 6:00pm!  It was a wonderful and relaxing day.  That night we went to The Running Company to get Casey some new shoes.  He is running the Marine Corps Marathon in October, and his old Asics were trashed after he wore them for the big move.  Mine aren’t in great shape either, but I’m trying to get one more marathon out of them. 

After shoes were purchased, we went to Bravo for a delicious dinner, and headed home for movie night on the couch – my favorite kind of Friday night!  Saturday morning we were up before the sunrise for a quick run around the neighborhood.  It was the first time in a LONG time that I’ve run in cool weather, and I forgot how great it feels.  I’m definitely looking forward to fall running season.

We knocked out 4 miles and headed to out to breakfast with Casey’s grandma.  After breakfast and a quick trip back to the house, we drove over to the beautiful Butler campus to meet up with my baby sister and my mom!  It is such a treat for me that my little sis is in college in Indy now, so that we can milk double visits with every trip home! 

September 2009 035 September 2009 038 Taking advantage of the pretty campus for family photo opps.

It was so fun to be able to see my family, since I’ve been so homesick.  I’ll get to see them again next month for my sister’s wedding, and it’s nice to know when the next visits will be, now that I live so far away.  Thanks for making the long drive up for the afternoon, mom! :)

After a nice visit and a fabulous lunch, we headed back to the  Malone house to get ready for the wedding.  I meant to take pictures of the wedding but was too caught up eating and having fun, and forgot.  Bottom line – best wedding food EVER.  The bride was nice enough to get special vegetarian meals for us, and instead of just getting an extra scoop of veggies (which is what usually happens), we had totally original and amazing vegetarian meals!  Yummy and totally unexpected stuffed peppers with potato cakes and green beans – delicious.  And I could have eaten about ten of the red velvet chocolate chunk cupcakes, but I knew I should leave some for others and resisted.

Sunday morning came way too fast, and we were up at the crack of dawn to catch the early flight back to Charlotte.  As soon as we woke up my nerves kicked in – orientation day was here – gulp.  By the time we got home around 11:00am I was starting to lose it.  I had to leave the house around 1:00 to get there on time, and I spent the 30 minutes before I left crying to Casey, questioning everything, and just generally melting down (becoming a standard these days). 

Casey was awesome as usual (he has to be getting tired of the daily tears), and gave my a great pep talk and confidence boost.  I pulled it together, put on my culinary uniform and headed to JWU.  The minute I got there I felt a million times better.  I realized that as scared as I thought I was, seeing the looks on the faces of 18 year olds spending their first days away from home, I realized I was in good company and going to be just fine.  I will spare you the details since it was really just basics and information, but I DID get my knife kit – totally awesome!

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I don’t know if you can tell from the picture (it was hard to take), but the Johnson & Wales logo and name are actually etched into each knife – so cool!  I also got my THOUSAND PAGE culinary textbook.  It is gigantic, but awesome – filled with beautiful pictures and recipes, and literally everything you could ever possibly want to know about food.  I hope to learn every word of it!

Tomorrow is my first day of real class.  The way the schedule works, I’ll take five culinary labs this term (until November).  Each class is six hours long, nine days in a row, so that you can build on your knowledge day by day, rather than a traditional school schedule.  So my first class is the first nine days of the term, second class is days 10-18, and so on – get it?

My first class is called Fundamentals of Food Service Production.  The course description is, “Students are introduced to cooking techniques of baking, sautéing and shallow frying.  Lecture, demonstration and production focuses on fats, oils, seasonings, flavoring and plate presentation.”

Here goes nothing…

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