Catching Up.

So I’m still feeling like a big blob of poo, but at some point you have to decide to rejoin the living.  What should have been a fabulous 3-day weekend of sunshine and running and doggie walks, has been 3 days of laying in one place, pumping drugs into my body, and alternating between sweating profusely and bundling up in hoodies and sweatpants.  Not fun, and I’m really ready for it to be over.  The sneezes and cough I can handle, but the body aches are what’s sending me into bed every few hours.  Unbearable.

Okay my pity party is over now.  Thanks for all your comments and well wishes to get better.  My wise cousin Sarah left a comment on my last post that I thought was worth addressing, because she was totally correct.  I know many of you were horrified to hear that even with the flu, I’m expected to be in class – no excuses.  But in reality, kitchens don’t close and restaurants don’t take a day off when someone gets sick.  You are expected to get your job done – end of story.  Obviously sanitation is a concern, and if you are vomiting or pooping uncontrollably, you are supposed to let your Chef know so that Health Services can evaluate you.  Otherwise, buck up!  :) 

Also, having now been in my classes and understanding what we do each day, I understand why they drop you if you miss two classes.  Our classes are seven hours long, and I can’t even imagine missing one.  The amount of information and learning you would miss would be impossible to regain afterhours.  It’s going to take a lot to make me miss class! 

Okay so backing up, I never got to tell you about the end of my first class – Fundamentals of Food Production.  For our final day of class, and our big project (and bulk of our grade), our glass was responsible for producing a Grand Buffet, to be held out in the lobby for students and staff to enjoy.  We started prepping for the buffet on Friday afternoon, and we pulled it together in time for service first thing Monday morning.  Here is the final product (pretty good for students who have been in school for nine days!)…

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Gigantic salad bar!  Obviously the highlight of the buffet for me.  I was so excited when Jessica told me that her group was doing a mega-salad spread.  FYI – I did all the table skirting and linens. 

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Ice sculpture from the Garde Mangier class!  A fun addition to our buffet.  We also had this omelet station set up (thank god I didn’t have to do these!), where you could get omelets made to order.

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Cute fall decorations.  I rolled all the silverware into napkins to make it look nicer.  I tend to find that when we have down time in class and other students stand around or take breaks, I find fun side projects to do to fill the time.  I think it comes from being older and having more work experience.  I also found a cute pumpkin basket for the cornbread.

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Mylan and I made this cheese tray.  She cut up all the cheese, while I arranged it.  My teacher showed me how to make these awesome roses out of tomatoes – can you believe  that I made those?!?

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The gigantic fruit tray.  Can you spot the melon turtle and fish?  I was super bummed that most of this was gone by the time I got through the buffet line.  I scavenged for a few bits of melon.

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We even had a ham carving station (hi Jay!), and lots of homemade sauces.  Here’s a shot of the buffet in its entirety.  I didn’t want to post ten million pictures, but in addition to what you already saw, the chafing dishes were filled with chicken spanakopita, Moroccan cod fish (made by yours truly!), biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs benedict, rice pilaf, and bacon Brussels sprouts.  Definitely a wide selection of foods to choose from!

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Our guests arrived and we filled up their plates!  Once everyone went through the line, our class could eat.  I just had some salad and some scavenged melon, and ate a snack when I got home.  And of course after lunch was the daily dessert delivery – chocolate lava cakes.  These were hard to resist – chocolate is my weakness.  Especially when it’s gooey.  But I walked away and had no regrets once it was out of my sight.

Now the big buffet was Monday, but before that was one of the highlights of our time here in Charlotte – a visit from LINDSEY!  I spent all day Friday running around like a ten year old, so excited for her to get here.  I was literally outside on the porch when she pulled up.  She got here around 4:30, and after a quick house tour and doggie welcome, the three of us headed to Zada Jane’s for an early bird dinner.  We hurried home and changed quickly because Linds and I had big plans to go to the Indigo Girls concert at the The Fillmore!

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The Fillmore was an amazing venue – I wish I’d had my camera!  The concert was wonderful, and the crowd was really into the music.  Maybe a little too into the music actually.  I can’t remember the last time I had gotten dressed up and headed out on a Friday night – it was a great time, and even better spent with my bestie.  Saturday morning we were up early for oatmeal, and headed over to the mall for a full day of shopping.  It is soooo much better to shop with a friend!  I finally found a dress for my sister’s wedding thanks to Lindsey’s helpful advice and patience while I tried on every dress in Anthropologie.  Being able to call Linds and have a spontaneous girly shopping date is something I really took for granted before I moved away.  Sniff. 

We had a great day, and then rejoined Casey for a delicious sushi dinner on Saturday night (thanks Leah and Greg!).  Sunday morning came way too fast, and Linds had to hit the road to get back to Cincinnati.  I threatened to lock her up and not let her leave, but she reminded me that she would be BACK in just a few short weeks for Mary Ann’s DLO Bachelorette Weekend – can’t wait! 

I love my school, and I’m really starting to adjust to Charlotte, but you never get used to missing your friends and family.  I’m glad that fall is here, and there are lots of holidays, celebrations, and visits to come in the next few months!