The Burnt Bicep.

Thursday’s class was more of the same – fried meats.  But this time I also go to make something that I could actually eat – vegetable lasagna!    It was actually kind of fun because originally it was supposed to be your standard run of the mill lasagna.  When the Chef brought the eggplants over to me, I commented, “at home when I make lasagna, I actually use the eggplants sliced lengthwise AS the noodles, to make it much lower in calories and healthier.”  He thought that was awesome and told me to “make it my way” – and said all he was interested in was that I learned how to bake.  The insides of my lasagna were up to me!  So cool.

Our third teammate was out sick, so Chelsea and I were on our own for the day, and she kindly modeled as I snapped pictures of Team Lasagna…

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I sliced eggplants and green & yellow squash on a big scary deli meat slicer machine, and then grilled them all to perfection.  It took a long time, but the grilling flavors were really strong in the finishing product – worth the effort!

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Chelsea spreads our delicious tomato-ricotta sauce over our roasted peppers.  Also, yummy homemade cornbread (which I did not make, but did bring some leftovers home for Casey!)

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I did however, make these buttered bacon brussels’ sprouts!  I know, a health food nightmare.  When in Rome (and when your grade depends on it…), right?  I made these, but clearly did not eat them.  They were polished off by the class though, so I believe they were a success.

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Here are a few more classroom shots.  The picture on the right is taken from the opposite side of the room than most of the other pictures.  You can see that the inside wall of the classroom is all windows – very cool!  Lots of tours and other Chefs and students going by all the time.  It’s fun to walk down the halls and see what other people are cooking.  The windows on the fist floor are actually floor to ceiling, and look out onto the streets of uptown Charlotte – so fun!

So Thursday after class I got home and relaxed with Casey, exhausted from a long day.  I decided to make baked peach-glazed salmon for dinner.  I went to pull the pan from the 350 degree oven, just as Indy decided to run into the kitchen to see if he could snag a bite.  My reflexes went faster than my brain, and I jerked up to get the oven closed (and not have a cooked dog), and in the process slammed the top of my arm into the piping hot top of the stove.  OUCH

At first I thought it was no big deal, and about 30 seconds later started some of the most painful stinging I have ever felt.  My arm seriously stung and hurt for hours afterwards.  It hurt so badly I felt like my hand was tingling.  Here is a shot of my seared bicep, about two hours after the incident.

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And here is my sad arm the next day.  Dark and blistered and juicy – SO gross. 

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It’s even more disgusting now that the skin has peeled off and started cracking a bit.  I know, so appetizing, right?  Casey was horrified that my first reaction when it started to puff up was “take a picture of it” – ahh the things we do for blogs:)

This is long, so I’ll wrap it up.  The weekend was a mixture of very relaxing and fun (Sunday) and very stressful and frustrating (Saturday, w
hen I woke up to my phone at the bottom of the sink – UGH).  Back to class this morning for a lab practical, so no pictures (test time).  We were each tested on our expertise in shallow-frying and baking.  So far in my first class, I’ve gotten 100’s on every quiz, I got 100 for my baking practical (another lasagna!), and I got a 90 for my shallow-fry skills.

As much as this time around I really want to be as perfect as possible, and absolutely get straight A’s, I feel very much at peace with the fact that I could not fry foods perfectly.  I hope that fried meats have no place in my culinary future.

Tomorrow we start plate presentations and a whole new crop of recipes.  Good thing – I’m really sick of lasagna.