Maitr’d and Mocktails.

Because i was the maitr’d in charge of the dining room today, I needed to be at school no later than 6:30am, which meant I needed to leave my house at about 6:05.  Imagine my surprise when Casey shook me in bed saying that it was 5:56am!  WHAT!?!  I still don’t know what happened. 

I bolted out of bed and into the shower, while Casey was nice enough to race around helping me.  He quickly packed me a sandwich, along with a tub of oats-to-go.  I drove to school very fast, and got there just in time.  After I made coffee, did set up, and did my duties, I sat down to listen to lecture and enjoy my delicious packed oats…

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My classmates were jealous of my decadent oatmeal!  Just goes to show you can eat well anywhere.  This morning we had our wine opening practical exams – my table practiced while other tables were tested and graded…

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And when we were all done (and had all passed!), we celebrated by clinking our glasses of (fake) wine!

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There was a very scary wine-spilling-almost-on-top-of-my-camera incident, but luckily it just missed and poured all over my notebook instead.  Laury feared for her life, but I told her it was no big deal :)  I was so glad that my camera was dry that I didn’t care about my notebook one bit.

Day 7 is usually the time that classes start having practical exams, and demonstrating what they have been learning all week.  The Principles of Beverage Service class next door invited us over for a mock-tail party!  I took this class last term, but was a terrible blogger back then and didn’t show you guys any pictures.  Check out this cool classroom – it’s like a real bar!

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They made mock-tails out of juice, capri suns, and soda.  The daily special was a peach martini lined with sugar – wow!  I didn’t have any drinks (so much sugar!), but joined my classmates and hung out for a bit.

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When the party was over, we headed back into the dining room to get set up for service.  I was in charge of making sure everyone had done their assigned work, and that everything was set up correctly and ready to go!

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Today’s food featured cuisine from The Americas – delicioso!  On the menu…

Pumpkin Soup – a hearty melon soup of pumpkin, pureed beans, corn and Serrano chilies (I was very sad to discover that this had a chicken broth base!)

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Tamales Costenos – seasoned shredded chicken, tomatoes and onions rolled in masa (corn flour), wrapped in corn husks, steamed and served piping hot

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Sopa De Lima – a flavorful chicken soup with bits of seasoned chicken, fresh cilantro and a hint of freshly squeezed lime. Served over house made fried tortilla strips

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Empanada Ensalada – a savory pastry containing ground beef and hard-cooked egg, served with house made salsa, over mixed field greens and roasted peppers

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Grilled Fish Mole Pepián – grilled fish seasoned with olive oil, oregano, garlic and lime, served with a flavorful sauce of chilies, tomatillos, toasted pumpkin seeds, peanuts and lime

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There were a few other entrees, but I didn’t get pictures of them :(  As maitr’d, I was busy being called away to deal with a dessert fiasco!  The pastry class that made our desserts had brought a cart of strudels with candied sugar and dried fruit.  These plates were also supposed to have ice cream though, which meant that someone had to scoop all of the ice cream onto the plates!

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I had to scoop about 40 scoops of ice cream onto the plates out of big plastic bags – not the easiest task.  One of the flavors was cinnamon ice cream, and you can be sure that my partner and I went running for the tasting spoons so that we could sample before plating.  Amazing!

We survived another day of service, and sat down for a few minutes to each lunch.  I had a big plate of greens with red and green mole sauces, a side of corn and chayote squash, and a big scoop of mango, jicama, pineapple, and orange salad…

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Class was over at 1pm and I had the rare privilege of being DONE for the day – no work and no evening class!  I headed to my favorite spot to refill our kitchen with goodies – Trader Joe’s!

I got a few fun things today that were either new to the store, or new to me.  I am really excited to try out some of our new loot.  Frozen pomegranate seeds and sweet mango halves (both new items!)…

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And two new sauces – curry simmer sauce (vegan!) and sweet chili sauce, mmmm…

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It seemed like we were out of everything – a major re-stock was in order…

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Also stocked up on a good amount of produce.  Trader Joe’s has the BEST prices on mushrooms.  I bought a million – because I love them, and because I can.

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Now I am home early, groceries are unpacked, and it is warm and sunny outside.  Leashing up the pups for a mid-day run – whohooooo!