Turning a Bad Day Around.

WOW – we had so much to do today in class!  Guess I got my payback for saying that yesterday was dragging.  On the list for today for just my group of four people:

  • remove and strain one stock from the PM class
  • make french onion soup
  • make marinara sauce
  • make a doubled recipe of pesto
  • make a chicken veloute using a roux
  • make a thickened mixture using arrowroot
  • prep vegetables  for tomorrow’s sauce

Needless to say, as soon as lecture ended, we got to work.  I started straining the brown veal stock that had been on overnight…


While my teammates weighed out 25 lbs of chicken bones for the FIFTY GALLONS of brown chicken stock we had to make.  That’s a lot of stock, folks. 

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Once I finished striking the veal stock, I helped prep vegetables for the chicken stock.  Have you ever wondered what TEN POUNDS of onions looks like?


I was very teary and tired by the end!  Check out this amazing giant kettle we did the chicken stock in – keep in mind that these are full sized adults working in front of it!  I think Michelle could have easily climbed inside…


Next on the list was the French Onion Soup.  We julienned red onions, white onions, shallots, and leeks and let them caramelize for around two hours.  My group offered to make ours a vegetarian soup so that I could have some too. 


About five hours of simmer later, it looked like this…sorry for the steamy photo!


For some reason today was just a really bad day for me in class.  We have a lot of really unnecessary classroom drama that I can usually tune out, but for some reason I let it get to me today.  So I was already upset and on edge, and before I knew it, one of my classmates grabbed our soup and dumped it into the big serving pot with the rest of the beef soups.  Awesome – just watched my delicious soup simmer for 5 hours and didn’t even get to taste it.  Oh well :( 

On the other side of the room, I took our mis en placed marinara prep list, and got to work on an induction burner.


I simmered onions and garlic in a red wine reduction…


And then added tomato fillets, tomato paste, bay leaf, vegetable stock, and fresh herbs. 


The day continued to go downhill with a reaaaaally unfortunate immersion blender / tomato sauce incident.  No photos because I was too busy cleaning up the disaster area.  The marinara explosion actually wasn’t my  fault, but I still felt really bad about it, especially because I got tomato all over my and my partner’s uniforms!  They are both currently sitting in bleach :/

I did have one successful product today though – delicious pesto!!  We prepped everything and threw it into the food processor, and it came out creamy, nutty, and packed with flavor.

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We served it over penne for lunch!


On my way home from school, I was in a really bad mood – just one of those days, you know?  So I’m driving along and there is a big construction site taking the road down to one lane only.  There was a utility truck in front of me, and when we got to the construction area, he stopped and put on his hazards and a bunch of guys jumped into his truck and started lifting something out.  No big deal right?  This should just take a minute.

But then THIS happened…


While I was sitting there, the truck pulled forward, and a worker came over and put a barricade in front of my car.  Seriously.  He didn’t wave, or give a signal, or even look at me (don’t look it in the eye!)– just walked away while the construction truck blocked the one lane of traffic to pour some rocks into the hole.


I kid you not – I sat there for THIRTY minutes.  I can’t even imagine how long the line of cars was behind me.  Mind you, this was rush hour leaving downtown.  At first I thought, oh great – perfect way to end a horrible day.  I fumed for about 30 seconds, and then quickly got over it.  I channeled my inner Tina – my amazingly zen-like and always calm mother-in-law.  It was 55 and sunny (a welcomed change!), I didn’t really have anywhere I had to be, I was heading home to go for a fun run, and I had the time to spare so these guys could get their job done.  Considering I am typically racing all over town to get to class, work, etc. – I actually felt lucky that the one time this happened was when I wasn’t running late!

I found that as soon as I change my attitude about it, my day got MUCH better!  I finally got home, changed quickly, and headed to the one and only house of KERF to meet Kath for a speedy run! 

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We had a great FAST run, coving a little over 5.5 miles in 48:10 – an 8:38 pace.  Plus we were talking the entire time, which can really affect how fast you can run!  It is so fun to run and talk – the miles FLY by!  Kath also hooked me up with a jar of awesome nut butter, that you will surely be seeing in breakfasts to come!

When I got home, I think my other running partner could sense that I had been cheating on him…


I also came home to an amaaaaazing dinner, prepared by other other (and better!) chef in our household.  Wait until you see what he did to the tofu, mmmmmm.  Details on dinner, tomorrow.  For now, I’m off to cuddle with Indy and try to make him understand.  I am excited for tomorrow to be a much better day!

Don’t forget – only one more day to enter the Crofter’s giveaway!  Winners announced on Friday!