Things that make you go hmmmm!

Funny thing about culinary arts is that when you enroll your all like “Gordon Ramsey eat your heart out buddy -there is a new Chef in town!” As a student you get to wear the chefs hat and coat and spend your time cooking…Am I right?

So last class discussion, first thing out of Chefs mouth is… “welcome to week 9, I bet the fantasy that it’s all about food has worn off” Can I get an Amen! Why yes it has!

In these 9 weeks, it turned out to be much more. It’s been frustrating, stressful and so very fulfilling! I have learned so much fundamentals basic 101 stuff. I’m comfortable using a very sharp knife. I can almost cut perfect Batonnet vegtables. I have totally kicked up my sauce and flavor combination and I have learned basic conversions. Go Me! What I didnt quite expect is having to take a look to see what motivates me.

I thought I already had all the answers to that simple question that turned out a bit more difficult to answer. My dream of course, this was what I always wanted to do! Now I’m starting over at 53 in school- what am I going to do with the degree when it’s all said and done? Do I just walk around with an associates degree to say I have one or do I actually put it to use? WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION PEOPLE?????

Here are 6 things that motivate folks.

1.Achievement

2. Responsiblity

3. Recognition

4. The work itself

5. Advancement

6. Money

After chef posed these to us and asked us to rate them I had to actually sit back and go hmmmm.

Clearly money wasn’t a thing until I started to realize, I’m gonna have student loan debt what am I working toward here? Imagine my quandendrum. The work itself is my #1 . I LOVE TO SHOW LOVE through food! Coming to my house for lunch isnt just just the basics believe you me! It could possibly mean a Surf and turf Charcuterie or a lovely salad with an array of fresh vegtables to a hearty clubhouse sammie and homemade chips. I take great pride in making sure comfort and hospitality are also on the menu. What can I say I’m a people person.

Number 2 would be recognition. Who doesnt like to hear a job well done? I’m happy to hear “this is so good”, Thank you or simply happy tummy sigh. My all time favorite though is one of my favorite little people wrapping their arms around my neck saying “oma, this is the best… ever” that makes everything worthwhile.

3.Achievment- I know that the motivators are more geared toward working in a more “professional environment” but stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new techniques and foods I would never ever consider serving is an achievement all in itself. I mean seriously I would have never thought of serving poached anything to my family and I did! They loved it and it’s now a definite do over in my recipe arsenal. That’s an achievement win – win in my book!

Where exactly or how would responsiblity, advancement and money really fit in at this point? I decided that Responsibility would be next, I have a responsibility as a responsible adult to pay my bill’s (particularly student loans) so how can I be a responsible adult…why starting my own business and going further into debt of course! Learning management skills is part of culinary arts training as well as math, menu planning, safety and science to name a few just for starters.

It has my mind spinning! I mean seriously, what can I do to accomplish the last two and still follow my values and be responsible while advancing forward and making money? Start small, while I am in school. Build a portfolio, practice practice practice! Network and get some kitchen experience. Keep a vision board to remind me of my why. Work hard and host some events for my inner circle. There is a start to maybe someday really having a career and my dream job in the culinary world.

I’m back to being excited!

A bit over my head?!?

Well Miss glass half full took a sebaticle and Mrs what am I doing showed up. I have never poached anything really. I have boiled chicken for salad and that’s the extent of it. Rubbery chicken salad that had no real zest or flavor. So, week 8 of school is – you guessed it poaching. I got frustrated because it took forever (or at least I thought so) The sauce didn’t emulsify and I had to do it over. Arrrggghhhh what and I getting myself into. I should be on worst cooks of America!!!! I quit!!!!!

Mistakes are lessons learned. Thank you God for do overs and being a chicken breast hoarder (I’ll explain that whole thing later) I took a breather and watched the instructional video in archives and created a mouth watering dish. Yep I did it and lesson learned it takes time! Don’t rush things! Good things DO come to those who wait!

It turned out amazing! So good in fact I made fish using the same method. Oh boy, Miss half full has returned! I got this. My point being dont give up on your dreams. Take a breath you got this.

Ooo LaLa

Let me start off by mentioning, this hearty and delicious soup is easily one of my all time favorite dishes! This weeks assigment was to create a perfect brown stock and FRENCH ONION SOUP!

Just a quick history lesson on this heart warming dish.

The modern version of koi soup originates in Paris, France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It was introduced to the United States by the New York restaurant of Henri Mouquin in 1861, where his wife Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin was the chef.https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki

French onion soup – Wikipedia

I first had this soup at about 9 years old and have loved it from then to now. I’m not sure if it’s the body of flavors in the broth, the sweetness of the onion with a snip it of sherry to follow or the hot and bubbly melted cheese on the crouton. Now that I am really thinking about it, I’m going to have to say… all of the above. The combined flavors are delectable.

Flashback about oh 20 years ago, my beautiful mother popped over for lunch and I had made French Onion for her. She was impressed that I had the crocks and couldn’t stop oooing and ahhhhhhing of my sheer talent. I have to give credit where credit is due..Thank You Alton Brown. Needless to say, she loved it and it was a great visit with her as always.

A couple of weeks later, she had invited me over for lunch. I got to her house and the table was set with dainty sandwiches cut into perfect triangles, cute little napkins folded perfectly and lemonade in her fancy wine glasses, after all I did need to head back to work. She sat me down and ran back to the kitchen almost skipping she was so excited… out comes a hearty bowl of the delicious french onion. It looked beautiful! We sat together, thanked the Man upstairs for a beautiful bounty and moved on to my favorite part… digging in.

That’s when I noticed the hamburger bun…. She sat there watching me like the last two minutes of the super bowl. One big bite of the brown broth, hamburger bun and about two cups of straight up parmesean cheese was a shock to my system. Of course the sodium levels were off the charts. I smiled and did my happy food dance. That’s when the delectable brown love of the broth hit me. After verifying with her about her “secret culinary” recipe she let me know she cheated and used a dry powdered soup mix, generally reserved for chip dip in my household anyway. Did I mention the vermouth and wine? Straight up gently drizzled over the top just below the hamburger bun.

I had to have one of those dainty cucumber and cream cheese sammies to kill the buzz… to top off this interesting lunch expierence, she made her really really amazing lemon bars. I loved them and they were seriously one of my absolute favorites growing up.

Leaving, I gave her a big hug told her it was wonderful. I mean who was I to pop her bubble of excitment and joy, she gave me life for cryin’ out loud.

This is one of the most sweetest memories I have with her. Just sharing it made my heart hurt missing her. But I still smile at the thought of her happy face and joy to share this with her “baby”. What I wouldn’t give to have another bowl of the shocking bowl again. I miss you mom!

PS. I did chug a gallon of water and prayed my boss didnt get to close as I was permiating the smell of booze. 🤦‍♀️

An old dog CAN learn new tricks!

Boy oh boy, I never thought I would revisit the metric system. Here I am doing just that!!

YIKES! Years ago, I remember when the conversion process was a part of our school syllabus. Needless to say it really wasn’t successful.

Imagine my surprise I found out that was part if my Culinary adventure. An instant sense of panic set in. I TRIED THIS AND I FAILED MISERABLY. After my little melt down, I sat down and read what exactly I would be doing. Again, imagine my surprise when I was thinking…humm I CAN MAYBE DO THIS! I kept hearing my mothers voice saying “just apply yourself”. Lesson learned mom – time to just do it! I would love to say that there was some huge ephinay, there wasn’t. I learned exactly what tenasity meant. I’m blessed that my son and S.O. has a tremendous amount of patience with my melt downs…how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon. .. how many pints are in 9 gallons…. I just want to make food! What did I get myself into. “Mom, calm down… you got this”!! Who wants to hear all that encouragement and nothing like your kid throwing your words back at you. “Relax, you are going to have to learn this stuff… walk me through it” you can do it”my kid said to me. Wow son, that is the most profoundly motivating words of wisdom I ever heard ( yep, that was our mantra for years through his education)!! These two men made FLASH cards, had me show them how to convert teaspoons to tablespoons and pints to gallons.

I did it! With the love and support of my loved ones I DID IT!

Go figure an old dog can learn new tricks!

It is already dead!

If i haven’t mentioned it, I am in week 6 at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Needless to say we are in the basic phase. … how to hold a knife, basics in roasting and chicken fabrication. I had a totally different idea what “chicken fabrication” meant and it’s not at all what it sounds like – at least in my head!!

I dont know about you, but I have really never thought about how my chicken in the plastic and cut perfectly happened – I just knew I needed thighs.

I understand that the protien in this case are processed at an astronomical level.. hundreds if not thousands done quickly and efficiently.

I learned so much this past week! Who knew chicken anatomy would be part of the curriculum? What a totally intricate tool under my belt. Can you say Cost Effective!!! Practice definitely makes perfect in this case. I left a bit more breast meat then I probably should have. but over all I think I did pretty good.

The carcass however…. well I couldn’t have mutilated it any more if I tried. Note to self, it’s already dead!

😁

BBQ vs Grilling

Happy fishing opener. The family is out casting a line praying for the “big catch”. What we have caught is a total satisfyingly filling lunch. Nothing spectacular but needless to say great (and so far the only) catch of the day…brats on the grill.

My grandson did catch a little sunny and he was ecstatic. My S.O. who is a true fisherman didn’t get skunked either.

The boy (who is not really a boy) are still waiting patiently. Did we have a BBQ or did we grill. Here they are interchangeable. I know this could be a heated debate…

Regardless, we had an amazing family day at the lake.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.