Cooking Up A Job

Happy Moving Day!

I know it’s technically Canada Day, I can’t help but not feel too bothered. Today is just closed stores and loud fireworks for me while we head to Mississauga.

Any way, yes! I am cooking up a job! Sort of.

The past couple of weeks I have been sending my resume into job adverts that look interesting in helping me gain the experience I crave in cooking. I won’t go into much detail but I am hoping to be employed by the end of next week. My biggest desire would be to work somewhere I can gain Red Seal hours.

From now until an unknown date I do not have internet. It can wait but it sure makes finding the available jobs and their locations much easier.

Wish me luck. And hopefully the next time we meet I can tell you about my new culinary position.


Executing A Lobster

Well I knew the time would come, but it seems to have come too soon. Next week in my lab we will all be taking on the task of killing a lobster.

I can’t say I am looking forward to it. When we dismantled the sheep and the pig they were already dead, I didn’t do the killing so it was easier to distance myself from the creature that still had a face. Now the crustacean will still be alive and we have a choice of two methods to do the deed.

One is to drop it into a pot of boiling water, the second is to use my knife at the back of its head. We’ve been told the knife method is the most humane so that is the way I’ll go about it but I am extremely nervous. I know as I place it on my cutting board it isn’t going to look at me tearfully and beg for its life, but it is still alive and I feel a little uncomfortable.

Welp, I guess it is something I am just going to have to get over. If I ever work in a nice kitchen that serves fresh lobster it is something I am going to have to get over, might as well learn it now in school where we are all fresh to the experience.

As for cooking lobster, this isn’t my first time.

Last term we were in groups for lab and lobster tail was one of the recipes a pair had to make. Chef said we wouldn’t actually be doing it, but the product came in so I requested to cook them as well as the recipe I was assigned. So my partner and I looked up a recipe and quickly made it along with fish and chips and it came out looking nice.

lobstertail lobstertail1

I’d fanned open the tails and since we didn’t have any little cups we had poured melted butter over the meat. We also learned that we should’ve opened the tail wider so the potential customer could see what they’ve purchased for meat even better. I’m not a fan but the rest of the class seemed to enjoy picking it apart.

Well anyways, I am counting down to lobster day, wish me luck!

Turkey: Hate or Love it?

It might sound like an odd question considering our ovens are jammed with these fat birds at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but hear me out.

I do a lot of thinking on the Go bus. I spend many hours on it and you can only see the same house so many times before you regularly zone out. Today while I was thinking about what I’d write I started thinking about turkey. We eat it at Thanksgiving and at the end of the meal say, “Oof. I don’t want to see turkey again till Christmas.” Or people complain that they have so many turkey dinners to attend to because of family.

Now my thought is if you love something you want to eat it as many times as possible. For me it’s chocolate, for my husband McDonalds. And eat it we do. So why do we, North America, claim to love turkey so much if all we end up doing is complaining about it at the end of the meal?

Is it the bird itself we do not enjoy, the tradition we’ve brought upon our own families, or perhaps we hate ourselves for packing it in like we do the turkey ?

Well there is my food thought of Wednesday. I personally enjoy turkey but can’t imagine eating it any other time other than the occasional hot sandwich at family restaurants.

Dining Out Constantly

This summer we finally celebrated our honeymoon and went to Disney World for a week with a free meal plan. I’ve never been on a vacation so long without a kitchen, and by kitchen I mean a propane cooker at a campsite. So I was pretty enthused about being able to try new foods everyday with our table service meals

Since my husband likes buffets I made reservations for a few. 1900 Park Fare, Hollywood & Vine, and Akershush. To my surprise, the first two I was displeased with and thankful we had the free meal plan. Both buffets seemed very similar. At Park Fare the string beans had way too much salt in it, and Hollywood the option of desserts were basically vanilla and the size of a sample cup. I felt the fee you’re paying for is that Park Fare is character dining, and Hollywood is available because you couldn’t get into the Brown Derby.

Now Akershush was pretty good for what I had. You order an entree and help yourself to appetizers. Since it was Norwegian cuisine I tried different types of cheese, salads and meats, but very little since I was excited for my meal;¬†Traditional Kj√łttkake. When the meal came I tried a bit of everything first. Norwegian meatball, mash potatoes, vegetables and lingonberry sauce. On its own the sauce wasn’t my thing, but mixing a bit with the potatoes was actually quite tasty.

For the rest of our table service meals we had plain sit down and order meals. We checked out Tony’s and The Plaza Restaurant. Both were excellent but my favourite had to be the Plaza. Great food, excellent milkshakes, and a nice view apart from the huge fence currently obstructing some of the view. For our quick service meals we checked a couple of places but regularly ate at our resort for breakfast or lunch.

Now even with all the good food available I really started to miss home food after a few days. It can be tiring dining out every meal with children screaming or people having extremely loud conversations next to you. And sometimes you want to say, “I want chicken pot pie, stuffing and mash potatoes.” But you can’t since they have chicken and fries.

So it makes me wonder, even if a restaurant makes really good food could I stand to eat there every night? Could you?

From Scratch Or Frozen?

A few times in class I have mentioned food from the box and typical of a culinary school you receive a few stares. Not interest, but disbelief. The students may have only just entered the industry now or have worked in a kitchen since their teens, but they have already decided that box or frozen is bad food.

I’d like to say that I agree yet I really don’t. If I worked in a restaurant or had my own I would definitely want fresh food. Sauce I’ve jarred myself, steak I’ve cut myself, and even cake I’ve bought fresh from my bakery supplier. At home is a different story.

Sometimes you just don’t have the time or the money for everything to be whipped up from a recipe book. You’d like to peel, boil and mash those potatoes yourself but that night you don’t have the time and boiling a pot of milk and water and mixing in dehydrated potato flakes is just a little easier. Or even buying the bag of carrots is cheaper than the canned but you’re not sure if you’re going to use them all that week and they’re just going to go bad before you can, which in the end makes the canned cheaper.

Hamburger Helper may not be from scratch, but it doesn’t seem to be injected with strange chemicals and if it tastes good it makes it good food. So why not enjoy the food you can with the money and time you’re given?

For me I don’t have a whole lot of money or time, so once or twice a week I try to make food from scratch. Whether it’s a simple side dish like risotto or a whole meal like Salisbury steak, I like to make it to improve my skills and it tastes good. When time is short I don’t mind cooking a frozen lasagna or following the instructions on a taco kit as long as I make a goal to try something new each week.

Perhaps for others in my position you can do the same. Make a goal to every week or every other week make something fresh. Plan it out so you have all the tools, ingredients and time you need to slowly follow the instructions and not make a mistake. And for those who can’t, don’t feel bad about frozen food, if you can afford something tasty that fills your families stomachs than you can feel quite fortunate since there are many who can’t.

Well that’s my spiel on frozen food. This Friday I will once again be discussing what I did in class this week. Cooking won’t be all we’re doing since during lab we will be taking apart a whole lamb and half a pig, so I shall leave that discussion to the end of the post in hopes to relieve weak stomach from the pictures I shall show.