Category: food

Daily tasks

Cooks notes for the day:

That day when you don’t quite get the seal on the ice cream spinner door to suck properly in place, so as you spin the ice cream, the loose base drips steadily cause a huge, huge sticky mess. The entire time you are debating weather to take it out and start over, or roll with the continual mess.  Either scenario ends in a fanciful mess.  If the ice cream turns out icy again I am going to loose my cookies.

The restaurant next door come over to ask to borrow 70 pounds of fryer oil.  You respond casually: “only if you beg and crawl.”

The entire bottle of yuzu spill on the floor because the bottom inexplicably detached as if an invisible alien snuck into the kitchen and sliced off the entire bottom in one quick pull of the trigger.  $100 bottle gone in a flash, it was a delicious smelling mess.

The server warns you that you probably should help the lunch guy because she just rang in 6 plates.  6. Total. Plates.  She wants it to be less than 45 minutes and I am sympathetic.

There is a young good looking man/boy applying for a food runner position, so you try to check him out behind the semi-sheer black curtain.  You dropped your work to see him, but do you say hello?  Nah, don’t feel like it.

A beverage delivery man tells you he just saw a rat run into the employee bathroom.  I obviously do not believe him, until I see the prep guy pulling the door shut as to trap Mr. Raton.  Until he gets a moment to deal with the situation, you kindly tell your co-workers not to use the bathroom.  After he kills Mr. Raton, he chase one of the line cooks around the alley with the corpse of the rat.

We know that when the toaster and the freezer are plugged into the same outlet, the fuse will eventually blow.  The situation still remains unchanged.

Finally get around to changing the menu into a format that I find slightly more satisfying.  Slowly, so slowly moving into the right direction.  I realized today how much I have given up on bettering the restaurant and myself.  I am glad that I found some small spark of motivation and integrity to continue to do what I think is best.  It gets very challenging when you have too much on your plate, covered with a thick sauce of negativity, sprinkled with hesitation, doubt, and fatigue.  Today was a step to the right beat somewhere in that kitchen dance.

just another day

I am blessed with very sensitive skin.  Combined with the attribute of wearing my emotions on my sleeve, I battle with acne.  Its the worst.  Its on your face, and its so noticeable.  Thank the good goddess for make-up.  Its so good.  But my problem is that I cannot kept up with the upkeep.  I work in a 100 degree kitchen.  That is not an overstatement.  Its hotter then balls hot.  My makeup runs, I look like joker town fool by the end of my shift.

So I have this zombie dead zit that is the worst.  Its been holding steady on my fore head for honestly months.  It won’t budge, just chillen, making a home.  But now its full blow sickness, it a colony plotting to take over my whole face.  Really, my face it going to turn into a big zit.  Its happened before, and its. Terrifying.  Downright awful.  Its going to chew my pretty face, consume my self, and I will be left right where I am now.  I have had three people comment on my face.  The first asked if I got cut, the second if I had a bruise, and the third if I got into bike accident what’s wrong with your face?  Honest to goddess, this happened.  A bike accident?? A bike accident.  No. Nope.  Just a zit.  I mean this happens to me.  I get a fuck face zit for like half a year.  The worst? Terrifying??

No.

Not even close.

Honestly I don’t give a fuck about my face town fiasco.  What I walked into today at work was terrifying.  It was beyond a blemish turned bruised.  I walked into a pure hell of a greasy mess.  How and what have I done to deserve this level of grossness.  I almost had a heart attack.  No warning, just a ball of hot greasy splattered evenly across every surface.  Dust settling again on top.  New oil waits new grease.  I couldn’t even walk from my cup of coffee to my station.  I had to walk around the entire restaurant just to get from the front line to the back.  Within being there for no less then 5 minutes, I had inexplicable oil on my hand.  One hand sink was being repaired and out of commission.  Since it was being worked on, there were tools everywhere, around the sink and the hallway leading to the office.  Everywhere I looked and walked was not okay.  Not a single sight being up kept or cared for.  Everywhere is neglected.  Fuck, I haven’t been there for one day.  One.  The other hand sink was so dirty it looked like a bus boy had puked it in.  There was no soap at that sink.  Mind you, I had to walk a solid 2 minutes to get to 2/2 no functioning sinks.  No big deal.  NBG. Its only me.

What have I done to deserve this?  If I was in prison, it would be cleaner.  And it might most likely be a more pleasant environment.

Good goddess I wish this was the end.  Only the beginning really of my day.  Remember, this is first 5 minute of the day.  The kitchen was a greasy snot ball of hell for the first hour.  After a fury of soap and anger, I checked the schedule.  Oh, I am working the hot line by myself, after no real training.  Also, was I warned?  Nope.  Last conversation with chef was that I should start learning the station.  So now I am on my own, with no warning, a station I hardly know, apparently in charge what comes out of the kitchen, a fucking messy ass kitchen, plus I have my pastry prep to do, put the order away, oh yeah there is a 100 person party tomorrow at noon.  Did I mention no warning of an extra aside from the party?  That at least I was informed about.  Carrot cake is good and fast, but goodness.  At the end of the shift, the chef was courteous enough to remind me that if I had cut the cake, I wouldn’t have to come in so early in the morning.  God damn, if only I had thought of that.

Its Tuesday.  Tuesdays are slow.  Its a chill day.  We started with a nice embarrassing 14 on the books.  But of course, since I was so ill prepared for the day we got shook.  Mini earth quake.  It was a smooth earthquake, but it could have been less exciting.

Oh, I think I am going to work 12 hours tomorrow.  NBD.

Outward beauty must always be considered

I wonder if I tried harder when I was younger to be pretty, how different would my life be now?  I worked hard my whole life, but the payoff is not there.  It doesn’t really matter, I make no money and am only relatively happy.  What if I put that much energy into beauty, feminism, socializing, and flirting?  Would I be married with a good looking and relatively successful husband?  Would we have children and move away?

I look at my skin, and its worn.  Its red and splotchy, its blue and looks like a permanent bruise.  My finger nails are raggedy, my manicure has been reduced down to a 4 finger paint job, my hands ashy.  You say, well at least you know how to cook, that goes a long way.  But it doesn’t really.  People eat out, people eat pasta and cereal and are content with that.  Who cares about a gourmet Paleo breakfast and dinner over having a successful partner that owns designer shoes, someone who can afford the time and money to get a massage, go to the gym, make salon appointments, drink high class wine, can go on vacation with you.

I can’t help but wonder how different things would be if I tried harder to be a female, instead of seeing self adornment as a waste of time.  I have been a beauty minimalist most my life, with the most time and money spent on outward appearance being currently.  I don’t see it as a waste or silly or unimportant or as a way to continually suppress the female by keeping her distracted.  I see it as power, as a way to dominate and gain respect, as a way to better oneself.

Spring Taste

Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze
Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze

The spring is not set so tight this year, it’s gotten loose and rusty from years of abuse and over anticipation.  It’s a slow start, still getting cold at a moments notice, bone chilling when the sun hides.  Scarves are still in full effect, slippers are a house standard, the bed is still weighed down with blankets.  Despite the rusty snap that has yet to scar away old man winter, I cannot contain my excitement to throw off my puffy winter jacket, sacrifice it to the fire pit, watch it burn in jubilation of light clothes treading.

Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream
Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream

Maybe it is too soon to think about berries and juicy fruit, airy mousses and food as light as the clouds, bright tastes and sunshine colors, but frankly that does not bother me.  I don’t want winter foods. Squash time is past time, pomegranates are winter’s whore. Pears are a long way off, let’s forget about the apple for the time being.  Maple is for later, and so it the brussel sprout.  So to begin the new growing season, the season of fun, outdoors, and social interaction, I made these things:

IMG_9863 (2)
Pistachio cake, tiramisu semifreddo, fresh raspberries
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting

The world is not ready for it, yet

Red Velvet Wine Cake, Winter Rose Semifreddo, Pomegranate Glaze, Rioja Pearls, Toasted Almonds
Red Velvet Wine Cake, Winter Rose Semifreddo, Pomegranate Glaze, Rioja Pearls, Toasted Almonds

I love this dessert.  I think its super cool, hip, and refreshing.  It is described as every girls dream: red wine, dark chocolate, red roses. It is served during valentines, for a sexy and sophisticated way to share a sensual experience.

Breakfast, my favorite meal

Sweet hash brown -n- egg

It all started with the sweet potato. And not wanting to cut the large starchy football into tiny squares, and not wanting to wait for the hard cubes to soften in the skillet.  The cheese grater, or sponge shredded, depending on what you call it, became my very good friend and did the work pretty much for me.  No, no, do not bother to peel the brown wrapping, leave it be and grate away.

Hash brown style cook those shoe string sized starch nuggets in a cast iron pan, over moderate heat, in a good amount of fat.  I prefer olive oil (not extra virgin, that is not good for high heat cooking), add a dollop of butter or bacon fat if you have it lying around.  Place the shreds of orange potato in the hot skillet, spread evenly covering the whole surface of the pan.  Sprinkle with salt, and let fry for 10 minutes.  Move the pan around and see if the disk of congruent strings moves easily and together, like a raft on an ocean.  If so, time to invert.  Place a large dinner plate over the circle of sweet potato, and carefully turn  the skillet upside down, landing the potato Frisbee on the plate,  like a flipping a cake out of its pan.  Grease the hot skillet once again, and slide the hash brown disc back into the hot pool of fat, raw side down.  Finish cooking for 10 minutes more, over low to medium heat.  The sweet potato hash with start to smell charred and sweet.  Finish with a dusting of salt.

Sweet Brown Skillet Hash

Proceed to top the golden deliciousness with more examples of fine ingredients found on the countertop and in the nearby fridge.  For this particular meal I added avocado, arugula, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, 2 sunshine eggs.  This is a simple meal, one that you can tailor depending on what is in the house.  Don’t go to the store with a list of ingredients to make up a nice breakfast for yourself, use what you have and experiment with your favorite toppings.

To think that for a long time I never ate breakfast, and wasn’t all that nuts about eggs.  I guess that I was a fool then. Man, I can’t wait to have some breakfast tomorrow.