August 11 1998
Feeding of the Masses
and a grave fish

The task of the day:

Yet More Apps.

Today we finished off the apps we were making yesterday, and we actually got to present them in a buffet to be eaten by fellow students. Wonder of wonders, all but a few were polished off. Kinda neat, this is the first time that something our class made actually ended up "in public."

* * *

Our group was responsible for:

  • Baba Gannosh in Endive Leaves
  • Mushrooms with Sour Cream and Caviar
  • Salmon Toasts
  • Fried Won Tons
  • Crispy Breaded Mushrooms
  • Clams Casino
  • Black Bean and Avacado Cups
  • Shrimp and Procutto Skewers

* * *

Our group did well today. Except for me. These clams did not want to be opened (they are halfshell clams, topped with bacon and minced bell peppers and baked). In addition, there was no Oyster/Clam knife. I broke the tip off of a utility knife trying to open one of them. Edward came to the rescue and helped out with most of the rest of them, but what a pain!

My team this week is Edward (a different person than the first week's Ed) and Mikey. Both have limited kitchen experience. However, when the heat is on, they are excellent performers. No problem with pressure here, and as a result, we did excellent in plating the food three times. Why three times? Well, the chef was very unclear about his initial instructions, so all of the folks plated wrong. Then after carrying out the new instructions, he changed his mind. But not until after we had placed everything into pans. Finally, we plated everything correctly.

This last minute running around was totally unneeded, and the only reason it happened was that he wasn't clear and organized. Hopefully, tomorrow's buffet will go better, now that we know what he'll be wanting, even if he's not sure.

* * *

Our group has an ongoing project that we started yesterday, for eating on Friday. We're making gravlox out of an whole salmon. Gravlox is cured salmon with sugar, salt, and dill. The really interesting thing is that "lox" means fish, and "grav" means "buried." So, it's really "Fish From the Grave." Yum.

* * *

The new housing arrangements seem to be working out well. The only minus so far is that all three of us are AM students, so there's a bit of a morning rush with showers and so on. This should be squared away before too long.

The pluses are far greater. They are closer to my age, phone and internet access is reasonable, and I can cook my own dinners when I want to. It's also pretty cool to be living with other CIA students. Last night, while I was working on my journal, Shawn was in the kitchen practicing his chocolate piping skills. Marla was writing a paper on BBQ styles, compare and contrast. Neat.

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Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy
Comments? dowdy@poubelle.com