Monday, September 26, 2011

In The Coffee Shop

I have always wondered what it was like to be the douchey person in a coffee shop with a as of right now I am sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop, and my coffee, ( I don't even like coffee ) typing away on my computer as if I am someone with a lot of work to get done. Look at me, on my Mac, with my coffee, and my ear buds, I don't even want to hear you I am so important.

In all honesty, I didn't really get what the point of going to a coffee shop with a laptop was. I am sure it could be a convenient way to get work done if you don't have internet? Are on a break, in-between classes..or if you just need to be away from the distraction of home ( mostly the refrigerator ). I don't know how Starbucks could be a more distracting place to get work done. There is constantly people walking by you, orders being yelled out like an unfortunate case of turrets syndrome, Facebook is still completely accessible, and the people...they are not just distracting, but quite fascinating. There is not a lot of people really taking a time to sit down today, but there is the usual hipsters joining in on the laptop party ( only they are much better dressed than me  ) a big guy to my right with a 5:00 shadow reading the morning paper, a guy in front of me on his iPad actually using the stand thingy that comes with those $50.00 cases, and the guy to my left is my old basketball coach. Small world. Of course, he doesn't recognize me because he knew me when I was a little boy, but I remember him quite well.

So why am I even at a Starbucks right now? Well lets just say that there are some situations that you just need to get away. Hence, I will no longer judge the douchebags that I see in the corner with their laptops at Starbucks. In fact, I won't even call them douchebags. They are now WiFi whores. Joking. Kind of. Its a free world, and Free WiFi is to coffee as chocolate chip cookies is to milk. ( there I go with the food again. )

Cheers to the start of my week off of school, and forcing myself to like coffee.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Food Nerd

It's official, I have completely morphed into another person and become an anal over-achiever. I guess that is what happens when you are studying something you actually care about. Somehow I managed to get the highest grade on my final in my Concepts and theories class (lecture) and the highest overall grade in my Fundamentals of Cooking class (lab). In reality, it was pretty easy.  Lab class never failed to stress me out every week and cause me to nearly vomit on finals day, but other than was cake. I didn't pull any all nighters, brown nose the teacher, or spend every spare moment of my day studying. Or did I? I guess you could call me a food nerd. ( I refuse to be called a foodie, I am not a foodie I am an aspiring chef. I will also accept food nerd. )  I cook as much as possible, and study the subject in my free time so it is almost like I have accidentally stumbled into becoming a good student. The accidental A student- yep, that's me.

Just in case you were all wondering. What is a Foodie? What is the difference between a Foodie and a Food Nerd? Well, I will help you out here.

Foodie-  a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads and finds eating it particularly joyous.

Food Nerd- a person regarded as socially dull, unsophisticated, awkward, etc., specif., as from being preoccupied with learning everything there is about where food comes from, how it is made, the science behind it, and mastering the art of cooking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things Old People Don't Get

1. Younger- Obvious
2. Facebook Changes- Want to freak out an older person? Just wait for Facebook to switch things up a bit and watch them go crazy.
3. Hulu - "Darnit I missed my show"
"You can just watch it on Hulu later."
"Oh, on our TV?" "No, on the computer."
"Oh, whats Hulu? How do I do that?" - They will never actually try it because it involves too many steps.
4. Autocorrect- "Thats not what I want to say!" ( Insert explicit language here ).
5. DVR/On Demand "I had to choose between watching Dancing with stars or Hells Kitchen"
"You know you can record one right?"
"Oh, I can? I didn't think of that"
"Yea..that is why you are paying the big bucks for that cable package..."
On Demand - "So its like renting a movie?"
"But it costs money."
"The new ones..yes. Think: Blockbuster in your home."

6. Self Check-Out - Self Check-out should have an age limit of 40 and under. Not only do older people not get how to use it, but they will pull up with a FULL shopping cart. By the time they finish checking-out, you will be over age 40 and strongly encouraged to move to a regular check-out lane.

7. Twitter- Unlike e-mails, Tweets do have an expiration date. You cannot respond to a tweet a week later and expect the person to know what in the world you are talking about.

@suchandsuch"Had the best Pizza for lunch."

One week later:

@suchandsuch "YUMMO!"


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chardonnay on a Lava Rock

Yesterday was my practical final exam for my Fundamentals class. We had 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam which included making: Hollandaise sauce, Chicken Chardonnay, pureed potatoes, Glazed Carrots, and Cream of Broccoli Soup.

Sounds pretty easy right? Well yes, and no. The recipes are easy, but what makes the exam hard is fighting over product,  equipment, and a place on the stove with 20 other people while under a time constraint. One of the hardest things for me to do was to stay focused on what I was doing and not pay attention to what the people around me were doing. I learned that I don't trust myself very much because I found that I wanted to do things in the order that the people around me were doing, and was doubting the way that I had laid out my prep list. Despite my self doubt, I stuck to my own prep list, and I am really glad I did or I could of easily ended up a sweaty mess in a corner curled up in the fetal position.

 Finals in culinary school are not your average college exam. They are physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I could run 20 miles and it would still not be equal to the type of exhaustion that you feel after completing a practical exam in the kitchen. Not only does the kitchen feel like a huge oven, but you are also wearing a hat, a neck tie under your chefs jacket, a shirt under your chefs jacket, and thick chefs pants. If you still cannot picture the comfort level of this situation, picture yourself in a desert wearing a beanie, a long-sleeve turtleneck, a vest, and sweatpants while cooking chicken chardonnay on a lava rock.

All in all, the final went well and I passed. My Hollandaise sauce was a little thick ( probably from waiting forever to find Chef and have her taste it )  but my soup was tasty, my potatoes were creamy and delicious, my carrots were cooked and glazed well, I didn't serve raw chicken, and my sauce was tasty and well seasoned.  There were a few bumps in the road along the way when every stove burner was occupied making me create an alternate route for my prep list, or when someone jacked my mushrooms for my chardonnay sauce ( luckily the person realized it and gave me theirs, but there were a few moments of "Oh Sh*t" ).

It is the morning after the exam and I am still winding down from the adrenaline rush. I was so exhausted that I actually laid down after I got home with the intent of sleeping. Which- if you know me, is not normal. I don't nap. ( not intentionally at least ). I am relieved that it is over, except finals only get more challenging from here, but hey, what is life without a challenge right?