Saturday, January 14, 2012

Striving for Perfection

First week of school down, and only 10 to go. It seems like a long time but I know the weeks will go by fast. They always do.

I am taking World Cuisine and Latin Cuisine this quarter. I have one chef instructor that is the same as last quarter she is awesome and I am glad to have her again. The other instructor for Latin is a new one which made me a little nervous, but so far he seems like a cool guy. He is from Israel, is a retired captain of the Israeli army, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. He knows his stuff and he loves to talk about it. He is light hearted and funny, but then also reminds us that no one is as serious as he is when it comes to food.

Thursday, on our first day of class, he talked for over an hour on his background, what he expects, and information on Latin cuisine. We didn't get to start cooking until about 4:30pm. In his thick accent he said to us "I am going to keep talking so that you feel the pressure. If I didn't pressure you I would be doing you a disservice. So those of you doing the Mole Verde today, as soon as I stop talking you will be needing to start running like a chicken with no head." Yep, that was me.

Although I definitely had to run in order to get all my ingredients, get my beans on the stove, and get the pork cooking I was able to pull it off without any problems. He spent a lot of time critiquing each group. Keeping our food warm until he came to critique our group was the biggest hurdle of the night considering he came to us last. Our groups food came out great, and I was the only one that didn't have raw beans in my mole. Although it is common sense, no one cooked their beans before putting them in their dish. Duh. Go me, I used my brain. Woohoo.

My new goal is to really take advantage of every chance I get to cook something new, and to cook as often as possible. Practice makes perfect right? I don't know how perfect food can get considering so much of it depends on preference but I would like to get as close as I can--this also means not being afraid of failure which is something I struggle with.

Cheers to a new quarter!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

R.I.P. Grandpa

Both my blog and I have had a birthday since I last posted. My blog is now two years old, and I...well lets just say I am a little older. I also attended my grandpa's funeral since I last wrote.

My Grandpa's death has been something I have been afraid of since I was a little kid. Ever since I found out what cigarettes were and saw him smoking one, I immediately began to worry he wasn't going to be around much longer to come visit, make us laugh, or hear his deep voice echo through the house at the ass crack of dawn. I wanted him to live as long as he could...I loved him. I am a weird kid like that--worrying about other people dying and all. The weird thing is though, I still worry about people in this way. I don't think anyone really understands it...hell, I am not sure I do, but all I know is that I just want to keep the people I love around me for as long as I can. This is why I get anal and annoying when it comes to eating healthy food. If I bitch and moan to you about your food choices...guess what? It just means I love you, and that I want you to be around for as long as possible. I can't help it.

On second thought, maybe I should just start smoking, stop exercising, eating junk food, and drinking so that I will have everyone around me forever, which wouldn't end up being so long. Guess that would just be a long drawn out way of comitting suicide. Mmm no thanks.

Back to my Grandpa- He ended up sticking around for awhile. His visits were less frequent once he moved back down to Southern California but he still drove up to visit on occasion. He made it to a few basketball and soccer games, and my wedding. When he wasn't really up to the drive of coming to visit anymore I always looked forward to visiting him and my grandma. Visiting was always entertaining... the relationship between my grandma and grandpa was definitely a love hate relationship.

I really wish I could express my grandpa's sense of humor, but it is too unique to express through a blog. He created his own catch phrases that got picked up by other family members and passed down through generations.

Unfortunately my Grandpa did end up passing away from cancer. He made it to and older age than the average American male but I can't help but wish I had him around longer. Cigarettes suck. My grandpa however, was one cool cat.

R.I.P. Grandpa I miss you already