Friday, June 6, 2008

Braising (Go Robo-Koo Go!)

Today was different from most. First thing, we broke into new groups. I let fate decide, but N threw his numbers back a few times until he got teamed up with me, a sincere compliment. Our third team member was someone I hadn't worked with yet, let's call him Stoney, because he seemed unfocused, a little uncommunicative, and vaguely stoned through out the whole day.

We set about setting up the Braised Lamb Shank with Juniper and Rosemary. The pre-cut shanks got seasoned, browned like crazy until crispy, and then the meat pulled up off the bones. While I did that, N & S were chopping the mirepoix to toss in and caramelize along with a few lightly crushed juniper berries. Tomato paste was thrown in to brown, then deglazed with red wine, reduced to almost dry, and then then rosemary and veal stock was added. The veal was placed in the liquid, covered, and tossed in the oven; we checked it every so often to make sure it reached a light bubble, not a full boil.

All that took about 30 minutes; then we sat for a lecture. Braising is a wet, slow cooking method with large pieces submerged half to two-thirds in liquid. (It's an ideal method for tougher, cheaper cuts of meat.) Similar to stewing, which involves small pieces fully submerged in liquid, braising is an especially good method for a small kitchen because it can be done entirely in advance. At service, a preportioned container of meat and braising liquid can be reheated in a pan, finished with a bit of butter, and then go straight to the plate.

The braising method is as follows. Choose correct pan, heat it, season the item (dredging optional), sear item and remove to a pan (not a rack -- it should sit in its own juices); then caramelize mirepoix in same pan, caramelize tomato product, deglaze and reduce to dry, add stock and return item to pan, bring to boil then return to simmer covered till fork tender or falling off the bone, remove item and finish the sauce. DO NOT BOIL proteins, it will make than tough guaranteed. (When instructions indicate to bring to boil then return to simmer, it should only boil briefly -- this is simply the fastest and most efficient way to get to simmer.)

Then N, S and I got to it, working our way through braised monkfish, chicken thighs in an over the top oyster mushroom balsamic sauce, braised red cabbage, and braised leeks. N is detail-oriented, which suited him to working on the Moroccan-style marinade for the monkfish. All its ingredients had to be blended in a food processor, and Chef M gave us a demo on the 'Robot Coupe' (pronounced robo-koo), an industrial grade food processor. Seriously, it's a Cuisinart that will blend forks and spoons if you let it. S & I got worked on the mise together while I browned things and got things on the fire. A few times I had to have S redo a few things, as he didn't pay attention to the details.

For the first time, my team wasn't done first, in fact we were 15 minutes late, still reducing the chicken liquid to nappe while everyone else cleaned. We let the chicken sit a little too long while we presented the vegetables, and it was in too large a pan to reduce efficiently. I won't make that mistake again.

I'm not a big fan of braises, but our lamb shank was delicious. The cabbage I plan to make at hom starts off with a little rendered bacon, and involves vinegar, salt, and a sachet of aromatics. Everything I like about saurkraut, but not totally mushy and fresher tasting. The leeks tasted like stringy mush to me. The whole monkfish were extremely ugly, too fugly to take a picture of, but tasted nice and tender.

We have Monday off due to a 'Staff Development Day', but will continue braising when we get back.

As I prepared the multi-course dinner for B and my friend the HVS, my mind wandered. I thought of my father -- he was a college chemistry professor by trade for most of his life, and his two main hobbies were listening to music (almost anything from rock to classical when I was a little kid, mostly opera and classical as a late teen, strictly klezmer, middle-Eastern and historical blues recordings in my later memories) and reading books, mostly crime and murder mystery novels, up to 7 a week. His hobbies before I was born was carpentry (I have a spectacular Danish-style book shelf he made in my living room) and whiskey (I found several books and old bottles when I cleaned out my parent's apartment.) When I was a little kid, he grew vegetables in the backyard and cooked. He didn't cook a wide variety of things, mostly things he perfected as a single dude, but when he cooked, you could taste his precision chemistry training. He made pancakes from a mix that somehow tasted better than a mix, he made sweet Italian sausage in a homemade ragu over big floppy noodle tubes, he grilled lamb better than the cart on 45th street, he made spaghetti sauce and hummus in 6-month supplies that tasted better the longer they were in the freezer.

Anyway, I couldn't help but think I was cleaning up before serving dinner that my dad would have thought what I'm doing, focusing on cooking and enjoying it, is 'neat'. That seems like a piddling word, but my dad was 50's kind of man who you had to read a bit closer to find his depth of emotion -- he had a depth that was surprisingly close to the surface if you just looked a little. I think that's why people enjoyed hanging out with him so much, even though he was quiet and said a lot of things with a word like 'neat'. I wish I could cook for him now.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good yogurt with honey, vanilla, raw cashews, .5 bowl, hunger 2/5

AM TASTINGS: 11am, bites of braised lamb shank, 3 sauces, braised cabbage, braised leeks, .25 bowl, hunger 3/5

LUNCH: 12:30, croque monseure, small side salad, handful of french fries, water, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5

DINNER: 6pm, gazpacho with curry garlic broccoli and tortilla chips, 4 pieces of home made vegan pizza, shot of watermelon soup, chocolate chip cashew chocolate soy ice cream, water, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
Made a multi-course meal for the HVS and B, was a lot of fun. The gazpacho (a recipe at school) had way too much jalapeno, and despite adding a full can of organic peeled tomatoes, was still too spicy. The pizzas came out good, not great -- I think I have to use a better quality yeast and proof longer. On a whim I made watermelon soup based loosely on a recipe I found randomly on line (deseeded watermelon, mango, a glassful of prosecco, a few ounces of simple syrup, a few leaves of mint, a shake of salt and a whole lotta blendin' n' chillin') which made a surprisingly effective palate cleanser. My latest version of chocolate soy ice cream was pretty kick ass, with a little shot of espresso, and additional cocoa to make the flavor big and strong.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Roasting (Getting to the Marrow of It)

This morning started off with a quiz, which was half matching names to definitions (guffaw!) and half short answer. Outside of forgetting the appropriate internal temp for roast chicken, I assume I aced it. If not, I'm a big jerk for being over-confident.

Today was another day of roasting, this time with a bit more challenging recipes The roasted stuffed squab with porcini truffle butter involved chilling marrow bones, removing the marrow by pushing through with my fingers, then adding to the sauce right before service (to prevent melting). The roasted veal tenderloins with mushroom cream sauce was really tasty -- for this we pan roasted, which was first a sear in a sauté pan on the stove top then into the oven to continue searing, flipping a few times in the oven.

DD & DK took care of most of the mise for those, I got together the Roasted Patty Pan Squash (tiny little bit sized gourds smothered in shallots, garlic and a few aromatics) and Curry-Garlic Roasted Cauliflower (a combo of olive oil and canola is heated with curry powder, turmeric, 10 whole cloves of garlic and aromatics; left to cool; strained; then lightly coated onto the cauliflower for roasting).

I really like DD & DK personally, but they're too good -- while it's more relaxing to work with them, I'm not learning as much as when I was with the some of the less motivated students who needed a team member to oversee that the train remained on the rails. DD & DK would be amazing co-workers or bosses, but are boring to watch if you're waiting for them to drop the ball.

Part of the process of preparing the pan sauces for the meats were flambé, which is very exciting to watch, and goes by pretty quickly. Other than that, today's cooking was pretty straightforward, with some seriously delicious end products.

After class, I met with the externship advisor, and we talked about potential restaurants and media outlets that might help me to form something of a career. It's all pretty gelatinous right now.

Sugar is rearing its ugly head at me. Went to yoga today; afterwards, I rewarded myself with a huge slice of watermelon. Unfortunately, after a nice dinner at a local pizzeria with B and some of her friends, we all ordered dessert that turned out to be huge....and I had shockingly little trouble finishing a small bucket of zeppoles.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, granola with good milk, half a too-ripe banana, .75 bowl, hunger 4/5

AM TASTINGS: 10:30-11:30am, a bite of cauliflower, a bite of squash, half a tiny breast of squab, half a veal tenderloin with truffle sauce, 1 very meaty bowl, hunger 4/5
Squab was weirdly gamy, but the veal tenderloin was easily the most delicious thing we've made in class yet. The oyster mushroom cream sauce were redolent with truffle shavings, truffle butter and lots of reduced veal stock.

PM SNACK: 4:45pm, large piece of watermelon, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
I wonder if this is considered a dessert?

DINNER: 7pm, half a thin pizza, a huge bowl of zeppoles covered in powdered sugar and nutella, 1 slice of nutella dessert pizza, 1 small canoli, half a glass of wine, water, 1 bowl of pizza, 2 bowls of dessert
WTF? How'd that happen?! They just jumped into my mouth!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Roasting (Just Lardin' n' Bardin', son)

Roasting is a dry-heat cooking method in which the food item is surrounded by hot air. The item needs to be suspended above the cooking vessel to allow airflow and collect juices. Then, said juices can be used to make a pan sauce. The item can be suspended by a rack or by assorted roasting vegetables and trimmings.

Pan roasting is when the item touches the bottom of the pan, and is used for smaller, more tender cuts. Items in pan roasting must be turned for equal browning. Other than chicken and lamb, most roasts are huge; if a restaurant doesn't sell an entire roast in one day, the leftovers are a lot less saleable the next day.

Roasts are typically trussed for even cooking. Lamb rack is traditionally frenched (the ends of the bones exposed.) Chef M showed us a cool, easy method of frenching. Rather than scraping away all the fat and flesh with a paring knife, we hooked butcher's twin around our line cuts and pulled the excess off cleanly in one go.

Definitions: Larding is inserting or injecting fat into a lean piece of meat for a juicier end result. Barding is wrapping fat around the item to protect the meat from the heat of the oven (i.e., wrapping something in bacon or stuffing butter under the skin of a chicken). Basting is pouring dripped fat from the pan over the top of the item to promote even browning and to prevent blistering. Searing is whacking an item in a hot pan to brown the outside very quickly, similar to sauté, before placing in the oven. Au Jus is like a pan sauce, except shallots are replaced by mirepoix (onion, carrots, celery) and is thin, not finished with butter. Pan Gravy is like a pan sauce except it involves roux (flour is added to the fat).

Higher heat will cook a roast item faster, but will result in more water loss and a small item. Low-heat roasting will take more time, but will result in a higher yield, and will need to be seared to create any browning.

Our recipes called for specific oven temps, but Chef M had us turn all our ovens up to full blast. The ovens are notoriously inaccurate and with every time the doors are open, the temp will fluctuate. The important temp is the internal temp, taken with a thermometer. We calibrated our thermometers by measuring boiling water (212) then measuring ice water (32). I got mine to 212, but in ice it would only go down to 40. Close enough.

We skipped knife skills this morning and went straight into rough-chopping aromatics to stuff the chickens with (onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme stems, bay leaves) Unlike yesterday, DK was extremely quiet and snappy today, the first time since school started. Fortunately both DD and I are married men, and knew enough not to nag her about why she was in such a mood! DD & DK trussed the chickens and barded them; I hit them with salt & pepper; then we rubbed some dark brown sugar into the skins to make ours just a little bit different than all the other groups. Into the oven.

We trimmed some beets, coated in oil and whacked in the oven with a foil cover. We chunked out some sweet potatoes, added some aromatics and oils ( including orange zest), and into the oven they too went. Then we coated some fingerling potatoes with oil and aromatics; into the oven. Ditto the garlic heads, which were removed of their tops, oiled, salted, and wrapped in foil. The beets took a hell of a long time (despite the fact that Chef M par-boiled them for us before class started) and due to a lack of stirring, our sweet potatoes burned. Fingerlings were pretty rocking. The roast garlic was fantastic on french bread.

The rack of lambs were frenched, trimmed of the fat cap, feather bones and gristle, salted and then seared in a pan, exposed bones wrapped in foil then into the oven for 15 minutes, flipping once. Then out, coated with a mix of bread crumbs, roasted garlic, oil, thyme and parsley, then back in the oven till the internal temp reached 130. Most delicious.

There was a chicken in every pot, so to speak, but I didn't take any food home because I was doing a shift at God's Love We Deliver afterward. Seems there were no volunteers when I started, except for some weak-limbed people packing desserts. The surly chef put me to work placing roasted vegetables in huge 50-gallon containers, placing marinara and pesto on top with basil leaves, then mixing the whole mess with gloved hands. Then with a huge scoop, I placed 100 gallons of the stuff into hotel pans. I changed my gloves three times during this procedure, cleaning the food muck off my arms. While I was mixing through the cold mush, the fingers of the gloves would break. When I finished mixing, I took off the third pair wedding ring was gone!

My heart sank -- a rather important symbol that I was supposed to keep by me forever might be lost to 100 gallons of ratatouille, with some poor cancer granny biting into a rather large white gold band and breaking her teeth. The GLWD chef suggested I check the gloves; into the garbage we went. Within 30 seconds, the ring was found--phew! I panned another 100 gallons of cooked kale and spinach and ladled BBQ sauce over it all before spending the last hour chopping yams. In the beginning, the chef seemed a bit stressed, but by the end he patted me on the shoulder and thanked me for doing a lot of work for him. I think he was a bit under the gun because I was the only volunteer there, and I ended up doing tasks by myself that usually a team of 4 or 5 do. Working with such huge amounts of food is pretty intense, definitely a different idea of cooking than what we're doing in class.

Tomorrow is a quiz. I recently got my report card for last module, my GPA is 3.81 - it literally would of been 4.0 if not for that damn lobster...

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, granola and good milk, banana, 1 bowl, hunger 3/5

AM TASTINGS: 10:30-11:15am, handful of roast fingerling potatoes, half a roast chicken breast with pan gravy, 4 bites of roast lamb, piece of french bread, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5

PM SNACK: 3pm, slice of gram-cracker cheese cake, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
On break at GLWD, they had a ton of this in the break room. Urg. Too hard to pass up, I was hungry.

DINNER: 6pm, green salad, split pea soup with 5 grilled tiger shrimp, watermelon, 2 bowl, hunger 4/5
This meal totally ruled. Salad à la B, school-made soup, and big shrimp grilled in a cast iron pan would of made a top-rate restaurant meal. I marinated the shrimp in olive oil, minced garlic, a little salt and lemon juice, and man was it good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grilling (Squash Booty)

The second and final day of grilling opened with a short and sweet lecture. Some of our preparations involved toasting spices and dry chili. The method involves only warming them in a pan with out oil -- once you can smell them, you're done. This reactivates the oils in them, but does not burn or damage them. If it starts to smoke, you've gone too far and they must be tosses, or you'll have a burnt, bitter taste in your food

Today's lamb and pork had the bone on. The bone keeps the meat moist and gives more flavor, but takes longer to cook and the meat nearest to the bone cooks a lot slower than the rest of the meat. Protein contracts because of heat, but the bone stays big, preventing grill marks in parts.

We were split into new teams today. Chef M put numbers on paper and threw them in a pot. This time, I cheated; I pulled three numbers, one after the other, until I got the one I wanted. My partners today were some of the sharper tools in the kitchen shed, including my Arizona friend. I shall call these two new team mates Dirty Dave and Dirty Kim, because right from the moment we were in a team we all got down n' dirty.

I hadn't even gotten to our table when DK assigned DD one thing and me another. Good for her, she in a way showed her dominance first and oversaw the logistics of who does what in what order. After being with a bunch of quieter, more passive folk for the past month, this was quite a relief -- a guarantee that good communication is going to happen, even if I'm not the one paying 100% attention.

I set about making the Roasted Poblano and Cactus salad to accompany to accompany the pork chops. Red onion, tomato lime juice, and cilantro made this something like a salsa, but roasted green Pablano peppers and a grilled weird Mexican squash (the cactus paddles had to be sent back, as they were moldy) really made this dish nicey nice. After peeling the squash, I couldn't help but notice that the top of the gourd looked exactly like a human butt. We get our small pleasures where ever we can.

As DD toasted and grinded fresh spices and DK trimmed and prepped the meats and fish, I made the vegetable marinade, sliced up potatoes, asparagus, fennel, and onion. I blanched and shocked the taters and fennel, and by that time we cleaned up our station and got ready to grill. Yes, we were first in class to finish our mise and get the grill station up.

Grilling is a fast method, and our food came out swell. I'm no fan of boring salmon, but I ate my piece of grilled salmon with relish -- the cross-hatched grill marks gave it a nice smokey depth you just don't get with baking or saute. The pork chops were great, tender at the bone, and Chef M complimented my cactus salad as having a nice "acid balance" -- which is intersting because after I made it, and our team signed off on it, I thought it needed more lime juice and squeezed another whole lime into it. Lamb chops were nice and pleasantly lamby; the grill flavor definitely complements its strong character. Shrimp, too, really benefits from the grill flavor -- definitely going to try this method on shrimp at home on my grill pan.

Tomorrow, off the stove top and into the oven for a day of roasting.

At the end of class, a woman came to class to talk to us about externships -- it's time to start thinking about them. To graduate, we must extern in a restaurant or food-related business for 210 hours. She made an aside that for those of us going into media should start thinking now, as those externships tend to be less available. I spoke to her after class and will meet with her one-on-one to see what we can do.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, granola with the good milk, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5

AM TASTINGS: 10:30-11:30am, grilled pork chop with cactus salad, grilled lamb chop with mojo sauce, grilled shrimp kabob with grilled potatoes, piece of french bread, water, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5

DINNER: 6:30pm, 1 beer, 1 small bratwurst with kraut, spiceymustard and shaved horseradish, small portion of spatzle, handful of lightly chocolate coated hazelnuts, 1.5 bowls, hunger 4/5
Why am I feeling more and more cravings for sugar? I hoped today to be a sweets-free day and before dinner I had a jonesing for sweets. Went to a nice Austrian/German pub with friends and ate a small plate at the bar. Of course, at the end they come at us with complimentary chocolate hazelnuts and it's not really in my willpower to say no.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Grilling (Beating Meat and Playing With Balls)

Grilling is a dry cooking method where an open flame is beneath the food. It results in a slightly charred and smokey exterior and a moist interior. Like sauté, it is used for tender cuts of meat. Grilling is an evolution of the ancient method of spit-roasting, which was very slow compared to grilling.

Grilling is heat from below, broiling is heat from above, and pan broiling is heat from below, in a grill pan. In grilling, the juices and fat drip off into the fire and are dispersed, while in pan broiling the fat and liquid is collected between the raised lines of the pan and cause a bit more steaming action. In our class, grill pans were put on the stove tops at every station, and two coal-grills were shared by everyone.

The method of grilling goes like this: Pre-heat the grill, because insufficient heat will cause food to stick. (Food in general will stick till it is done.) Clean the grill while hot, wwith stiff wire brush). Lubricate grill with rag and inexpensive oil. Dry and season the item (because if there is excessive oil on the item, it will cause fiery flareups that will give an overly smokey flavor). Place items on grill, and if they are square, at an angle. Half way through the cooking of the first side, turn 90 degrees. Flip, cook, turn 90 degrees, cook to doneness (same as sauté.)

There is no fond created, so there is no pan sauce. To temper charred, smokey flavor, grilled items are typically served with salsa, chutney, mayo, marinade, or compound butter.

Compound butter is cool. You basically soften whole butter and mush in minced things, roll into a small log in parchment paper, and whack in the fridge to harden. We made the classic Maitre d'Hotel butter, which is a compound of lemon juice, minced parsley and salt.

We split into groups and did some speed drills cutting up potatoes and various veg, then we got to it. I assigned 2LG, RH, and N their tasks and the mise got together pretty quickly; once again we finished ahead of everyone else. (Certain things should not be rushed -- a piece of steak is done when it is done. However, as long as you're accurate, mise should always be rushed.) I removed and skinned the breasts from four whole chickens, then placed them in plastic wrap envelopes and beat them to flatness, adding a bit of lemon marinade I made the moment before.

After a few demos from Chef M, we set about grilling rib-eye steak served with Maitre d'Hotel butter, chicken paillards in a lemon marinade, grilled chimichurri flank steak and various grilled vegetables. All grilled pretty quickly, and came out looking mighty nice. The vegs were a bit tricky, as each one cooked at different speeds, on top of the fact that there were different hot spots on each cooking surface.

N busted out the melon baller and made little balls of the Maitre d'Hotel butter. I would of preferred the more traditional flat rounds, but that's just me.

Tomorrow, shrimp go on the barbie with more grilling.

After class, I took an extra class where the pastry chef of the Ritz Carlton Hotel came in and made some summery desserts, and we ate them as he went along. He made an uzu-flavored cream-filled donut balls with thai chili sugar (the spice made it), a rhubarb soup with elderberry gelee (oddly good), a black forrest cake (the cherry inside tasted too alcoholic) and a wonderful chocolate tart composed of a tart shell, a big of devil's foof, praline cream, chocolate ganache and roasted peanuts in a caramelized goo. I definitely don't want to be a pastry chef, but I have an idea of the thought that goes into these things.

I stood on the scale three times this morning because I didn't quite believe the number: 224. After all the pan and deep frying, after all the excessive desserts I scarfed this weekend, after last night's beer-and-pizza nightcap, I was certain I was in for a rude awakening this morning. Which makes me think....what would I have weighed if I was a little bit more restrained?

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good yogurt with vanilla, raw cashews, honey, .5 bowl, hunger 2/5
Beer and pizza still hanging out in my tummy.

AM TASTINGS: 10:30am - 11am, chicken paillard, chimmichurri flank steak on french bread with grilled vegetables, small piece of very rich walnut cake, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
Chef kept on saying my food was undersalted, but it tasted salty to me.

PM TASTINGS: 1:30-3pm, 4 tiny very fancy desserts, .75 bowl, hunger 3/5

DINNER: 7pm, big green salad, split pea soup with tortilla chips, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5

9:15pm, large piece of watermelon, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Weekend Report (No Energy Bars, Just Pork, No Gatorade, Just Lambrusco)

Friday night I went to the NYC Bicycle Film Festival to see two hours of collected shorts. Inevitably, the topic of my new love (food) came smack up against my ongoing love (bikes) in interesting ways. One short was a mock-anthropological documentary of the "waffle bike", in which the researcher created a bicycle outfitted with everything needed to make waffles, including a waffle iron, refrigerator, prep station, chicken coop, machete, 2 shotguns, a sound system that only played a Farsi call-to-prayer and a gas generator (to run all the electronics, not move the bike) We see him ride from Manhattan to Brooklyn to a corner-store chicken coop to collect his chickens, then see him on the corner making waffles on his bike with very fresh eggs.

Even cooler was a more traditional doc on Balorda, an annual Italian festival where people dress in outlandish costumes, ride creatively decorated and mechanically adventurous bikes in a parade, then eat and drink and dance until they pretty much lose their minds. Here is a Youtube clip which unfortunately doesn't have subtitles, but you can get the bike/food vibe. The short-haired, round headed dude is basically saying, "At Balorda, we do not drink Gatorade, only Lambrusco! At Balorda, we do not eat energy bars, only pork!" That big pot of pulled braised pork looks gooooood....

Saturday evening I met the wifey, her momma, the HVS and three other of wifey's friends to catch the Sex & the City movie on opening weekend on the Upper East Side, Ground Zero of the demographic this move appeals to. I made too many butter cream frosted cupcakes this morning for B's book club, so I brought a dozen to the movie theater. After everyone in our group had their fair share, I couldn't help but notice several women around us (and yes, the theater was mostly women) eye-balling the cupcakes, so I offered them some, explaining that I was with 7 women but had 12 cupcakes, and don't worry: I'm a culinary student and the cupcakes are mostly organic. Funny, it was easy to be friendly with absolute strangers like this, something new to me. Of the four offered, two women took me up on the offer.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, banana, .25 bowl, hunger 4/5

AM SNACK: 8am, 1 chocolate unfrosted cupcake, batter, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla butter cream frosting for B's book club.

AM SNACK: 10:00am, another cupcake, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5

LUNCH: 1pm, 3 small grilled cheese with gruyere and onion on super hippy bread, big spinach salad, water, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5

PM SNACK: 5pm, yet another cupcake, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5

DINNER: 8:30pm, crab cakes with fries, quarter of a turkey club, a few spoonfuls of creamed spinach and mashed potatoes, 1 beer, water, hunger 4/5
Got oddly hungry after eating the crab cakes. Nice being able to appreciate the presentation and quality of the cakes, after learning them this past week.

BREAKFAST: 7:15am, granola with good milk, 1 cupcake, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
If I didn't eat the cupcake, it would need to be tossed. I'm the human garbage can. :(

LUNCH: 12:45pm, turkey on a kaiser roll, potato chips, 5 pieces of rugellah, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
Lunch at a corner grocery in Putnam county with my bro and his family.

PM SNACK: 5pm, 2 pieces of french bread and olive oil, hunger 4/5

DINNER: 7pm, sauteed pork loin with mushroom demiglace, 3 corn on the cobb, grape fizzy lizzy, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5
I seared the thick piece of pork loin after trimming the fat and seasoning with salt and pepper. It was a good 2-inches thick, and I also seared it on it's sides, then popped it in the over at 325 for about 5 minutes. When it came out, it was well-done but still relatively juicy, I think maybe if I didn't use the oven it would have been closer to the rare I like.

EVENING SNACK: 8pm, 1 beer
Out in Greenpoint with E, watching the hepster do their hep thing.

EVENING SNACK: 9:30pm, 1 slice streetza, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
On the way home realized I was hungry, that dinner wasn't as big as I thought. Kinda craving sweet, thinking of the cupcake and the rugallah, I think it kinda primed the pump to eat more sugar, gotta nip that in the bud. Though I just got a huge 20 lb watermelon in the fridge...