Friday, June 27, 2008

Breakfast -- Batters and Cereals (Team Fumble)

The lecture portion felt a little bit silly, with Chef C reading from rote about how to fry a pancake, then as an aside defending teflon pans as fine to use, and how he doesn't like brain-washing. I'm pretty certain teflon-coated pans have been shown to leave toxic residue when treated improperly, and I'm quite certain if you get 30 students on a teflon pan, more than one will beat it up a bit.

We had a long menu of foods today: pancakes, crepes, waffles, french toast, one hot cereal and one cold cereal per group, granola, dry or fresh fruit compote. With Norbit on board, Speedy asked me if I wanted to be team leader. Want? No. My ego said I was the only one to hold this motley crew together, but unless I'm asked nicely by all, why stick my neck out for the frustration? Norbit jumped into the gap, and chaos immediately ensued.

After waiting a few minutes for some direction, I spoke up and said that indeed, the Muesili had to get started first, as it had to soak for 2 hours, so I got it done. Soak oats in milk, sugar and lemon juice. Chaos, but by this point Chef C stepped in and made Roundhead team leader, so I told RH I was on the Muesili and starting our hot cereal, cheese grits. RH, N, and Sp were working at cross purposes to get together 5 portions of dry and wet parts of the three batters, while Dora the Explorer was off chopping apples for the crepe topping for Crepes Normandy, despite the apples already being on the fire.

I kept my head down and made some kick-ass cheese grits, ending up using 2x the milk that the recipe called for. The Muesili had to be mixed with various chopped fruit right before service, I had to tell RH several times that we had to wait for the oats to soak before mixing, or the fruit would be unappetizingly brown.

The apples Normandy on the fire was wrong -- someone had plopped the mise into the pan without thought. Apples had to be flambed in calvados (apple brandy), carmelized with sugar, brought to sec, and finished with cream -- yet here was a pot of all the ingredients together, cold. I asked RH what the hell was this, he knew nothing. "Toss it, start over!," I said, more than a little annoyed -- all other groups were way ahead of us, and here we were with thumbs planted firmly in butts. (After class, I apologized to RH for yelling at him, he said it was no big deal but I think he respected that I wasn't a dick about it.) If I was Chef in a restaurant and not a fellow student, I'd simply say, "You're fired. Get out." DtE never would of gotten through the door.

Assembling batter from the prepped mise was silly easy, and because someone else prepared it, you had no control. The pancakes were fine, but my personal mix at home is 10x better. The waffles were kinda silly, just plop the batter in the waffle iron and off you go.

The crepes and the french toast presented more of a challenge. French toast is deceptively simple, but you have to be careful not to absorb too much egg mixture. I guess if we were using older staler bread, it would of prevented it from being so spongy. The temp of the pan needs to be regulated to both cook the eggs and toast the bread at the right consistency. Chef C demo'd on a cast-iron griddle, but I lazily tried to knock them out on a steel pan, which proved difficult to get a steady and correct temp. With so much chaos around me, I just didn't want to move and shake up the station with so many people who didn't quite know what they were doing around me. I got one good french toast out, but 5 went into the garbage as too much egg, too little, burnt, etc.

The crepes were challenging and delicious. Using a small cast iron flat round skillet, coated with Pam (yuck!! silicon dioxide!) then poured a small amount of the thin batter on the center of the pan and swirled it to cover. Once pleasantly browned, flip and cook for about 1/4 the time. It took me several tries to get the temp right, but once I got cranking, it got easier. The apples normandy was an amazing sweet complement, the herbed goat-cheese, a savory filling that was not so amazing.

While people mukkled about with frying, I chopped some fruit for the Muesili and hit it with fresh whipped cream, a squeeze of lemon and topped with some slivered almonds I toasted quick on the crepe pan. Chef C said it was great, and even some team members of other teams took it home because it was better than what they made themselves. That didn't quite make up for the motley team, but it was nice.

Talking it over with Lady Wifey later that day, she reminded me that in real life I'll always be working with bumbling fools at some point. I reminded her in real life, if people get to work this unprepared and get it this wrong, they don't get a second shot.

I assisted Chef C in an "Essentials of Provencal Cuisine" recreational class along with Dirty Kim in the evening. It was a really fun experience, getting there an hour before the public, coordinating with Chef, setting up, then leading a team of 5 people of all ages (and equally absent skills) through 3 recipes, from easy peasy (tapenade that had all the ingredients stuffed in the robo coup then seasoned with lemon and pepper) to complex (crusted rack of lamb, frenched and served with simple pan sauce.) Unlike in class, not only was I leading the team but I was teaching everything, from how to hold a knife to why we brown and season. As the people were eating, chatted casually with a bunch, many who are in town for the fancy food show this week. Good vibes.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good granola with good milk, .5 bowl, hunger 3/5

AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, 2 pancakes, 3 crepes with apple normandy and whipped cream, spoonful of muesli parfait, small bowl of cheese grits, 2 bowls,hunger 4/5

PM SNACK: 1pm, 2 grilled shrimp, 1 piece bread, .5 bowl, hunger 3/5
Accompanied Wifey to lunch.

LUNCH: 4pm, seitan, hijiki, quinoa with tahini dressing, vegan chocolate chip cookie, 1.5 bowl, hunger 3/5
Had an underwhelming yoga class, grabbed some yummy HVS-approved food before heading out to assist on a rec class where meat will enter my tummy and have a rumble with the vegan. Who will win?

DINNER: 10pm, roast rack of lamb, french bread toast, beef stew, provencal vegetables, whipped potatoes, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breakfast -- Eggs (I want Eggs, Cotton!!)

I don't think Chef C is reading this blog (I certainly hope not, as I'm talkin' a lot of smack), but he seemed to react to yesterday's class, as a number of people complained about Norbit during the class. He started off the class with an admonition to stop whining about other people in the class because in the real world you just have to deal -- but in the real world if one team member is dragging the whole team down, it's costing the chef cash-money to keep the cog that's messing with the machinery. Today he had us get into new random groups after a brief lecture on the techniques of cooking eggs in different styles.

The class had a big cardboard box of about 150 eggs, with a horrible cartoon of "Eggman" explaining how to keep eggs fresh. When I think of the Eggman, I think of John Water's film, Pink Flamingos. Nightmares in high school did this clip give me:

I've gone on at length about my aversion to eggs in earlier posts (click the "Scrambled Eggs" label at left to see); I won't rehash.
Our group consisted of Speedy, Roundhead, Dora the Explorer and Norbit, who was absent today.
I've never worked with DtE before, but her reputation is well-known. Not only is her spoken English not that great, she doesn't fully understand it, either. In previous classes, I've seen her do things like put her knives in a storage bucket point-down, which is extremely disrespectful of the tools. I tried to engage her a few times, once asking for a colander and getting coriander. I asked her to press the shredded potatoes in said colander which she started, but when I turned my back she wandered off to, I dunno, go exploring? While Chef C was clear about how the first half of the recipes were group efforts, she'd move on and start on the individual recipes without a comment or warning. Yes, I let Speedy be team leader on this mess.

Speedy put me on hashbrowns and breakfast meats, which were dead easy. Bacon and sausage were laid out on a rack and put in a 350-degree oven. The bacon came out first after about 10 minutes, sausage another 20 until the casings were brown and cracking. I departed from the school's simplistic hashbrown recipe and simply shredded the 'taters, seasoned and squeezed them through a colander, added back the starch and threw in some shredded onion. Fried in shallow clarified butter, they came out magically delicious. It was gratifying to taste another team's hashbrown and finding it a lot less magical.

While the rest of the team were getting the mise together for the fillings and garnishes for omelets and frittata, I got the hard and soft boiled eggs on. I remember my mother's hard boiled eggs --truly frightful. She'd toss the eggs into boiling water and after an hour or so, take them out and peel them when they fell to room temp. Why so long, I don't know, I guess raw egg was considered bad? Here is how you cook a perfect hard boiled egg, guaranteed:
  1. Place egg in pot, pour cold water until it's covered at least by 2 inches. Salt water heavily (this will NOT season the egg, only make peeling easier later.)
  2. Bring to a boil, return to simmer
  3. Simmer at a LOW, GENTLE simmer for 14-15 minutes.
  4. Immediately shock in an ice bath for 30 seconds. Remove and peel (should peel easy).
Using this method, there was no green ring, and actually looked like a stereotypical hard boiled egg. Wish I could go over to my mom's house right now and cook her a perfect hard boiled egg, then tease her about the many times she forgot about the boiling eggs and ended up with burnt, exploded egg shards all over the kitchen ceiling.

Soft boiled eggs were a bit trickier, which I had RH assist on. Drop into boiling water, 3-4 minutes, shock, cut off the top of the egg shell with a special tool and serve in a small dish that allows the egg to stand up. Looks a bit like raw egg with a coating of solid egg white hugging the shell, but the heat has pasteurized it.

Next up was my ancient arch-nemesis, scrambled eggs. Chef C announced that if anyone had any trouble making scrambled eggs this morning, they would automatically get a full tuition refund and then be enrolled at Apex Tech. Mix a bit of milk in with the well-beaten and homogeneous egg, pour into a hot lightly oiled pan and immediately start stirring until it coagulates. While still a little wet-looking, plate. Carry-over cooking will cook it the rest of the way on the plate. Man, if my mom had these basic skills when I was a kid, I might actually....have little less to moan about now, he he.

The other teams had already presented their fritatta, but Speedy had not gotten his on the fire yet, due to fussing too long with the mise and getting confused over which pans to use. I prodded him a little bit, which clearly annoyed him, but a) it's a team thang, b) if there was a customer waiting, they'd be pissed, c) Chef C was not on it, d) Speedy is a much better cook than he gives himself credit for because he gets nervous and doubts his next move -- someone needs to yell at him to get him to focus over his nerves. The fritatta finally did get out, a full 30 minutes late.

Frying an egg as pretty easy, once I got a feel for the temp and the amount of oil - browning is a no-no, you want silky white whites. Basting a little with the oil to get the top fully cooked is sunny side up, flipping it once is over easy, no biggie.

However, I took four tries at making an omelet and failed miserably for a different reason each time. The method is: put your homogenized egg mixture in the pan, scramble until cooked halfway, let cook still for the other half, place garnish, then fold in thirds and plate fold-side down (French) or fold in half and brown (American). One time too much oil, another time too much heat, another time undercooked and tore, final time a little bit of all those errors. I think I was still a little bit frazzled from being so up and close to the scramble.

Poaching eggs is easy, just gently drop a whole raw egg into gently simmering vinegar-infused water, wait till it floats and looks solid enough so the yolks don't break, 3-6 minutes. We served it up on an English muffin, slice of Canadian Bacon and topped with Hollandaise sauce.
I don't mean to be vulgar, but poached eggs looks like boiled snot. There, I said it.

Cleanup was only a tight 30 minutes today, which was cool. At the end of class, Chef C announced we'd have new partners tomorrow, too. Will I ever get to work with the Media Ken and the Long Island Lolita?

I remember years ago I was out to brunch with my father and a friend, and I ordered a fritatta, thinking for some reason it was some version of pizza, judging by the menu description. I turned three shades of green when it was brought to the table, but I could not bring myself to send it back as I felt silly that I didn't know what it was. My dad was cool, but if my mom was there, she would have been pissed about the wasted money.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, smoothie, 1 bowl, hunger 3/5
Blueberries, kiwi, cherries, grapes, banana, good yogurt and good milk, wheat germ, ice. This one was a littler on the unsweet side, maybe a half teaspoon of honey would of taken an edge off, maybe a pinch of salt would of brightened it.

AM TASTINGS 10-11am, 5 or so pieces of bacon, 1 or 2 links of sausage, 3 hash brown patties, one bite of fritata chased by bite of bread, one half of English muffin with Canadian Bacon and hollandaise, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Chef wasn't tasting the eggs, so I wasn't either. Dirty Kim asked me to taste her fritatta because she was proud of it, so I couldn't say no. It was actually pretty good, creamy with eggs, not too eggy tasting, though I still needed a bread chaser.

AM TASTING: 11:45am, pieces of angel cake, chocolate angel cake, spiced angel cake and weird coffee-pastry cream layer thing with thin layers of angel cake, 1 bowel, hunger 3/5
We sent out a lot of eggs and bacon and hash browns to the other floors, this is what we got back as thank you.

DINNER: 5:30pm, small portion of yesterday's pasta with chanterelles, large portion of green salad, water, 2.5 bowls, hunger 4/5

EVENING SNACK: 7:15pm, homemade vanilla ice cream, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Methods Review (Couscous of My Peeps)

Final day of methods review and once again, Chef C didn't give any lecture -- I guess we already know everything there is to know (that's sarcasm, btw). I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I'm not happy with the way our class is being run. More than 1/4 of class-time is dedicated to cleaning, then Chef C divides his attention between what the students are doing and sweeping the floor. There's just a certain feel of disorganization throughout the cooking day.

One student (let's name him Norbit) in particular was a bit loud and boisterous, which was raising the tension in class. Speedy complained to Chef C, and Chef C kind of blew him off, saying that he should take it directly to Norbit. I understand Chef C's position, but Norbit's behavior is really starting to affect the morale of the class.

Anyway, today's menu was Saddle of Rabbit stuffed with mushrooms in a brown sauce; chicken stew, South American style; penne with sun- dried tomatoes and chanterelles; and Israeli Couscous. SinceChef Jr. begged off the leading role, Speedy jumped into the void. I asked to do the couscous, as Israel is my peeps and my mom loved dishes like that. The rabbit was a multi-stage ordeal, so Sp and 2LG got on that, while CJ got on the chicken stew.

I started on the couscous -- while Chef C said to do a half recipe, I doubled it because I knew I was gonna make it good. Sweated a load of shallots in butter; threw small dices of butternut squash and red pepper into the dry couscous; covered it in chicken stock, seasoned; let it simmer until it had a certain creaminess, reminiscent of risotto. Chef C tasted it and not only said it was perfect, but scooped out a 4 oz container of it to eat -- the highest and most honest compliment a chef can give, I suppose.

Rolled straight into the pasta, rough-chopping a ton of chanterelles, beautiful, fragrant mushrooms that are upwards of $20 a pound at the market. Sweated diced spanish onions in butter, then softened the mushrooms. In a large pot, slowly simmered heavy cream with marscapone and a pinch of salt to a bit of thickness. Cooked penne to al dente and tossed it in the cream mixture with the onions and mushrooms, a few handfuls of diced sundried tomatoes, and finished with grated parmesan. Once we presented it, Chef C said it wasn't creamy enough. So we thew in a cup more of cream, a dollop of marscapone, and a ladle of starchy pasta water, which really made the sauce more....saucy. By thinning the sauce a little, it's mouth-feel was greatly improved, delivering a bigger, more confident flavor. I may not like Chef C's style, but I totally respect his opinion.

I'm not a big fan of chicken in general, but the chicken stew had an earthy, interesting flavor. I didn't touch the cooking of it, but the recipe called for a corn-based grain called masa harina, along with poblano and jalapeno peppers, hoja santa leaves, and avocado garnish.

The stuffed Saddle of Rabbit was more than a bit fussy, calling for the saddle (from behind the ribs to the tail, legs removed) to be deboned of the chine (spine) while keeping the two halves connected. Once cleaned and layered with yesterday's prepared mushrooms, we rolled and wrapped them in caul fat, the membrane of the stomach lining of a pig -- and yes, it is a nasty looking as it sounds (see above). Once trussed, the rabbit rolls were browned in a pan then baked. Finished with a fussy mushroom veal stock reduction, unfortunately our rabbit turned out a bit overcooked, dry, and grainy.

Took a tourne workshop in the afternoon with Chef T, whose reputation preceded him. He's known to be a bit of a hard-ass, but he was all-business and straightforward without excess verbiage. After two-and-a-half hours of really working my wrist around potatoes, carrots, and turnips to make those little 7-sided bullet shapes, my arm felt like I was 13 years old again. Thank you! I'll be here all night!!

In other news, the East River Cafe, a diner in my neighborhood that's been open and run by Polish residents since the late '90s, closed this past week. This hits me hard because I used to go there on Sunday mornings with my parents for super cheap breakfast. The walk over was better than the food, but we loved going there together. After my father passed, I went with my mom, and it felt a little like my dad was still there. Since being married, I've gone there several times with my wife. Each time we did I felt Mom there with us a little, in between the waffle with bacon and the eggs with free refills on coffee.

BREAKFAST: 6:45am, good granola with good milk, banana, 1 bowl, hunger 3/5

AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, small plate of couscous, small piece of stewed chicken, small plate of pasta, water, 1.5 bowls, hunger 4/5
After yesterday's burger bash with extra onion rings, this was a relief.

PM TASTING: 2pm, piece of fried brocolli, piece of fried fish, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Chef C was teaching on the floor I was tourneing, so I stopped in to say hello, they were doing deep-fry. The fish was far and away inferior to what Chef M made us do, which was light, fluffy and tangy from beer. Chef C's batter (or at least, his student's) was thin, chewy and bland. Makes me feel a bit guilty for writing that, because Chef C is a sweet guy.

PM SNACK: 5pm, half a large coffee cake, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Baked good from the farmer's market. I chose it because it reminded me of a similar cake I had in a windowless break room of a corporate chain record store I worked in when I was in college - horrible chemically stale thing from the cafe. This version was fresher, less chemically, but the brown crumbly part was 4x bigger than the cake part, and was still kinda gross.

DINNER: 7:30pm, tuscan panzanella, pancetta risotto, water, 2 bowl, hunger 4/5
Dinner with Yana at Supper. I always eat too much when I hang with her, but it's so much fun.

EVENING SNACK: 8:30pm, chocolate soft serve cone, .5 bowl, hunger 2/5
It's Yana's fault.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Methods Review (Tum de tum tum tums)

Again we went straight into the cooking without much of a lecture. When we started working with Chef C, he had handed out a tempura batter recipe for onion rings. Even though deep-fry wasn't on the cards today, most of the recipes were pretty simple, and fitting it in wasn't a big deal.

As we set up, the question of team leader came up again. Rather than switch back from Speedy to me, I insisted on Chef Jr. taking the reins, telling him that he definitely has the skills (and the temperament), all he needs is confidence -- and today was going to be an easy day anyway. So CJ got to it, assigning Speedy to the grilled tuna and marinade; 2L to the grilled hanger steak; Roundhead to the grilled burgers; and the two of us to tackle the most ornate recipe of the day, Caribbean Vegetable Stew.

The burgers were ridiculous -- seasoning and shaping the patties, assembling the garnishes , toasting the buns. We added minced garlic and onion to the meat, and I had Chef C call down for a quart of veal stock, which I reduced to about a quarter cup for a nice syrupy glace to kick the burger up a notch.

Once the steak and fish were in the fridge marinating, we got to work on thick-slicing the onions, then dredging them in flour, a thick tempura batter, and then finishing in panko breadcrumbs. I ran about 3 tests in the hot oil, adjusting the seasoning in the batter as we went along. Suffice to say, before I knew it, I had eaten 3 rather large and delicious onion rings.

The vegetable stew was odd. First we made a sofrito, a base involving a lot of different kinds of peppers, like a funky mirepoix. Blended in the robo coup, was set to stew with chicken stock and cubed vegetables, including yuca and batata.

A few people deep fried tostones, Dirty Kim made a beautiful tequila-based dipping sauce. A lot of people basted bacon with honey as a garnish for the burgers.

Again, the class was a bit disorganized. These dishes did not require 4 hours, and the class started cleaning around 10:30 and stretched out until 11:45, when we were dismissed early. A pastry class sent up a plate of wonderful brioche, and Dirty Kim busted out some pound-cakey cupcakes in honor of Chef Jr.'s birthday -- and who can say no to homemade cupcakes? Tomorrow, the third and final day of methods review.

Speedy got a nasty cut on his finger, so I assisted him at the first aid kit that is hung near the hand-washing station. All band-aids and bandages, burn cream, cortisone, anti-itch stuff, aspirin, and three different kinds of indigestion meds, he he he. Tum de tum tum tums, indeed. My tummy was not agreeing with me by the end of class.

Went for a nice bike ride out to Coney Island last night, where I indulged in 2 hotdogs, about 1.5 more than I should of, since I kinda knew I'd be eating unhealthily this morning. Still, it's Nathan's of Coney Island, man! It's the taste of Brooklyn my parents knew, and it's the taste of Brooklyn I know today. Sure, you can get a tube of lips n' snouts n' buttholes at any fastfood franchise of this brand, but to eat it AT Coney Island, it's just....right.

BREAKFAST: 6:30am, smoothie, 1.5 bowls, hunger 3/5
Good yogurt and milk, ripe banana, cherries, grapes, a dash of wheat germ, ice. Tasty

AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, 1 grilled burger with all the fixings, small piece of grilled hanger steak, small piece of grilled tuna, a spoonful of vegetable stew, a large number of onion rings, 2 pieces of brioche, cupcake, water, 2.5 bowls, hunger 4/5

PM SNACK: 5pm, cashew-butter chocolate gelato, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5

DINNER: 8pm, large green salad with Italian dressing, 2 bowl, hunger 3/5

Monday, June 23, 2008

Methods Review (Sweet Sweetbread's Baaaaadasssss Song)

Today was a mishmash of recipes to review different cooking methods. On the menu today was baked stuffed potatoes, sautéed supreme of chicken with white port reduction (a.k.a. pan sauce), wild mushroom fricasse, BBQ baby back ribs, and braised sweetbreads. There wasn't much lecture, and we got to it pretty quick.

Back together with Chef Jr, Speedy, Roundhead, and 2LG, I asked, "Who is leader this time?" CJ begs off, though I think he would be an excellent organized leader, he just needs the confidence. Speedy wants it; he got it. RH starts asking me what to do and I'm all, "Don't ask me, Sp is the leader." I'm set off making a simple shallot compote and sautéed shittakes for the port reduction sauce for the chicken, then make the sauce, having fun flambéing with the strong white port. Sp takes the chicken, and I assist him in pan sautéing to a nice crispy exterior before finishing in the oven. CJ rubs spices on the ribs before enclosing them in foil and into the oven. RH cleans up the sweet breads, assembling the mise and then helping to finish assembling the mushrooms with 2LG.

As the ribs are in the oven, CJ gets the potatoes in the oven; then, when they are soft, he takes them out, scoops them hollow, rices the guts with butter and salt spices. The potatoes are placed in a plastic bag with a metal tip, then are squeezed decoratively back into the potato skins. Finished with grated cheese, they are browned in the oven before being finished with parsley.

Even though we agreed to slice the sweet breads thinly and pan-fry them with standard breading, RH stuck to the recipe cards that called for braising. Thing is, this lesson focused on methods -- and as cooks, we should be able to switch up methods and still keep a cool head and know what we're doing. RH was too enamored of his own cards and not thinking independently.

Sweetbreads are glands from a veal cow's head, below the brain. They are soaked in milk and are eerily white. They are braised and cooked in liquid after a browning in a pan. Braising really softens a meat. I tasted the sweetbread -- it tasted very much like neutral chicken, except the consistency was slightly gelatinous and pasty/firm at the same time. As I was chewing, my stomach felt queasy and for the first time in class, I spit into a napkin without swallowing. Braised sweetbreads without sauce are kinda gross -- if we used a crispy method, that kept some firmness, it probably would of been a lot more palatable. Roundhead, THINK!

And while I'm getting down on my fellow students, Speedy is speedy out of the gate, but as he gets into it, he gets a little bit too precious about his food. When running late, we need to get things to a stage of "good enough," not perfect. Perfection may only take an extra minute, but getting food on the plate at the appropriate time has to be balanced with the quality of the cooking if we're ever going to get into this business seriously. And Speedy is always the last one out of the gate when it comes to solo-cooking recipes. (I'd say Late Kid was, but LK got suspended for being late all the time....)

I like Chef C, he's a sweet guy, charmingly dopey and he aims to please. However, he does not run a tight class like Chef M did. We kept the same groups, which is comfortable, but it's lazy and unchallenging. The recipes went by a bit quick, and we ended up cleaning the kitchen around 11am, and left around 11:45am. During this time, rather than ride the class to move quicker, Chef C helped clean. If we were all equals, that would be cool, but he needs to be the 5-star General. He should be teaching and leading, not on his knees moving cutting boards. Cleaning should have been 30 minutes, and that half hour could have been dedicated to, say, intense knife drills -- something productive. Urgh. Regardless, I think it would be fun to stage (assist) for Chef C in a recreational class for the public. However, I would not want him to be my mentor.

I've been slowly cluing in some of the cooler students in class about this blog, and so far the feedback has been surprisingly positive (surprising, as NO ONE comments on these entries! Hint hint...) Dirty Kim said her family has been really enjoying reading down in Trinidad & Tobago. Hollah to the Dirty Family! Get your lives together!

Once again, 224 lbs o' heaviness this morning, despite the crazy weekend eating.

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

AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, sauteed chicken with port reduction sauce, 3 babyback ribs with bbq sauce, one stuffed potato, 1 bite (spit out) of sweetbread, water, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5

PM SNACK: 2pm, ramekin of soy-based chocolate-chocolate-cashew ice-cream, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Need a shot of sugar and caffeine to wake up.

PM SNACK: 4pm, baby carrots with hummus, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
So Ilsa will yell at me a little less tomorrow.

DINNER: 5:45pm, homemade pizza, grape soda, 2 bowl, hunger 4/5
Oh my. This is exciting. The best homemade pizza yet. I proofed the dough from Friday morning through Monday, in the fridge. I topped it with some sauce I made weeks ago, grated a few random cheeses in the fridge, moz, parm, gruyere, swiss, little bits of each. The crust was amazingly chewy, crisp to the bite, a wonderfully yeasty aroma, thin and crisp at the middle, pillowy and chewy at the edge. Now if I can only do this 500 times a night, I'll be in business...

EVENING SNACK: 8:15pm, 2 hot dogs with kraut & onions, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Nice bike ride out to Coney, communed with the elder spirits of Brooklyn by chowing down on nitrate-laced lip n' butthole force-meats.