Friday, August 1, 2008
Today started with kitchen work, as some doughs had to be set up to rise. There were a lot of interesting but simple recipes today, of which I got wrapped up in two....and naan. Naan is a flat bread similar to pizza, but after making the dough twice and baking it a handful of times, learned to appreciate how it's not pizza.
First the dough: like pizza, yeast, water, flour and salt. Unlike pizza, ghee, yogurt and black onion seeds. The dough is mixed, kneaded to smooth, and coated in ghee and left covered to rise. The recipe we were using was annoyingly imprecise -- "2 cups" of flour is a volume measure, and could be packed light or tight. 2 cups is also 16 ounces, which is weight and is the same every time regardless of volume. My first dough was dry, tough and slightly lumpy after kneeding, so I did a second one, which was looser and pliable.
I prepped and cooked a mango chutney. Cumin and mustard seeds sauteed in some ghee until they make popping noises, thrown in diced onion, green chile and ginger till soft. Then jaggery (an unrefined sugar-cane substance), salt, ground cardamom, diced mango and lime juice are thrown in wit a little water and cooked till thick.
Moved on to miso soup. First, you make dashi, basic Japanese stock. Put kombu (sea weed) in cold water, bring to simmer and remove kombu. Bring to boil, add bonito flakes (dried makerel) and remove from heat, sit 5 minutes, strain. For the miso soup, simply add some miso paste and whisk. Garnish with sliced scallion and cubed tofu. My soup actually tasted a lot less salty then many restaurant soups I've had.
Then back to the bread, both which rose nicely. The recipe called to make 6 breads out of each recipe, but really only made 2 restaurant-sized naans. Punch down, divide, roll into a teardrop shape, sprinkle with onion seeds and brush with ghee. As the school does not have a tandoori oven, pizza stones were placed in ovens going full blast. I treated the dough like pizza, and made them as thin as possible with a light coating -- it just wasn't very good. By my 4th and final naan, I allowed the dough to be thick, particularly around the edges and drenched it in ghee. When it came out, it just looked right, and tasted it too.
Spent the afternoon prepping mise for a pizza dinner for 5 of B's friends and relatives. Was a lot of fun, did a few pizzas I haven't done before. Rather than words, here's the pics!:
Salad pizza: romaine, shredded carrots, cuce, scallion and red onion dressed simply in balsamic and olive oil over a garlic and oil crust. Vegan!
Bufalla moz and raw tomato sauce with basil. The first two pies I undercooked a little.
Fresh school-made moz with spinach, onion and mushroom. Gave it an extra minute, wonderfully crisp but chewy.
Thin sliced wild caught scallops over a garlicy wine sauce, came out surprisingly good for a first try, though could of used a little less garlic and a squirt of lemon.
Tarte Flambe. Screwed this one up but saved it from disaster by spreading the over-salted, over-mixed cheese sauce (cottage cheese and creme fraiche) VERY thin. Bacon and onoiin on top, could of carmelized the onion more to make them sweeter.
Roasted pear and and honeyed mascapone, really good and not overly sweet.
BREAKFAST: 6:30am, organic chex with good milk
AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, 1 naan, lentil daal, miso soup, paratha, poori, chapati, scallion pancake, tomato chutney, mango chutney, 1.5 bowls, hunger 4/5
PM SNACK: 3pm, almond ice cream, .25 bowl, hunger 4/5
Straight out of the machine.
PM SNACK: 6pm, peanut butter, .25 bowl, hunger 4/5
Hungry while prepping dinner.
DINNER: 7:30pm, 6 different kinds of pizza, ice cream, 1 glass wine, water, 2 bowl, hunger 4/5
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today we conquered Asia, and again just about every student did a different recipe. After a full lecture, we sampled a variety of soy sauces, some light and bright, some dark and funky, some in between. Sipping on soy sauce is not exactly a prescription for low-sodium -- a large batch of unsalted white rice was cooked to serve with most of the dishes, as it's blandness is required as a sop for all the salty sauces happening.
I made Crisp Velvet Shrimp with Walnuts and Shitakes (not quite as cool a name as some of the other dishes, such as Cloud Chicken or Nude Fish with Strange Flavors) First step were to peel and devien a pound of shrimp. This is a particularly satisfying exercise, as I started prepping fresh shrimp at home months before I started school -- then it felt challenging and a bit scary, now it's easy-peasy. Line 'em up, shuck the shell, butterfly the back, then run each under water to get out the mini poo-tube.
The first step is the 'crystallize' the shrimp. Basically, you throw a 1/4 teaspoon of salt on the shrimp, mix it around for a minute, wash the shrimp in a strainer, towel dry, then repeat twice. This draws some moisture and stickiness off the shrimp. Next is to marinate the shrimp for about 30 minutes, a step referred to as 'velveting'. Take some salt, rice wine, egg white and cornstarch, mix it together and when its done marinating, strain but do not wash.
From here, the shrimp will be blanched in oil, similar in concept to blanching french fries. The shrimp are deep fried in a wok for about a minute, so it's about 3/4 cooked, then held aside to the final step.
A sauce is prepared, made with soy sauce, more rice wine, cornstarch, fish stock and toasted sesame oil, and then held. Into the wok is a little oil, and hunks of crushed garlic and ginger. These are tossed around the wok to flavor the oil, then are discarded. Sliced shiitakes and scallions are thrown in....
Note on scallions: Chef K demoed the proper way to cut scallions, which was odd, as I've been cutting scallions all my life for green salads. What she showed made sense. First, cut off the root end and the few inches of the very green limper end. From here, peel the top layer of the stalk away all around the scallion. This is what you wash. From here, either cut into 1" pieces to use as an aromatic that will be removed, or slice thin on the bias for maximum surface-for-flavor.
Back to the shrimp dish: once the mushrooms are tender and the scallions (which I sliced thin) wilt a little, the sauce is given a quick stir then thrown in. It goes in liquidy, but once it starts to boil and is stirred, thickens pretty quickly. It got very thick and I had to add water to calm in down. Velveted shrimp and crush walnuts are thrown in, folded to heat and cook through.
I called chef over for a taste and we were both surprised that it did not taste salty enough -- leave it to a slanty-eyed devil like me to make bland Chinese food! Chef K suggested I add fish sauce, that soy-sauce looking stuff that smells like rotting carcasses. On one smell, I added a table spoon to the good half gallon of stuff I had going. Mixed it in, and BAM it was on the edge of almost being too salty -- fish sauce ain't no joke.
Chef said it came out excellently, the velveting and the sauce really done well. It did taste good, a simple shrimp-in-brown-sauce thang. The velveting gave the shrimp that weird Chinese-restaurant feeling in the mouth, it tastes like shrimp but is non-sticky like chicken. Because of the crystallizing process, the shrimp just tasted more....shrimpy.
Dora made a similar dish for her group, Chef called the class over to taste it as an example of improperly crystallizing -- reportedly, it tasted like a salt lick, but I couldn't bring myself to taste her potentially poisonous food.
Wok cooking is fast cooking, and I was done with my main dish before 10:15. So I made a stirfry, a method the Chef demoed earlier. First thing, get all the mise together -- once you start rolling, it happens fast. Got some chopped mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, scallions, peppers. Set up a few cups of soy sauce, rice wine, fish stock and sesame oil. Crushed some hunks of ginger and garlic. First thing, heat the wok. Hit it with oil. Throw in garlic and ginger, toss it around, remove it. Put in slow cooking veg (carrots, broccoli), then the fast veg. Hit it with soy sauce and wine, to sec. Hit it with a little stock, lot of steam, cover the wok for a minute, let it steam in the yummy stock. Uncover, should be a little liquidy but not too much. Hit it with a dash of sesame oil, then plate.
There are no measures, just vibes. First time I did it, it was swimming in overpowering salty liquid, to the point of inedibility. Chef saw me pulling faces, said I could do it again. Second time, I was much more conservative in the liquids I threw in and the final product was just wet, not swimming. Taste-wise, I was shocked -- this is what I get in restaurants, about 10 times better than the random "stir fries" I've made at home with all the wrong ingredients. Chef tasted it, and complimented me on learning from my mistakes.
Tomorrow, we get down with Asian, Thai and Indian breads and soups.
You know my mom would of called today's dish, "Shrimpos Supreme", or at least that's what I'd name it when I ran to her home after class. It's a good thing my parent's ain't around, or I'd be hogging up all the left-overs and running them straight to them everyday for a senior-citizen critique. I'd have gotten my mom to be a guest critic on this blog!
BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good granola with good milk, .5 bowl, hunger 3/5
AM TASTINGS: 10am-10:30am, stir fried shrimp in brown sauce with white rice, a spoonful of spicy tofu, tamarind drink, 1.5 bowls, hunger 4/5
PM SNACK: 3pm, small quantity of tortilla chips and salsa, chocolate peanut butter ice cream, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Visited Y during lunch, I wasn't planning to eat anything but we ALWAYS eat when we get together, so we popped by an Emac & Bolio on Houston. Hanging out with Y (who I told all about today's Chinese odyssey, as she is Chinese and her parents run a Chinese restaurant) is always fun, and eating (and talking) food always amps it up a little.
DINNER: 7pm, baby carrots, hummus, multigrain crackers, robusto cheese, a couple of fancy rolls, glass of sake, seltzer, chocolate pie, water, 1.5 bowls, hunger 4/5
To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our meeting, B & I replicated our first date by having a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park then dessert at Bubbies. The first time, I brought a lot of what she didn't eat (smoked fishes) and she brought a lot of what I didn't eat (syrupy fruit salad). This time, it went a lot smoother.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I guess it's kind of futile to try to get a grasp of Indian cuisine in one 4 hour period, when the lecture takes a full hour due to the introduction of so many different and bold ingredients -- lemon grass, fish paste, ghee, curry blends, and on and on. And on top of that, the school threw in Thailand for good measure. There were literally 15 recipes to get through, so every student did something different.
I made pullao rice with crispy brown-fried onions. First step is to make ghee. Early on, we clarified butter (take solid butter, melt it, simmer it to eliminate all moisture, and skim off solids as they rose to the top). The result was golden clear and pure. Compared to ghee, it's mild and tepid. With ghee, you simmer the solid butter but you do not skim; you let it go, allowing the milk solids to brown and lend a rich flavor to the fat. After 30 minutes or so, when the oil looks dark, strain through cheese cloth. The flavor tastes slightly toasted, and just broader than simple clarification.
The pullao rice is similar to a pilaf. You start with fat in the pan (in this case, ghee) and toast the basmanti rice in it for a few minutes. Once all the rice is absorbed, you can give it a little color but not too much or it'll intefere with the liquid absorbtion. Then pour in the right amount of chicken stock, cover, simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, add some more stock around the edges of the pan, recover, and let sit and steam for about 10 minutes.
While the rice was cooking, I made what is called "chaunk", super-carmelized onions. In a wok, add ghee, then fry cumin seeds and fresh curry leaves quickly, no more than a couple of minutes, making sure not to burn. Add a bunch of long slices of onion and keep moving. In a few minutes, add easy-to-burn black mustard seed. Keep it moving ocassionally, cook down until the color of a good dark chocolate. A few minutes before finish frying, hit it with minced ginger and garlic.
The chaunk is folded into the pullao rice. Mixing will cause the rice to get gluey, so once it's relatively mixed, walk away. The chaunk was quite delicious, giving a nice brown sheen to the white rice. I could see making chaunk for just about any kind of rice and making it really flavorful.
In today's group, Dirty Dave made a chicken curry with thin slices of breast meat (which I suspect is more of an Americanconvention), Roundhead did a sea bass in another curry, and Norbert did some coconutty thai vegetable curry. As I made ghee, the others made a red curry paste and a garam masala, a blend of freshly-ground spices. Some other groups did a fantastic spicy shrimp dish with velvety coconut rice that would of been well received in any Thai joint in NYC.
Tomorrow, we take a day to tackle the entire cuisine of China.
BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good yogurt with honey, vanilla, cashews, .5 bowl, hunger 3/5
AM TASTINGS: 10-11am, 2 small cups of sweetened tamarind juice, coconut rice with moti matal shrimp, browned onion rice with Thai red shrimp curry, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
PM SNACKS: 4-7pm, the HVS's secret stash, 1 cup sprite, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
In the office working late, snuck into HVS's desk and ate a plethora of pretzels and delicious black sesame rice crackers, I ate the whole thing up. (If your reading this, I'll bring a vegan snack selection next time I'm in!)
DINNER: 9pm, falafel sandwich, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
A bite on the way home.
DINNER: 9pm, falafel sandwich, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
A bite on the way home.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Today was the last day in Italy, and the menu was thus: Caponata di Carciofi(eggplan fritters), Pesto Trapanese(tomato pesto), Fregula all Sarda(sausage and tiny pasa), Involtini di Tonno(baked tuna rolls), Stemperata di Pollo (braised chicken), Fritelle di Melanzane(eggplant stew) and Insalata di Arancia (orange and fennel salad). Recipes were divvied up and I focused on the sausage.
Fregula are tiny little balls of toasted durum wheat pasta, reminiscent of a couscous but...toasted. Once I got all the mise together, I browned the hell out of some sausage taken out of its casings in good Sicilian olive oil. I threw in onions, mushrooms, and some crushed garlic cloves into cheese cloth, and cooked them down to translucent and dry. Deglazed with white wine, then tossed in enough veal stock to cover. Added the pasta, removed the garlic, and let simmer until tender. At the end, hit it up with a large amount of shredded pecorino. The whole thing had a nice, sausagey flavor that tempered nicely with the cheese and stock, balanced by the nice bite of the tiny pasta.
The tomato pesto that Chef Jr was making required pasta, so I thought something green would look pretty cool with something orange (helloooo Nickelodeon!). I conferred with Chef K, and she called down for everything I needed. First step was to prep the liquid. Spinach was blanched and shocked, dried thoroughly then put in a blender with my 2 eggs and egg yolks. I blended it until I couldn't even see the spinach leaves, it was so smooth. The concoction was poured into the flour well, and made as usual.
To cut the pasta, Chef brought me a Chitarra, a traditional Italian tool which is basically a box frame with thin metal wires strung across it. The sheet is lies across it, a rolling pin forces it through. The pasta came out like fettuccine, but a little bit more random and hand-cut looking. In the end, it was a really good-looking pasta. (Dora attempted the same pasta later in class and it came out lumpy and a bit brown, oddly enough -- she musn't have blanched the spinach or something.)
Tomorrow, we enter India and a little bit of Thailand, all with a new group of classmates.
BREAKFAST: 6:45am, smoothie, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
Used Stoneybrook farms vanilla yogurt instead of the good yogurt, it added a sweetness and a vanilla flavor that just made the whole thing taste a little bit too fake, like a little bit too much make up on a beautiful woman.
AM TASTINGS: 10:30am, small plate of sausage pasta stuff, small plate of spinach pasta with tomato pesto, several eggplant fritters with yogurt dipping sauce, 1 bite of dry chicken, 1 small wedge of almond-cinnamon cake, water, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5
PM SNACKS: 3-5pm, 20oz of organic sports drink, Nathan's hot dog, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
Chill ride out to Coney Island on the bicycle. Felt the urge for naughty food.
DINNER: 7pm, small bowl of vegetables, modified Chinese Brick (shrimp and broccoli, pork fried rice, egg roll, shrimp toast), water, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
Feeling the need for naughty food. Ate it too fast, so fast I got hiccups and had to get up and get water. The HVS mentioned the other day that sometimes I eat food to be indulgent, but I don't actually enjoy the food. With this in mind as I was scarfing, I was thinking about what exactly I was enjoying. I enjoyed eating it fast, I enjoyed the emotional memory of having Chinese at home with my parents, and how doing so made me feel really intimate and close with them. I did not particularly enjoy the taste; not bad, but not great, it's all a bit too heavy and a bit too salty. Hmmm. Are these associations immutable? Can they be shifted? Or am I doomed to only bring up these happy feelings by eating really shitty food?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today we focused on the south of Italy, and within Chef K's lecture, she mentioned that the south is the home of pizza, but didn't go into any detail about the history of method of my favorite food -- only that we would be making it next mod, not today. She had a short list of famous NYC pizzerias, but excluded the really good ones -- Una Pizzeria Neapolitana, Isabella's Oven, and some famous but not top-rate ones, like Lombardi's. She made the bold assertion that good pizza can't really be found in Manhattan anymore, that you have to go to Brooklyn to a place like DiFaras. She has a point, but she was overgeneralizing.
The menu today was making fresh mozzarella, Mozzarella in Carrozza (fried cheese sammiches), Pasta con Cavolfiore (rigatoni with cauliflower), Miccheroni con Salsa de Pomodoro e Ricotta (buccatini noodles in a spicey red sauce with ricotta), Pesce all'Acqua Pazza (bass in 'crazy water'), Agnello Cacio e Uova (braised lamb in eggy sauce), and Gattó di Patate (cheesy potato bomb).
First up, everyone made cheese. This was of particular interest to me, because to be able to make my own cheese could only mean the opportunity to kick my own home pizzas up a notch. First, you start with cheese curd, which we received in a big block. According to Chef K, you can buy it by the pound at better Italian appetizing stores -- and it ain't cheap, usually just as expensive as premade mozz. We cut it into even-sized cubes. (I wonder if this is the same fabled cheese curd that is needed for poutine?)
Then you get on some hand protection, in this case three pairs of rubber gloves. On the fire you need a large pot of boiling water, extra-salt. The water needs to be much saltier than pasta water, almost like sea water. You cover the curd with the boiling water and immediately the water becomes milky. You need the super-heated curd with your hands into a ball, while keeping it in the water. Once it comes together, it should start to look a bit shiny and be able to be stretched. Don't want to overwork it, it will become tough. Roll it into a ball (or whatever fancy shape, wrap it in plastic and hold it in the white water in the fridge). The water will keep in fresh, but the plastic will help prevent too much salt from being absorbed.
We divvied up the recipes and I worked on the Gattó. I don't know what the official English translation is, but Potato Cheese Bomb would be appropriate. Basically you boil and rice a few pounds of potatoes, mix in a lot of whole butter, a lot of Parmesan cheese, chopped up salty soppressata, egg, half and half, marscapone, and smoked mozzarella. In a buttered and bread-crumb-laden cup, layer the mixture with a layer of fresh mozzarella in the middle, then bake that bad boy till it's hot all the way through and golden brown on the outside. It tasted....like a cheese n' potato bomb went off in my mouth, with little sopressata citizens screaming bloody murder as I chewed them right up. I could see this being sold on a stick at the state fair in Minnesota (sorry, E!).
We all took a crack at frying mozz sammiches. Take squares of crustless white bread, slap some freshly-made mozz, a little fresh tomato and basil, dredge in flower, then dip in some eggwash pan-fry. I would of had some pictures of these pretty tasty squares, but my phone died for a while after being handled too close to a bowl of hot mozz water.
I was done by 10 with my stuff, and was inspired by Dirty Kim -- she too had finished her stuff, and was going over with Chef K a recipe for bread pudding to use up the tons of crusts we generated for the sandwiches. So I told Chef K I wanted to make some fresh pasta ravioli, using ingredients laying around. I made a stuffing of smoked mozz, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, basil, parsley and salt, which tasted ok. However, I decided to experiment with the pasta. I purposefully under-kneaded the dough, let sit for only 30 minutes, then ran it through the machine quickly. The dough was tough, crumbly from the get-go and never quite got the right pasta feel. I made ravioli by hand to practice, but by the time I was done there was no time to cook them. Still, it was the kind of exercise I would have never done at home....
Tommorow, off to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
Cousin J had a going-away get together this evening so I whipped out the bundt pan and made a pound cake:
Lots of eggs, heavy cream, sugar, nothing good for ya. Used better eggs and a better quality flour, and baked it a bit shorter this time, came out a lot less dense and moister than last time. To balance its natural density, I whipped cream cheese with sugar and whipped cream:People seemed to like it, about 2/3 of it was gone when I left. I also brought fresh mozz I made today in class and got some organic heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market, some organic basil and dressed in with olive oil and basil:
That was gone by the time I left!
BREAKFAST: 6:30am, good granola with good milk, .75 bowl, hunger 3/5
AM TASTINGS: 10:30am, several eggy fried mozz sandwiches, a few bites of potatoey cheesy stuff,taste of pasta and red sauce, .75 bowl, hunger 4/5
Didn't eat too many, but there were so dense just filled me up.
PM TASTINGS: 3pm, lemon pound cake in various states of cooking, bits of whipped cream/cream cheese frosting, .5 bowl, hunger 3/5
Making an over-the-top pound cake for cousin J's going away thing, gonna make a great tomato and mozz plate too when I'm there.
DINNER: 6pm, several pieces of fresh moz with basil and yummy heirloom tomatoes dressed in olive oil and salt, couple of tears of bread, a small piece of frosted pound cake, a small piece of vegan chocolate cake, 1 glass wine, 1/2 beet, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
EVENING WATERING: 10pm, quart of water.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
On Sunday for lunch, I had Ethiopian food for lunch with B. We got a vegetarian platter for two, seen above. I was introduced to this cuisine years ago, and I really liked it, the spicy flavors, the weird consistencies, the practice of eating everything with soft spongy flat bread instead of utensils. I had many early dates with Ethiopian food, to see how the women reacted. The NY Times had an article recently explaining why African food in general has never taken off in NYC, despite the fact there are more Africans here than all Asians of different ethnic groups (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc) combined. I remember taking my friend from England to Ethiopian and her being shocked by a platter of 'baby sick'. I took my parents, who I had previously introduced to Indian, Thai and regional Italian food, of which they all loved -- Ethiopian, they turned a little green.
So it pains me to say that I think I don't like Ethiopian food anymore. In school, I'm learning not just how to cook but how to eat, too. For what reasons does food become thought of as 'good'? Unthought about, you can go strictly on emotional ties and the nutritional value. But now I'm thinking, ugh, there is no variety of texture on this plate, the injera isn't nearly as fresh as it could be, the spices of the two different looking things are way to similar, but not complementary, the kale is oversalted, the cabbage is undersalted and the stuff should not be soaking the platter with oil. FNEH!
BREAKFAST: 7pm, smoothie, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
Banana, ginger, blueberries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, good milk, good yogurt. Had to make another vegan smoothie while this sat, and when I got back to it, its beautiful pink color turned a weird light-cement brown. Still delicious.
AM SNACKS:8:30am, pretzels, chocolate vegan cookie thing, .25 bowl, hunger 4/5
AM SNACKS: 11am, pretzels, chocolate vegan thingie, .25 bowl, hunger 4/5
PM SNACKS: 1pm, fries, cherry ice, 1 bowl, hunger 4/5
Bad food at Asbury Park. The birds would fly really close to the HVS's head and snap up fries thrown in the air.
LINNER: 4:30pm, bad fried fish sandwich on puffy white roll, small bag of chips, 2 cans of beer, water, 1.5 bowl, hunger 4/5
DINNER: 8pm, beet pasta with talegio cream sauce and pears, 2 meat balls, mint chocolate chip ice cream, 2 bowls, hunger 4/5
When I got home from riding along beaches all day, was going to go out for Ethiopian but B had fallen asleep. Tempted to order a Chinese brick but when I went into the fridge, remembered I was a culinary student who is wearhousing some really good food in the fridge and freezer....
BREAKFAST: 8:15am, good granola with good milk, .75 bowl, hunger 4/5
Woke up hungry, always a good thing.
AM SNACK: 11:45pm, chocolate bar, .5 bowl, hunger 4/5
Hungry, lazy, easy in. It just kinda jumped out of the wrapper and down my throat.
LUNCH: 1pm, Ethiopian vegetarian platter, 1 bowl, hunger 3/5
DINNER: 6pm, samples of 8 different sausages, 1 piece of dark bread with quark cheese, one dark beer, .75 bowl
It was the last day of Sausage Week at Blau Gans, so I shared a multi-tiered sausage platter with a close friend of mine and close friend of B's who I suspect were hitting it off quite well. It's hard not to think of sexy-times when eating a huge platter of sausages. I left when they started their second drink.
EVENING DRINK: 7:30pm, 1 dark beer
Another bar with Cousin J, who is leaving soon and had to celebrate/commiserate with some of her friends.