Flaunt it Friday and Lessons Learned From Culinary School (besides the obvious)

Good Friday.

It was interesting reading over your comments about my stint over at millionaire matchmaker. I think most of you agreed I shouldn’t have said that, but I appreciate the support for my saying it anyhow. Its too late now, and frankly, I wasn’t aiming to date them. Hence, I think I knew deep down it would scare them a bit.

Anyhow….moving on…..

I was looking back at older entries and realized I haven’t talked much about my culinary school experience. So for today, I thought I’d share some of the lessons I learned. But these aren’t what you might expect. Of course I learned how to properly make quiches, reductions, and terrines, but you’d be surprised of the other bits of wisdom I soaked in.

1) Ginger snaps and prunes are used as thickeners in Germany

2) Pate a Choux is the basic dough for eclairs and profiteroles, but it means “head of cabbage” in French. I do love cabbage, but pate a choux doesn’t leave you gassy and lets face it, tastes WAY better.

3) Waiting for sourdough to rise is torture when your impatient and somewhat ADD in the kitchen (like moi)

4) Fondant tastes like a slightly sweet tire

5) Apparently, Jews dont go to culinary school cause they parents make them be lawyers, doctors, or producers. I was the only jew in my class and when we learned how to make Challah, no one knew what it was besides me.

6) Most professional chefs smoke like chimneys

7) kneading and whisking can help you get some serious looking guns, although mine deflated cause at the time, I wasn’t fueling myself enough.

8 ) Never go out to eat on a monday: Distributors typically take Sunday off and make their last deliveries Saturday morning — which means that by Monday any food not used over the weekend is at least three to four days old. And it will be served before the same ingredients arriving in Monday’s delivery. What to do if you wish to dine out on a Monday? Ignore your instincts and go to a place that’s perpetually crowded. If a place is open 24/7 and busy all the time, all the ingredients tend to be fresh

9) Making hollandaise just right CAN be stressful.

10) You will get ugly: you cant wear makeup, jewlery, nail polish, and that stupid hat covers your head so you look bald.

11) Salt and pepper are your frenemies: No matter if you’re making pasta or chicken or even a dessert, always taste it and always add salt to bring out the flavor. Doesn’t mean you should add a ton of salt, but there should be some. Salt is best used frequently but sparingly. You can add more salt to a dish but you can’t take the salt out. Never be afraid to ask for salt and pepper at a restaurant and don’t be offended if someone asks for it at your restaurant. Everybody’s taste are different and restaurants that don’t have shakers on the tables are just kidding themselves that they are pleasing everyone.

12) Ratios:  It’s worth committing these to memory: one pound pasta for one gallon of water. 2-1 ratio of water to rice or 3-1 ratio for brown rice. 3-1 ratio of olive oil to vinegar to make a classic vinaigrette dressing. 1-1 ratio of flour to butter in a classic roux with 8 ounces of each for a gallon of water. Also a 4-1 mixture of vegetable oil to olive oil is virtually identical in taste to olive oil and much cheaper

13) I dont really need recipes (and maybe you dont either): This was my goal: to divorce myself from recipes. Maybe its because I was less of a natural cook than I wanted to admit. But I needed to gain enough sense of the ‘method behind the madness’ so I could just ‘cook ’ and not always refer to a recipe. I wanted to know how to do things without following  instructions from a card or a book. I’m happy to finally say that I can look at a recipe and make all sorts of adjustments with confidence.  I make meals all the time without recipes. I still consult the plethora of great chefs out there—I just don’t have to. That makes me confident!

Sorry I don’t have a recipe….instead I’m going to embrace “Flaunt it Friday” (I think this was April’s creation). I was gonna do something very vain like my “biceps” or “six pack abs” but I dyed my hair yesterday and to be honest, I kinda hate most of it…except this part

The rest of my hair is way too dark, but we decided to "make it fun" and I put in a teeny red streak along one of my curls, its the only part I thought was kinda neat

Maybe I just need to get used to it….As we all know, change is hard. Man, that shot makes my eyes look giant, like those Japanese cartoons. Speaking of which, I used to be obsessed with Sailor Moon, does anybody remember that?

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16 thoughts on “Flaunt it Friday and Lessons Learned From Culinary School (besides the obvious)

  1. I don’t like using recipes. I love playing with foods and flavors and just having fun with them. I use recipes as inspiration, well, really I use the pictures as inspiration! And menu items, too. But I detest following a recipe, unless it is for something I have never baked before! I died my hair a similar color a few weeks ago, and it was way too dark at first. Give it a few days, it’ll grow on you and the color will get a little less intense. I think it looks great, by the way!

  2. I’ve actually started getting away from recipes, too. Unless I’m cooking something for someone that I’ve never tried before and I know the recipe will work out. And that’s really instresting Germans use ginger snaps as thickeners! Prunes I can see, but ginger snaps? Now that’s cool. 🙂

  3. Being without a car in L.A. isn’t alll that bad. It just limits places I can go or work without having someone drive me. Luckily, there is a bus that takes 15-20 mins to get to UCLA from where I live. I SO miss driving, though! And I could never turn down a free bike offer ;). haha.

    I like your Jew comment. My boyfriend is Jewish and works for a huge accounting firm because that’s what his grandma told him to do, haha. It’s a funny story. I didn’t know what challah bread was before I met him. Oh, and I like your red streak. 🙂 I had my mom give me red highlights a looong time ago. I liked it and decided she should die all my hair that red color. It ended up turning a burnt-orange color. It was a disaster and she actually let me stay home from school because of it.

  4. these are really good tips i just wish that i could remember them hahaha. i seriously suck at remembering like ratios and stuff like that

    do you ever think you’ll go back to culinary school? like a different one? which one did you go to slash did you specialize? i think you should do a post about the deets on culinary shcool!

  5. I don’t like recipes. They make feel constricted, eek. Really, no one knew what Challah was? I think they should have been kicked out for not knowing.
    So, are we going to see the rest of your gorgeous new hari color. Looks good Sailor Moon lover! (I remember that cartoon, kinda freaked me out. haha)

    • haha, o maybe if I get some balls I’ll show the rest. Its so dark, and I’m not tan despite living in california, so I look like snow white, only more dirty and obviously not as graceful.

  6. “5) Apparently, Jews dont go to culinary school cause they parents make them be lawyers, doctors, or producers. I was the only jew in my class and when we learned how to make Challah, no one knew what it was besides me.”–LOL Scott’s jewish and after 13 yrs with him, I’m damn close 🙂

    the #8 about restaurants/food turnover. i knew that but it totally bears repeating. ugh. gross!

  7. Pingback: Lessons Learned from Treatment (besides the obvious) | Eden's Eats

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