Day two at The Natural Epicurean. I passed my ServSafe test — okay, I didn’t get the results back, but I’m confident. :)
The day started with tying up the food handling class, then we took our test. Pretty straightforward. I’m really enjoying getting to know my fellow classmates, and I feel like I’m starting to make some good connections. We’re about to break the class into two groups, which is kind of a bummer since some cool people will not be in my group. Hopefully, it won’t impair my ability to get to know everyone well, since all of the students seem to be pretty awesome.
I doubt I’ll be able to blog every day, but I’ll post when I have interesting stuff. Or, it will be interested to me, at least. :)
Tomorrow we start Knife Skills, so I thought I would try one of my new knives. I made a Waldorf Salad, which required a semi-fine julienne of apples with chopped celery, and chopped some vegetables to roast. The salad turned out great; the roasted vegetables, meh. I have a bit to learn about roasting veggies.
As for the knife, it’s a Mercer and a lot sharper than my current knife, a Calphalon. It’s a good deal lighter than my knife, as well:
- Calphalon = 299g
- Mercer = 250g
According to Amazon.com, the Mercer lists for about twice as much cost as the Calphalon. It would seem that The Natural Epicurean has good taste in knives!
Below: My school-supplied Mercer 8″ chef knife.
Random Bits from Day Two
Below: A device for rapidly cooling liquids. You fill it with water, freeze it, then use it to stir hot liquids. Rapid cooling of hot food is critical if the food will be stored in a cold state.
Below: What do you make yourself for lunch when you’re a student in a plant-based foods culinary program? Here’s what I had – spinach salad and brown rice with toasted pumpkin seeds, prepared at home the night before. The school has no microwaves, which I often used at my last job for convenience, so the easiest option is to bring food that can be eaten cold. My plan is to use lunches as a way to challenge myself to think creatively, although convenience will win out sometimes. Adding the pumpkin seeds was a new touch for me — one I picked up from Casa de Luz — and it tasted great! The seeds add a lovely nutty/seedy taste, a bit of fat, and a crunchy texture.