Student Government

This was my first SGA meeting (Student Government Association) and it was very interesting. In fact, it was almost like the US government, except that it didn’t have much power or influence over anything. No real leadership, unorganized, and a big soap opera. I was the only one who made it from my class, but next time they will be there if I have to drag them in by their ears. After a meeting where nothing really happened, we got together for a bbq hosted by the faculty. During the bbq, there were a lot of freebies handed out (like the stuff you would get at vender booths at tech conventions), and quizzes where the really neat stuff were given out as prizes. I started off the winning when I beat everyone to answering “why do some people think that white chocolate isn’t really chocolate?” Won a book called “Once Upon a Tart” with recipes from a bakery by that name in New York. They wouldn’t let me play after that, so someone else could win… too bad, because I knew some of the others. There was a question about why Vermont and New Jersey were 2 of the 4 highest veal producing states that no one else could answer – so they finally let me try. Won a nice little mug for that one. And I only knew that because of my grandfather’s cattle buying technique. Now I get to go home and do more studying.

Day 20 – Friday

Today we learned about stocks. All kinds of stocks, including oppossum (Chef Carter is such a funny man). Although I learned a lot from Alton Brown in his stock episode, I found out that there were still some things that I was doing wrong. We also went over what we needed to know for next Wednesday quiz. Now I have to go home and catch up on all my homework for Nutrition and Sanitation and study for those two finals. Ugh.

Day 19

COOKING DEMO!!! Chef Carter brought in a nice long choice tenderloin for us today. So we learned about trimming fat and removing the elastin (silverskin), and then slicing it up for filets. There was a lot of information about that section of meat that was new to me. I need to find a book on meat processing or ‘fabrication’ (I’ve been hearing that word around for a while now, and it still sounds like they’re referring to sending the meat to a semiconductor manufacturing center…nasty!) Anyway, today’s demo was on Steak Diane à la Duchesse. And it was up there with some of the best meals I’ve ever had… so this is a great sign of things to come with this school. Now I just need to make some beef demiglace to keep around the house for Steak Diane when I want to spoil my husband. I’m supposed to practice making Duchess Potatoes this weekend to help to prepare me for piping in the next class. Piping is not going to be a problem since I use it for icings and cheesey crackers all the time, but the potatoes were pretty good and I wouldn’t mind having them again anyway. We also had grilled zucchini, and surprisingly, I had seconds. Chef marinaded it in basalmic vinegar, olive oil, and diced scallions for about 10 minutes before putting it on the grill. Normally I won’t eat zucchini unless it has been breaded and deep-fried, so either my tastes are changing, or this is the first time I’ve had it cooked correctly.

School was a lot of fun today, but I’m still waiting for the time when I’ll be able to actually practice this stuff in class.

Day 18

Got my recipe in on time today. I may be behind in homework, but it’s not due yet, so I haven’t actually been late with anything. I’m feeling better, but I’m still congested and have to rely on cold medicine to get through. We went over cooking methods today in class… deep frying, saute’, poaching, etc. This is where reading Alton Brown’s book “I’m Just Here for the Food” really came in handy. I can’t recommend this book enough… it’s not a recipe book, but instead is about the actual cooking process and the science of how it works. And because it’s written by Alton Brown, it’s not dry and boring either. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I went out and got a copy for my Dad. He keeps it by his bedside for evening reading.

Tomorrow we’re having a cooking demo that has to do with tenderloin. Can’t wait for that one.

Day 17

Last night’s mushrooms were a mess, so I had sauteed mangled mushrooms for a snack before DH came home (he hates fungus). The tilapia with toasted almonds and butter was pretty good, so the evening wasn’t a complete disaster.

We went over everything we’d need to know for the two finals next week. I have over 8 pages of notes just from Sanitation, and I still have to add some more of the answers to that list. I’m not worried about failing, but I’d really like to get as close to a 100 as possible.

Tried my first blood orange today. A classmate offered me a piece and it’s interesting… kinda of bitter with perfumey undertones. The first bite was nasty, but I kinda liked it by the end of the segment. I think it’ll be good with duck or lamb – so there’ll be some experimenting going on when I’m feeling better.

Have to finish up a recipe assignment for tomorrow’s class, so that’s it for today.