The past few weeks have been such a whirlwind. Being back in school, and a technical school at that, is overwhelming and fun and scary and inspiring all at once. Does that even make sense?
So I started culinary school at the CIA. What can I even say? It’s awesome.
First of all, my lunches look something like this :
All students are required to have a meal plan, which I complained about at first but now am realizing that it is a gift to have two meals a day at school and one at home. I’m a happy (and probably soon to be chubby) girl, even more so because I get to dress like this every day:
Classes are pretty fascinating as well. At least, it’s nice to take classes that are all giving me skills I will need to use if I ever take the plunge and own my own business one day (fingers crossed). My math class, for example, teaches students to understand how to calculate how much product is being used and wasted, and how to cost dishes so the business can turn a profit. The class on food safety helps students get ServSafe certified at the end of the course.
Now I’m not going to say that these classes have me on the edge of my seat or anything, but I am still pretty eager to go to class. Each different class is like a cog in a machine, a building block to get to my ultimate goal of working for myself one day.
All that is an appetizer, though. The real meat of culinary school isn’t the class time, it’s the time in the kitchens. That is everyone’s favorite time, of course, and I am no different.
I have a class that teaches the fundamentals of Classic French cooking in a kitchen lab twice a week from 6:30 in the morning til about 1:30 in the afternoon or so. While the class starts at an ungodly hour, especially considering I live about 30 minutes away from school, I’m actually getting used to waking up before the sun. It’s doing nothing for my social life, but who am I kidding, I wasn’t going to be a social butterfly anyways. I gave up a lot to come to the CIA, and I don’t plan on wasting the experience by partying when I should be studying.
…when did I start sounding like my mother?
Ahem, about this class…it’s exactly what I came to school for.
We are leaning how to cut uniformly and consistently, and the basics of French cooking. I wanted to come to school to learn skills I can build upon, and I this class cements that I am doing just that.
So far, I’ve learned how to make French onion soup (the tomato at the top left is filled with a mushroom-shallot mixture called a duxelle and topped with breadcrumbs):
What I have been most excited to learn was consommé. We made it last week, and I was so happy when my broth was free of impurities and totally clear, but still managed to have flavor.
I have plans to share the recipe I’ve learned soon, however I don’t want to blab for too long.
For now, I am a very happy albeit exhausted individual. I have to be up in a few hours to start my day with cutting potatoes and garlic, and I couldn’t be more excited.