Thursday, December 22, 2005

I just got home from school. Though it was my intention to take a cab, storing my bike at school, this ended up not happening. Simply put: cabbies as a**holes. For, try as I might, I could not get one cab, *one* cab to take me home. Out of the 5 or 6 I stopped, one claimed he would get lost, 2 simply said 'no' and drove away when I asked and 1 tried to see how much I'd pay for a ride (there's actually a set system of charges during the strike). So, left with no other choice, I had to bike home while sick.



The Strike - Day 3

I'm sick.
I haven't been able to keep anything down all morning. I hate to call off of work, but I already had to make an emergency puke run from class today. I don't want to even think about stinky cheese.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Strike - Day 2

So I biked into school this morning. Left at shortly before 7 and ended up getting here just 5 minutes late for class. I would have even been on time if the bastards at the security desk didn't give me a hard time about bringing my bike through the lobby (they originally said I couldn't bring it in the building at all). I was completely pissed off. Not only did ICE tell us we could store our bikes up here, but it's not like I freggin *wanted* to ride in. With all this craziness, you think they'd make some *logical* concessions to people. Anyways, after a bit of fighting, they let me bring it in the loading dock and up the freight elevator and onto the 5th floor.

Other than that, the bike ride wasn't bad at all. In fact, biking through Washington Sq. Park (which was oddly empty and quiet) was kind of enjoyable.

What I am not looking forward to is biking home at 10:30 at night.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

In non-work or school news, I just wanted to quickly say that Weyerbacher makes a kick-ass beer called Prophecy. It's aged in bourbon oak barrels and is amazingly good. It has a very wine-like nose, some toffee flavors up front and then oak hits you in it's round finish. Often, I've found aged beers to be too wine-like in their flavors, resulting in a very astringent drink, but this one is nicely balanced.

It's also another example of how "ice cold beer!" is probably the worst way to serve it. As with beer or wine with a decent amount of complexity, all of that is lost when the drink is cold. You get none of the subtleties. I found this one to be best when out of the fridge for about half an hour.

My only complaint is that the beer is a little rich. It's sold only in 12 oz. bottles and, truthfully, I couldn't imagine drinking more of it than that in a sitting. They do make another oak aged beer called Insanity that I'm looking forward to trying.

Until then!


It's happened...
For those who haven't heard, the transportation workers' union has gone on strike, completely cutting off all subway and bus service. Luckily, I don't have to work tonight (and I was up till 1am getting Christmas packages together to mail today), so I skipped heading into the city for school. But, I'm already planning how I'll handle both work and school tomorrow. Right now, I'm thinking I'll bike. If I can handle the 7 mile trek in (which should be no problem, considering I used to do 12 when I worked at West) , then the short hop from school to Murray's should be no prloblem.

My secondary worry is for Murray's though. This is the holiday season, our busiest time of the year *and* most of our business is from commuters in Grand Central. Each day the strike is on, we're (I imagine) losing thousands of dollars. This is to say nothing of the small vendors out there who hawk papers and the like at the bus stops, who will be completely out of work. Last time (in the 1980's) a strike like this happened, it went on for 11 days. I can't imagine if that all repeated today.

For those who are wondering how such a vital service can be shut off, well, it's not supposed to be able to happen. In fact, it's illegal and those who strike will be fined twice their pay each day it goes on. But that doesn't keep the union from doing it. For what? For benefits most of us can't even imagine getting, let alone stop working if we didn't get.

Well, tomorrow is another day and, if it's still going on, I'll be bundling up and heading out.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Well, I am done with module 3, the hardest module so far.
Yesterday, as I mentioned, was the Grand Buffet. Today, we had our test and practical (where we're graded on a dish we prep and cook). I am not sure how I did on the test, though I think I got a solid B or B+. My practical, I got a 90 (out of 100) on that. My seasoning was spot-on and my strip steak was a perfect medium-rare, but my bacon wasn't cooked enough and I had a bit too much odd negative space on the plate. Ah well, I'm happy with my grade.

I also had a paper to turn in. A report. Yes, at 28, I had to write a book report. But, what he paper was really supposed to be about was setting a plan for our culinary careers. Actually, I really liked it. The chance to sit down and think about my career goals helped me define more of what I am looking for (and not in some lame way, as I thought it would).

After all this work at school, I'm heading to Murray's tonight and then tomorrow I have off of both school and work. So, though I usually celebrate the ending of a module with some drinking, I am afraid that will have to wait until then.


Monday, December 12, 2005

So today was our Grand Buffet at school. To give you some background, last week we spent most of our time preparing terrines, with aspic gelee and otherwise, as well as pates. It was very stressful and intense work. On Friday, we all left class with a fridge full of goodies (or, as good as something which is the equivilent of meat jello can be).

Then, this monday, we came in.....
to discover the fridge had died over the weekend, completely killing all of our work.

In a rush, the chef orchestrated a new buffet filled with more typical appetizer fare (crab cakes, samosas, grilled chicken on skewers). All in all, it went over well, though everyone was a little disappointed not to see their hard work brought to fruition.
That's not to say everyone started crying, as well..nobody really wanted to *eat* that stuff. Except, of course, the fois gras.

The champagne we had helped too...


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sorry I haven't blogged lately. Sometimes, I just get too caught up with work and school and blogging, well..that's kind of down there on the list. But, I'm home today, so I thought I'd blog really quick.

Not much new has really been going on. I'm nearing the end of my 3rd module and we've been working on terrines and pates. It's part of the Garde Manger (cold foods) section of the course, which has been a mix of exciting and stressful, since these are very intense preparations. At the same time, it's a culinary corner I was previously unfamiliar with, so it's probably the most I've learned during any section, so far.

The next module is pastry and baking, which I'm really excited about. It's also supposed to be a break from the intense module I am in now.

Work has been going nicely, as well. It looks like they'll be cutting down on hours after the holidays, which isn't too bad, as I picked up an extra day anyways. I talked to them about working there after school is done and they seemed up for it. I have alot more that I can learn there, so as long as there's something to learn, I'll stick around.