26 September 2011

Week in Review #5 + #6: Callousness

I've been pretty much hunkered down studying/practicing for the last two weeks, which is why I didn't get a Week in Review out last week. When I first enrolled, I wasn't sure how much traditional studying, report writing, and test taking there would be. For the first six-week session, I'd say it's very much like any other educational program, complete with a marathon finals week full of exams and reports.

Another reason for no Week in Review was because Culinary Foundations I was, as the name implies, basics. The early going was the culinary equivalent of grammar lessons. Not the most exciting thing, but it's what everything else is based on: knife cuts, kitchen nomenclature, cooking techniques, stocks and sauces.

I'm happy to report that practice doesn't make perfect, but did help me score well on my knife practical final. And, more importantly for me, it's helped me develop a chef's callous.

The base of my right index finger, where the top of the blade and knife handle meets my hand, has gradually toughened up over the course of the class. It's the same area that tore open during my volunteer stint months ago, and it makes me feel like I've officially passed through some medieval ritual and emerged a member of a secret society of vegetable-chopping superheroes. Like Watchmen, but with uniformly cut carrots and fresh mayonnaise.

Culinary Foundations II starts today, which alternates demonstration/preparations and cooking days. In other words: cooking! Huzzah!

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