Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday's Plate- Dishing Up The Good Times

"I want it that waaaaayyyyyyy!"  

If you were around for any part of the 1990's then I am pretty sure you heard that song line echoing from some teenage girls honda accord sound system.  In my case I had a mix tape that included this particular song, along with the other pop star princes and princess royalties of the time like Britney Spears, N'Sync, and the crooners of the chorus I just sited- The Back Street Boys.  My little sister had made the tape for me when I got married and moved away from my humble hometown.  I didn't really like the music all that much but when I listened to it I felt her presence on my long commute to and from work, and I still have the tape, though I have no way of playing it anymore.

The class was really having some fun today in the clean-up portion of World Cuisine Class!  Ryan, Leah and Jared were jamming on the dishes at the triple sink, they being the source of our musical entertainment, complete with break out dance moves and bursts of dramatic harmonies from all of our favorite mid nineties teen pop hit songs.  The rest of the class moved in and out from that station delivering the clean sauce pans, plates and spatulas to their appropriate storage spaces in and throughout the kitchen.  Someone pushed a broom, while another student next to the stoves dissolved with a cleaning towel all traces of our earlier stirring and incorporations we attempted while learning.  Every so often a teasing remark would fly from someone or another and get the whole group to fill the room with a gasp of cheerful laughter.

Our chef teacher would walk in every so often from the hall to inspect our progress and to also join in on some of our fun.  As classmates we are all so diverse.  We each come from such various backgrounds of skills, age and experiences~  All but for this one moment that we rub elbows during clean up mode.  This is the kitchen qualification that does not necessarily crave attention to our ability.  Its the time of  day when we don't have to be anxious about what we are creating.  Most of us already know how to sweep a floor or wash a dish, because we have done it a thousand times.

All that being said, our culinary abilities and skills are catching up.  As chef promised us, the more we rehearse and commit our minds and bodies to our kitchen practice, the easier it will all become.  Already there are times when we can multitask our way through production with a class partner by adding conversations about our exterior lives, and telling a joke, or singing in or out of tune to the beat of our mincing knife.  I really like when that balance can be achieved because it softens a focal edge for me and makes me stay present and sensibly aware.

I have really enjoyed my classes this semester!  It is hard to believe that in less than two weeks my first year of culinary school will be completed.  The friends I have made, the dishes we have created together and the teachers who have guided us to the discovery of our potential have all made this experience amazing.  I know that I will always regard this time in my life as something truly wonderful.

In class today with my friends I noticed that I felt a brilliant warmth in my heart and soul.  I have such a huge amount of respect for all of these people and the opportunity to work with them has been beyond enjoyable- it is truly a complete riot!  I am so thankful for that.  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random Thoughts in the Kitchen on a Sunday Evening...

The tomato is red.  The mango is the color of a ripe golden sunset.  I'm in a mood for what I am unsure at the moment but I want to dance in my kitchen tonight. I have decided I will let the ingredients take the lead tonight, so my hands and footsteps will effortlessly follow my garden guests freshened gestures.
 Playfully I am intent on quenching my big appetite for the delicious taste of acidity and sweetness that lustfully will find a way to mingle lovingly on my tongue.  This sensation within me is like how when you turn a water faucet on and the water magically appears to your demands.  This happens because of the foundation of engineering which assures that the path of pipelines is obedient to the waters pace.  In the same way my assured hands know the same old two track that leads to knowledges soaked deep within each cell.  There is a memorized and practiced skill in my ability to function with a knife in my grasp.  It just happens naturally now and in my stride I realize that tonight I am not actually the master of my ingredients.   It is the flavors in front of me on the countertop that are commanding me into a dazed servitude.  They know their purposeful form and how they will entertain with a deserving ovation in the final plate presentation and taste.  I am home, among friends- the very essence of time and thoughtful patterns of life that soaked in the suns energy with the sole purpose of providing the needed sustenance for me and my family.

We danced, we sang, we enjoyed our time together in embraces that created spicy aromas and tingling impressions on our five seasoned senses.  Time in my kitchen is time for me and I am home within it's boundaries.

Dinner tonight was absolutely delish by the way- and everyone at the table agreed that I better write that one down!