Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesdays Top Ten- Reasons why this past month has been amazing!!!

My mind was overflowing these past few weeks with so many things I wanted to preserve on paper or with a keyboard.  Random quotes and thoughts scratched on numerous pieces of papers, inside notebook covers and on the back of receipts in hopes that I would find them later to puzzle piece into my written stories and daily narratives.  So many conflicts of responsibility and priority became the reasoning for why I have not been able to compose my stories these past few weeks that I thought it would be interesting to look back and use my Top Ten to discover and recap why.

1. Black Star Farms- HERE I COME!!!  Or maybe not?  When I first went out to interview with the owner and his two chefs- the interview in my opinion went beautifully all the way until they asked me to leave the room so they could make a final decision about hiring me.  When they called me back, one of the chefs looked me straight in the eye and said "I am really sorry but I don't think we will be able to hire you."  WHAT!! Must have been the expression in my face for I did not say a word....  

APRIL FOOLS!!!!  Oh my goodness did they get me good and we all laughed as the paperwork was handed to me and I was informed that I would be their newest employee with the ability to accomplish my culinary internship also.  This place is like a dream come true for me and I am so excited to become a part of their "Agricultural Destination."  I have a feeling once I get settled in that this place will be an amazing foundation for making my mark on this world.

2.  Chef Steph  I have now officially started my new job at Black Star Farms and it really is perhaps one of the most amazing places on earth.  The place, the people, the philosophies, THE FOOD!!  I am already learning so much and the thing that amazes me most is how much I am enjoying it.  Even when challenged or working in a time crunch I feel like this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  The people I work with are really great too.  Most of them have worked there for quite a while and they all seem very happy to be apart of the team.  I am starting to find my own place in the team and learning the routines that are constant.  The summer busy season is on the threshold and I can't wait to be apart of it all.  I feel like this opportunity is a dream come true.

3.  Stellar View Farm~ We are finally starting to make some progress around here- Or should I say~ Tod is taking care of most of the "Honey Do List" that he ordered up from me a few weeks ago.  Power washed decks, Rock gardens, Vegetable garden plots being formed, Moving loads of Manure, wood chips and rocks, plus cleaning the garage out too!  Things are starting to shape up around here and I love how we are making this place our home.

 4.  Taking some time for friends and family~  This includes Dinners Downtown, Bowling with my buddies, Mothers day activities, Girls night dinner, Grill outs, Bon fires and picnics- Oh gee look how almost all these events have food involved!!  I can't think of any better way to enjoy delicious food than with our wonderful 
friends and family.  Cheers!  I can't wait to see what the summer will bring!

5.  Finals Week at School and Year ONE is Complete
This is a story all its own which I will be writing about very soon!  Stay Tuned!


6.  Nose to Tail Dinner -Final Dinner
I had the privilege to help the graduating culinary class with their final dinner as a Front of the House volunteer.  I was completely impressed with how they organized their menu and the overall dinner.  What a cool concept- Each course had an element of the Pig incorporated into it.  The specific pig was a Mangalitsa Pig that is a wooly variety.  The class had visited a farm in Marion Michigan to see the pigs back in the Fall.  Being apart of the final dinner was a great opportunity for me to see what some of the expectations are for a Final Class dinner.  It was kind of like research for when I will be expected to the same thing one year from right now.  I already have so many ideas and I can't wait to work with all my classmates to deliver a comparable performance- these chefs from Spring '10 set the bar for sure!

NMC Extended Education

7.I'm one of the newest Sous Chef volunteers for NMC Extended Ed Cooking classes- So far I have only done one class and it was with The Owners of The Cooks House, "Cooking without a Recipe".  but it was a wonderful experience.  I am looking forward to classes with a focus on Indian Breads, Chocolate, and many more.  This is another great opportunity for me to experience teaching styles while working side by side with the chefs as the volunteer helper.  

8. Lacing up my running shoes for a summer full of races
I have been running my heart out this spring- took a few weeks off- but the most recent run that i accomplished was one of my fastest times, so I think that I am going to be in pretty good shape.  

9. Saying goodbye is bittersweet -well kind of 
I have been closing down my cleaning business all except for a few places that are on-call and one office.  This is going to give me more time to devote to my career in culinary and my farm.  In some ways it is bittersweet to think that it is over but in all honesty I have been looking forward to taking the next step towards my goals for awhile.  This business has been good to me and my family and the experience is something that i am confident has helped build the skills I will need to be successful in the future.

10.  Mostly Food Themed Summer Reading list has begun- Any suggestions of a great read I should add?  Please share!  I have a list going but I am always looking for a good book!

I will share my current reading list on Next weeks Tuesday's Top Ten!