Brisk start to the day

Thursdays are the hardest class days.  We’ve been getting up early all week, working and doing homework and sometimes things fall apart on Thursdays.  My group was in pretty good form today though.  We made fish stock and prepped the ingredients to make lamb stock on Tuesday.

Jay and Joe going Cro-magnon on some frozen lamb bones.

It was pretty funny watching these two try to hack apart frozen lamb bones for our stock.  That pan that they’re in is cast iron and weighs about 50 pounds.  And there’s about 30 pounds of lamb bones in there.  If you’re keeping up, that’s 80 pounds and that translates into me not ever being able to pick that up.  That’s what these two Cro-magnons are for!  ha ha

Fish stock

A little tip for making fish stock: make sure you wear gloves when handling fish.  Otherwise your hands will stink like fish for longer than you want.  Also, cleaning out the steam kettle that the fish stock was made in doesn’t do anything for your hands either.  Oh well.  The life of a culinary student I suppose.

Brown beef stock from yesterday

White chicken stock from yesterday

All we’ve done these two days is make mass quantities of stock and learn the fine details of stock.  Stock is basically four components mire poix, bones, boquet garni, and liquid.  A boquet garni is the herbs that flavor a stock: parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme.  An interesting thing I learned is that stock is never salted.  It reduces to much that if salt was added to it, it would really concentrate the flavor of salt and become too salty.  Also, stock is always started with cold water so that the stock will be more clear.  Hot water has a higher mineral content in it from it’s hot water heater deposits.  My group also made a minestrone soup, which I always assumed was vegetarian, but ours was made with a ham hock and bacon.  I thought that having both of these meats was a little bit of over kill but what I’ve learned about school is that there could never be enough butter or bacon in the culinary building.  The soup turned out pretty well though, despite the over load of meat.  It was a pretty good day at school today.  I like stocks, soups and sauces so far.  Every day starts with chopping a huge pile of carrots, onions and celery, the mire a poix for the day.

I had the lovely pleasure of going to Southern Sun and eating with four of my very favorite girls tonight.  I had the special wrap that had beer battered tempeh, goat cheese, pistachios, grape fruit, and beets.  Delish!  I need to learn how to beer batter tempeh, this was so, so good!  I also had a blackberry wheat beer, which I get nearly every time I go there.  Sometimes I branch out and get the Anapurna Amber, but I always go back to the blackberry wheat.  The combination of blackberries in wheat beer is quite tasty.

I am throughly glad the weekend is almost here!  Be well & happy eating!


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