Sunday, August 7, 2011

After a severe ass-kicking, I earned these "kicks"

Someone's hands made it into the L.A. Weekly slide show
Thanks Colin for not using a body shot.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff for the LA Weekly

What you don't see in the picture:  how my apron is completely dusted in flour after rolling out 32 tart doughs by hand.  That was the workout that kicked my ass and sapped all my energy for the remainder of the week.  Easy as pie?  Hah!  whoever came up with that expression obviously didn't have to roll out over a dozen (let alone 3 dozen) crusts on a deadline.

But this seems to be my adopted task:  the onion tart.  I'm the in-house tart.  uh, yay?

I'm getting better at making them.  I went from being hopeless at rolling out dough, to actually feeling somewhat comfortable with it.  When given the challenge of baking a pie, I would cheat - always looking for a recipe that didn't require a top crust and using a box grater to shred the ball of dough and press it into the pie form. Now, I think I could do it.  granted, pie crust (pastry dough) is considerably different from this pizza-like dough, but I'm developing a feel.

I also saw what didn't work about the previous night's tarts, and made some adaptations to my prep work.  Things are moving faster.  What's left for me to do is to work on getting each tart dough to be the exact same shape/size.

Chef is a really good guy.  He expresses himself when needed.  After all, it is his name (and reputation) on the line.  He isn't yelling at anyone for the sake of yelling - he's just emphasizing the urgency of the situation.  And no, I'm not just speaking euphemistically. 

Though he can have a wicked little sense of humor:
Chef:  SHARON! we need 4 tarts right now!  get them in the oven!
Me: (oh shit - it's the end of the night - no one should be ordering appetizers now) YES Chef!
I'd just put one in the oven, and i was running to get another one that was ready to bake - but that was it, I didn't have any other pre-assembled tarts to pop in the oven - eeeek!

Chef: no, no, no - cancel the 4
Me: wha?
Chef: I was just testing you.
Me: (confused) so you don't need the 4 tarts?
Chef: just the 2 - the one in the oven and the one standing right here (pointing at himself). 
Me: so wait, there's one in the oven - do i need to put this one (the one on the tray in my hand) in?
Chef: no, no - just the one.
Me: oh, ok (still confused if there was a need for one or 2)
I return to packing up and labeling the remaining ingredients - to put them away for the night.
Me: Yes chef?
Chef: so do you have one in the oven?
Me: yes chef!
I continue cleaning up the station, and i'm facing away from the oven.
I look back and see Chef just closing the oven door - with a look on his face as though I just caught him with his hand in the cookie jar... that charming amused grin of his...
Me: You didn't believe me?  you don't trust me!
Chef: Well I have to make sure.

Hah!  He makes fun of me a lot.  He makes fun of all of us.  It's a fun kitchen to work in.  He's assembled a good crew that seems to work well together.  Mistakes happen sometimes - though when they happen, you will hear Chef say "In my country, zees eez what they call sabotage!"

Earning my kicks:

Thanks Krissy & Ludo! 

Friday night - week 1 completed.

Krissy: you're coming back next week, right?
Me: Of course!

I've observed and done and learned so much in this rapid-fire week - I'm not about to turn in the towel.  I'm in it for the entire run of LudoBites 007.  

Krissy: here ya go...

I'm afraid to get them dirty.  My friend J took me out for dinner tonight - she was sporting red knee high boots, so I had to lace up these new kicks so we could be the red-shoe crew. 

Though my feet were looking happy tonight, previous nights - not so much.  Thursday morning required a visit to Rite-Aid.  I got the 6 pound bag of Epsom salts.  It might last me 2 weeks?  I'm not sure how these salts work.  I tried google-ing Epsom salts - what is it that makes it so therapeutic for sore feet/muscles - while i was soaking in the tub - using my iphone.  i get crap internet connection from that bathtub.  I didn't really find out.  I'm still achy - but i suppose the discomfort has subsided a bit.


My agenda for the weekend: nothing. enjoying the tranquility of this lovely garden - just me and the dog.  Oh shoot - I'll need to get dog food before tuesday.  This will probably be my last weekend house sitting here, so i'm making the most of it by not leaving the property.
All I need is a nice bottle of wine.  and another good book perhaps.  I kinda want to read the sequels to the Hunger Games.  Maybe that will be my trilogy for summer 2011.  Summer 2010 was all about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Funny how I'm craving good summer-reads now as an adult, but as a kid in school, it was painful to get me to complete anything off the summer reading list. 

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