Friday, August 12, 2011

QOTD - "Now You Look Like You Just Voted in an Afgani Election"

I've been having a rough couple of days.

It started yesterday around 4pm.  I was already done with my tart doughs and ready for a new task (I'm getting faster!).

What new task?

Cleaning squid. 

Just like the shucking of the oysters last week, this was a completely new task for me.  Some people actually enjoy cleaning squid - Sabel, who was teaching me how, is one of them.  She was laughing at my squeamishness. 

Sabel: first empty the tube of all the guts
she demonstrates
Me: stick my finger in the tube?
Sabel: and then be sure to pull the plastic-y hard thing out.

First off - squid are slippery little suckers. 
Second - the innards are slimy and gooey and kinda gross.

Sabel:  after you gut it, then you have to peel the skin off
she demonstrates making an incision with her nail, then slitting down between the flaps, pulling the skin over the top, and grabbing the flaps to peel down.

I kept dropping the squid back into the tub i was dumping the guts into.  I was hopeless... but it was something new.  Sabel found my struggles very entertaining.  How anyone can find this an enjoyable or satisfying task is beyond me.  But there was something else preventing me from really getting into it... my back was killing me! And I couldn't understand why.

That was the beginning of the end for me.  Some of the tarts got messed up - the dough stuck to the pan - and a few other mistakes in communication. 

I drove home in tears, just because I felt that I did terribly.  Turns out I had a fever.  A mild one, but enough to zap me of all my energy, and kill my personality.

Am I one to throw in the towel that easily?

Hell no.  I popped a couple of Tylenol and was back at work at 11:30 this morning.  Got my dough cranked out. It takes a good solid 3 hours from start to finish... that means by 3:15 or so, I'm ready to do other tasks in the kitchen.

Today's task:  Help Grace...
peel purple carrots.
Then slice them into 'coins' on the mandolin. 

After peeling the carrots I looked down at my hands.

Me: OMG Grace - my hands are all purple
Grace: Now you look like you've voted in an Afgani election.

That qualified for Quote of The Day.
Note to self, wear gloves next time.

No SNAFU's with the tarts today.  They're like my babies.  I nurse them from raw ingredients, form them into balls of dough, let them rest, cut/divide them, then knead them and form the smaller doughs balls (32 total).  Then pass them through the hand-crank pasta machine until i have those rustic rectangular-ish shapes for the onion tarts.

Thing is, when it comes time to assemble them, put them in the oven, then finish them and serve them, I want to be there.  Here I am, an intern at LudoBites, taking care of one item on the menu from start to finish (with some help from other girls in the kitchen when the rush happens from 6:15-6:45).

One girl yesterday made an off-handed comment that kinda stung - she said "whatever, it's just a tart"... I didn't want to work with her again.  Maybe it was me being cranky and sensitive due to my fever... but I'm sure if she put as much effort into the task as I did, she'd feel otherwise.  Sure, she helps Joon with his important entrees, but I'm doing 80% of one menu item.

But by the time the second seating starts at 8, it's time for me to go.  And today, I couldn't even last til 7:30.  My back was aching and I was going in slow motion.  I hope this fever is done with by tomorrow.  At least I have no symptoms of anything...

Tomorrow I think I'll get it done in under 3 hours. Maybe then, I can do more new tasks. 

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