Thursday, August 25, 2011

When "Yes, Chef" isn't the right answer.

 One of the reasons I was so resistant to cleaning those strawberries last night was because they were getting mushy, and had lots of soft spots.  Not pretty for serving anymore.  But perfect for jam.  And that's what Elodie made today.  I refused to partake, on principle.  Well, that, and I was working on other projects.  Though I will say that the jam smelled so good. 

My punishment jam, cooling in an ice bath.
Chef walked by and I said: "so this is my punishment jam..."  to which he then got this grand idea.

Chef:  Ah yes, and if you talk back to be again tonight, I'll tell you in advance what your punishment eeez ... (he glances around the kitchen and sees a deli-cup of cherry tomatoes)... Your punishment will be that you will peel for me those tomatoes sherry (cherry tomatoes).  And not just that basket - there eeez a whole flat in zee fridge.
Me:  (eeek!) yes, Chef.

My goal of the day - well, I had several... look at me being all ambitious!

Goal 1 - not to get yelled at by Chef.
Goal 2 - not to mess up on any tarts.
Goal 3 - finish rolling the dough super early so that I could do other things.
Goal 4 - remember the answer is always "yes, Chef"

Technically, Goal 3 is the only goal that isn't already a given. 

Yesterday (Tuesday), I made an extra recipe of dough, and wrapped it up in plastic to cut up and shape today.  And since I had 8 unused already rolled-out doughs, I only needed to do one recipe today.  After I mixed together one recipe of dough, I popped it into the fridge to let it proof/rest and then I was able to start rolling out yesterday's dough.  I was able to finish rolling out all the dough by 2 pm.  That's 2 hours earlier than my average of 4 pm!

Elodie was thrilled, that she was able to use me to work on other things with her.  Like making the Creme Brulee (not bacon, anymore - just regular).  And then I made the Brioche dough for the Tropezienne.  And I also assisted her in making the Creme Patisserie that's used to fill the Tropezienne desserts.  

Service time:  I got all the Onion tarts out in a timely manner (finally learned the trick of par-baking them - that helped us get around the slow oven situation, and the sticking situation). 

But then I burned my arm when I was putting another tart fresh out of the oven on the speed rack.  My arm just barely touched another sheet pan that was cooling.

My left forearm.. with a brand new burn.
I was icing my new battle-wound/permanent memento of LudoBites when chef walks back and sees me icing it. 

Chef:  (sarcastically) what do you think you are doing?  you cannot ice your arm during service!  Oh stop everything, 86 the Onion Tarts, Sharon can not continue... 

there were no tarts on order at that moment.  I wasn't forsaking any of my duties... does he have to be so dramatic?

Me:  (hold your tongue, you know what the answer is) yes, Chef. 

So other than this little bit of mockery... nothing for him to yell at. hooray!  I prepared 2 recipes of dough during my little lulls in action so that tomorrow, all I have to do is roll them out. 

Later, Chef & Elodie were discussing what to do with the leftover Brioche from the night before - they decided on making  a bread pudding for the staff meal. 

Chef: (to me) have you ever made bread pudding?
Me: yes, chef.
Chef:  good - then you can make it tomorrow.
Me: (damn!) yes, chef.

Hmmm... now I have to look up some recipe, and figure out how much to make for a group of approx. 15.  Sometimes the correct answer isn't "yes, chef".

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