That was it ladies and gentleman! The last official day of Level 3. The next time I trudge to school, a pair of clean socks and my goofy ID card in-hand, I'll be preparing to take the midterm. Can you believe it?? Halfway through…the middle…le middable (?). Wow; I've come so far, yet still have so far to go.
Much to my husband's chagrin, I had to write you a little something before disappearing for a full five days. I actually had a great night – in Garde Manger we had the worst dish out of the whole level, the poached egg on a bed of vegetables with hollandaise. It might sound pretty straightforward, but it is actually incredibly hard (and really gross). The vegetables, heated up in a beurre fondue (a butter emulsion) must be hot, but not too hot, or the sauce will break and immediately be a greasy mess. The poached eggs, previously made and held in ice water, must be reheated in boiling water, but not too much or else the yolk will set…and then it's not a poached egg anymore. The hollandaise must be kept within a specific temperature range at all times, or else it will also break into a greasy mess. Goodness. And all must be reheated and served at the same temperature, with the vegetables being formed in a mold into little rounds on the plate (still staying hot???), the eggs on top and the hollandaise draped over. And all is garnished with two pieces of julienned and peeled tomatoes. It seems pretty ridiculous because it is – everyone hates making this dish, and no one ever wants to eat it. One egg yolk/butter product topping an egg yolk on top of a butter product is…well, upsetting. I tasted each component, of course, and could physically feel my heart struggling to beat.
We had the little bulldog Italian chef again (yikes!), but she surprisingly gave me great reviews. I respect her the most out of the school's faculty, and it feels really good to have such an accomplished chef think I made a successful dish. She had one small tweak – the water I cooked my vegetables initially in could have been more salted (um, ok) – but the rest was pretty fantastic. We made a grilled corn bisque shooter with a fried zucchini slice for our canapé, and it was delicious. A little too much jalapeno was added, so the heat was a little off, but it was very enjoyable.
As mentioned, I'm supposed to be packing for our trip right now; considering we take off from LaGuardia in 7.5 hours, I should probably keep this short and sweet and not ramble on about ponies like I usually do. I spent a little time packing this afternoon, which inevitably made me semi-late for class; prior to moving to New York City, I was one of the most punctual people I'd ever met. Always on time, always prepared. Since becoming a jaded New Yorker, I find that I'm consistently 10 minutes late to everything, which actually annoys me terribly. I hate people who are late, I hate waiting for others and I certainly have zero patience for slowness, which poses quite a problem when relying on your legs to take you through midtown Manhattan on a Friday afternoon. I came upon a group of female tourists who were walking about an inch a minute, taking up the entire sidewalk to check their subway maps. While I'm sure they were very sweet mothers and wives from some nice town like Des Moines, I was not having this ridiculousness. "Come on ladies, you've got to keep it moving," I commented while snapping my fingers and making my way through the gaggle (since when did I start cold-heartedly heckling tourists??). When none of them made a motion to move to the side to let this obviously harried young lady through, I supplemented with, "This is New York, we don't stop moving!" As I got a block ahead of them, I stopped to consider what I had so confidently proclaimed a few minutes ago. We, in this great city of mine, definitely do not stop moving. But sometimes, I just want to stop…so stop I will. With that, I have a vacation to pack for…see you all in 5 days!