I decided to get started on the Lime Raspberry Slushy, so I gathered a mental list of the ingredients and made my way to the store room to place my request. Due to the amount by which I had multiplied my recipe I needed two 2-liter bottles of Ginger Ale, which the store room guy told me I had to get from the restaurant. First, I had to ask the head chef permission to speak to one of the many waiters bustling in and out of the kitchen. He didn't seem to care, so I ambushed an older gentleman waiter, who apparently doesn't speak the best English, and tried to explain to him what I needed. He looked at me for a few seconds, blinked no less than 50 times and walked away. Did he seriously just ignore me and walk away? Alright, there's a bunch of them, I'll just grab the next one I see. I posted myself next to the main swinging doors, and sure enough a younger guy came in a few seconds later. As I opened my mouth to lure him in my direction, the chef serving as The Expediter (the one who makes sure the orders come in, are assigned and served hot and on time), who was standing just a few feet away from me, yelled, "Hey you! Get over here and get this food out NOW!" He shrugged his shoulders at me and ran away to do his job. At this point, The Expediter (a particularly scary chef who I try by any means necessary not to make eye contact with) noticed me creepily standing in the shadows luring her waiters away from their main responsibility. She gave me a couple of dirty looks, to which I responded by acting like I was looking for something and staring at the ceiling while twiddling my thumbs. Another young waiter came in, and I saw chef turn away to handle some mini crisis. Ok, third time's a charm – "Psst…hey…over here!" He approached me with suspicion; I explained to him what I needed, assuring him that a quart roughly equaled a liter and that I would need 4 of them. Perhaps he saw the look of desperation on my face, or was willing to assist because my grip on his forearm was silently communicating, "Please God, help me"; regardless of his reasons, he came back a few minutes later with a tray of 4 quarts of Ginger Ale. Success. I gave The Expediter a quick look and ran away before she had a chance to yell at me.
I mixed up the icy and threw the huge pan into the blast freezer. It was a particularly hot night, as New York City is teetering in the mid-nineties this entire week, and we had been lectured about keeping all of our meats on ice and placing items in the freezer as necessary. The restaurant's dessert team had filled the blast freezer (which registers at about -20˚) so my icy was taking a long time to solidify. In fact, it hadn't yet frozen by the end of class, so let's hope the regular freezers didn't mess it up too much.
We surprisingly powered right through our To-Do list and completed everything that could be made in advance. It was not without complications though: the tortilla dough, which someone had accidentally frozen, wasn't quite the same after defrosting. In our haste, we decided we'd simply be purchasing the tortillas…..but that's our little secret. The Colombian empanada dough (don't ask me why we needed two types of empanadas) didn't make it either, and my Dominican classmate happened to have specialty flour in her bag (conspiracy??)…so she remade the dough using her own personal recipe.
I spent all last night meticulously cutting out subway maps, gluing them to note cards and labeling them with the 40-ish dishes we'll be presenting on Wednesday night (Get it? Subways…Street food?). I hope my classmates are pleased, but hey – you don't like them, you should have volunteered your entire night off to arts 'n crafts. (Pictures included below – thoughts??)
My classmates are hilarious, and we regularly spend a significant amount of time making fun of each other and telling inappropriate jokes. I was minding my business on Monday butchering the leg of lamb when all of a sudden:
"You know Jackie, you sure don't look like someone who dishes out as much sh*$ as you do."
"Yea seriously! When we first started working together, I thought 'Oh great, this will be boring'…until you opened your mouth!"
"What the frick guys, are you freaking serious? What do I look like, freaking Nancy Drew or something?? You don't know me!" (That seems to be my response to everything. Well, that and "Your mom." Yes, I have an accredited college degree.)
It turns out pearls, glasses and a make-up-less face don't automatically make people label me as "hardcore." I guess growing up watching The Simpsons and attending public school in Indianapolis helps one develop one's bad-assery. I won't tell them that I'm married to an engineer, sometimes enjoy Brooks & Dunn and that I watch "Greek" on ABC Family…