Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new!

It has been way too long since I have been on here. So many interesting blogs to read. Mostly I have been consumed with cooking lately. Things at the restaurant have exploded and business is bigger than ever. All this is good news but since our staff has not increased, it's meant a lot more hours for me.

I'm still in the midst of training my new staff since everyone left a little over a month ago. My sous is doing a great job. She is young and motivated. The whole process has made me realize how grateful I am for my culinary education. There are a lot of basics that I know, that I realize I probably wouldn't without the schooling. I've also hired a new line cook, who is great but doesn't really have a background in french technique. That has been fun to teach and it's always great to see someone become a better cook.

I have taken over the pastry position (I feel like there should be some sort of menacing music inserted here, dun dun dun). This is a challenge. Pastry is something I enjoy immensely as a hobby but not so much under the pressure of the professional kitchen. I think my ice cream skills are improving, this is what I tell myself anyways, despite my freezers constant ploy to destroy me. It's completely unreliable. Sometimes, or more often frequently, I have the ice cream bowl in there for three or four days and it's still not frozen through. Needless to say, using a half frozen bowl to spin your ice cream is a lost cause. Get ready for some seriously icy cream, and not in a good way. I find chocolate to be the most challenging item for me to work with. Anyone who actually works in chocolate, I'm sure is aware if it's infinite uses but I can only seem to come up with a handful....brownie, tart, mousse, creme, ice cream (again?), cake (isn't that basically the same as the brownie?) ect. I wish I could say the list goes on but it doesn't. That's it, thats all i've got. I'm thinking it may be time to visit the bookstore and stock up on some new pastry books. These are some of the things that have recently appeared
or are still on the Poco menu. Seared salmon, with asparagus puree, squash pasta and beurre blanc. Salt Springs mussels marinara with housemade angel hair pasta and fresh basil. Spiced lamb carpaccio with citrus, mint and olives.

Just to make this last month extra interesting, my less-than-reliable junker of a car finally went kaput on me. It is still lying lifeless in our garage at the restaurant. At first I was panicked, what will I do without my mode of transport???? It actually didn't really occur to me until around 4AM Monday morning when I happened to wake up and realize
I had no way to get to work at 6AM for my other job. I called a cab. Turns our our public transport is lacking and there are no available buses at that hour. Long story short, I bought a car. I am now the proud owner of a 2006 Mini Cooper. After 9 years of barely-running cars, this is a breath of fresh air. Oh the feeling of drive up a hill without the worry of rolling back down. I can't express to you the pleasure I feel every time I cruise around the hill or wherever knowing i'll make it to my destination trouble free. Also, it's damn cute!

Anyhow, thats all for now. I need to muster myself up and get to work already!

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