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BubbleheadChef

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Posts posted by BubbleheadChef

  1. Shelf stabilized milk wasn't available back in those days, but I know there was a medical concern about our elevated CO2 blood levels interacting with calcium.

    Dear Son continues to prepare for the Navy. We're now just over 3 months left of DEP before he ships out. He's deep into learning lingo, ranks, ratings and ribbons. It really isn't just the individual -- the whole family is learning. I know know my Alpha Bravo Charlie's and can quote at least some of the General Orders of Sentrys -- number 7 is my favorite. ;-)

    Upon recommendation of the chat-boards at Navy.com, I'm reading Honor, Courage, Commitment: Navy Boot Camp by JF Leahy. It follows an integrated (male and female) squad through arrival to graduation at Great Lakes. So far, I'm still on 'arrival' (the P-days), but have learned a lot. For some of you old salts, it would be a great 'I remember that' book. :wink:

    Tell him to keep it up. The more he studies now, the less painful it will be later. I believe it is just a important for the family to be involved because it helps keep the younger guys motivated and helps the parent understand what he is going through. There will come a time to during boot camp/A school/BESS/qualifications that he will want to quit, come home, and live with mom and dad again. With family backing him up (and some of his new shipmates along side), he'll get through. I will tell you though, just because he comes home or calls saying that his chief is a ?&^*&^, we aren't ALL bad!

  2. Hey all

    Been punching holes for a few weeks and getting ready to do some more, just in on a port call. Fun, fun, fun.

    In reply to the shelf stable milk. I personally don't like the stuff and if given the choice, the guys wont drink it. However, once the "real" milk is gone, they drink it just the same. I has allowed me to serve milk longer than 4 days which is nice.

  3. Now the question pops into my head.....does geography play a role? I come from a "joined family". Dad and 3 boys from the west coast, Stepmom and 3 kids fromt he midwest. Every time we had dessert in the house (not often, but it did happen on occasion), we would have a mini-civil war. Us west coaster's thought that cake was the only way to celebrate a special occasion. Nothing compares to a cake on a celebratory level. To "them", a pie was the end all, be all. After 10 years of battle, we made a compromise to call a cheesecake the middle ground. I mean, what kind of freak can't enjoy a cheesecake?

    IMHO, pies are common. They come from things just lying around; fruit, nuts, etc. A CAKE on the other hand, means there is TRULY something to celebrate. So, I guess my answer is cake.

  4. I live in Mystic and there is a beautiful old Seaport here along with some really nice places to eat. There is the small town feel and lots of B&B's to choose from as well as a few chain hotels and motels. A great walking town, if you are just coming for the weekend and don't want to leave the area. We are about an hour and half to two hours from the city. Hope this helps.

  5. I am certainly not a lawyer. Not a chef (is that word trademarked? Chef ?) I am simply a cook. The title Chef impies (to me at least) that a person has completed a certain amount of schooling, externship, and considerable work experience. Upon graduation from Culinary School, I don't believe that gives you the title Chef. I am the leading Cook onboard a submarine and I copy menu ideas from all of my peers everyday. How I interpret them is completely up to me and my guys will not make things the same way as the guy I "borrowed" the menu idea from. I don't put credit on my menu that I sign and post for everybody onboard and visitors alike to read. Perhaps that makes me a plagarist and worthy of being publicly humiliated and considered that is considered bad form. I certainly don't claim to be Haute Cuisine but in my humble opinion, my operation is at least one step up from a large burger chain with a clown or a king as thier mascot. I don't know if we consider that and elBulli equal, either, but like I said, I am simply a cook. I think the issue here is less legal and more personal. One of the things that keep me going to work everyday is the fact that I can look MYSELF in the mirror and know that I did my best. If I was making money off somebody else's idea, passing it off as a "unique experience"; I would be a thief. Maybe not by a court of law or a jury of my peers, but by myself. If you feel that strongly about something that somebody else does, make a personal choice not to patronize that particular company.

    On the flip of that coin:

    For the people that may not have access to the original, isn't the copy a unique experience to them? Isn't it still the chef/cook/owner that has to live with the fact that he is a fraud?

    Sorry about the ramble, just wanted to chime in.

  6. While certainly not prone to "all day sickness", morning sickness, or any other preganant malady, I am the father of two, so I'll chime in.

    When Mrs. BubbleheadChef was prego with our first, she was mildly morning sick and violently motion sick. We found that plain potato chips helped. I equated the feeling to being hungover (of which I have LOTS of experience) and offered salty, prepackaged, fried things (chips, french fries, nuts). We always had snack bags in the car, in her purse, at my office (ok, those were for me. Come on, you've heard of sympathy cravings right?). The other thing that really helped was a bag of cut lemons. If she started getting nauseous, she would open the bag, take a wiff, and find the nearest bag of Lays (bet you cant eat just one!).

    I will say that it did get better for us/her and I hope that is the case with you. Congrats and best of luck!

  7. While not as great as some of others here, there is a young chef named David MacClelland running the Craigie Inne a little outside Prestwick. Fab food, intimate setting, and the staff takes very good care of the guests. A little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. (David trained at the Gleneagles) Tell him Patrick from the submarine sent you!

  8. BHC,

    Woohoo! A Navy thread on eG! This has been enjoyable reading.

    I'm ex-Navy myself. (ex-Nuke, due to a med board) My last duty station was at the Navy Yard in D.C., where I got to meet a lot of the PQCS and the Visiting Flag Quarters CS staff. Do you see yourself going for one of these posts in the future?

    -V/r,

    a former EM3.

    Hey pusher

    I did my staff tour and don't think I will go back to one. I was at CSG8 in Naples, Italy doing both Flag Mess and Personal Quarters (that is the bad part of working for a 2 star, he is senior enough to get a cook, but not one for his house so I had to do both). I turned down a the White House mess after a tour of the facility. Everything was top notch, but my personality would have gotten me fired there. I am, well, lets just say that with my mouth, a submarine is the place for me. When we have riders, I have to stay in the Goat Locker (nickname for the Chiefs Quarters where the Goats (chiefs) are berthed and have a little lounge to "work" in) or in the Galley, but nowhere near the public eye!

  9. Just discovered this thread today --- good one!

    Hubby was a submariner on fast attacks (Finback and Atlanta).

    There's been talk about being stowed for sea and having sheet cakes baking on angles for the boat's movement.  One of my husband's COs actually drilled angles and dangles while the deep fat fryer was on.  Yikes!

    As for special training, isn't the Norfolk (or is it Va Beach?) campus of Johnson & Wales used quite a bit by Navy MSs?

    I dined in the wardroom quite a few times when my husband had duty in port.  The whole Russian-style service was quite interesting.  There's a little buzzer under the table next to the CO's seat to ring in the server.  And I really like the butler shelf (not sure of the exact term) where there was a little door between the galley and the wardroom for the mess crew to pass dishes back and forth instead of trying to walk through the doorway with all of them.

    One CO (the one who tried to set kitchen fires) was particularly hard on a really young MS for not serving his hot tea the way he wanted.  I thought this was particularly bad form for him to do this in front of a guest (me).  And really, the people who prepare your food are really the last ones you want to tick off, right?

    I have been half blessed as far as CO's go. My first CO was the greatest guy I have ever served with. Deadly serious while doing submarine things, but the life of the party when it was time to have fun. The other one was almost the polar opposite, but wasn't exactly mean to us, just VERY, ummmm, particular. Doesn't talk much unless it was to complain or point out a flaw. I can say with relative surety that he was pretty well disliked by all but the senior Navy leadership. And IMHO, I think it is extremely poor taste to say anything like that in front of a guest, but some people like to show off their power I guess.

    While I haven't been to the J&W in Norfolk, my first Chief was sent there and actually got a degree. He was full time student for 2 years. Not so many good deals like that anymore, but it is known to happen on occasion.

    As for the russian style service, I always found it amusing that on a US Submarine, we would do ANYTHING Russian. But, there it goes to show that food overcomes all (even politics!)

  10. I am beginning to think that I am the only po' half white trash here! I grew up between California and South Carolina with a Northern Californian dad, and a southern Californian Mom, a midwestern (Nebraska) step mom and a step dad from West Virginia, it was on all thier tables and now I run a pseudo-restaurant and EVERYBODY (white, black, brown, and yellow) all know what it is and expect, nay, DEMAND that it be served at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tried to mess with recipe and make it more "foodie friendly" and was almost drummed out. I enjoy it for what it is, don't eat it much, and don't really miss it when it isnt there, but I find it hard to believe that so many people on here have neither heard of it, nor actually eaten it.

  11. At the risk of sounding like a complete moron, may I ask what Red Hat Ladies and Sweet Potato Queens are? Sorry to interupt.

    And mayhaw, don't these people realize that you probably made these fine old gals day, just smiling and being sociable? Geez, you do the world and these ladies a favor and you get castigated! Why bother sometimes, you know? LOL.

  12. I hope this topic isnt completely closed yet. Reading through this thread made me realize how much I love my mother how much she really encouraged me when I was younger, regardless of how much it hurt her teeth or stomach.

    When I was about 9, I heard about this thing called "fried rice". I believe I had actaully seen it on TV too, but not having any real exposure to chinese food (or any type of Asian cuisine), really had no idea what I was doing. Soooo, in my rapidly expanding mind with a not so expanding repetoire, I set out to make stir fry and fried rice. I had an old cookbood with a recipe for it, so I was all set (or so I thought). The stir fry wasn't "bad", but even then I knew it couldn't be right. The fried rice on the other hand....well, lets just say that they should specify that the 1 cup "uncooked rice" needs to be cooked PRIOR to frying.

    Now we get to the part of me loving my mother. SHE ATE EVERY BITE OF RAW, UNCOOKED, GREASY RICE. And said it was DELICIOUS. God, I love that woman.

  13. Sorry if I missed this elsewhere, but I'm wondering what prep you manage to do on dry land that helps you out at sea. For instance, I read somewhere of a sub chef preparing a couple of hundred gallons of stock while on shore, and reducing it all down to a glace to add to soups and sauces. Do you do anything similar?

    Generally, I don't have to prepare anything like stock, because I bring some beef bones with me plus what is leftover from the carcasses of chicken for stock, but there is one thing that I like to do for the long runs. I'll vacuum seal some lettuce, bell peppers, celery, and carrots. Just about everything else, I can get dehydrated, canned, or frozen. We have just started getting slice peppers in a can, so I won't have to do that anymore. While it is certainly not as good a product as fresh, without a supermarket anywhere close to us, canned, dehy, and frozen works in a pinch.

  14. I have to agree that the parent it is ulitmately responsible for thier children. I am the father to a 2 year old daughter and always give her a "choice". You can have carrots sticks or asparagus (for example) and empower her. We don't take her to the Golden Arches just because it is convienient to us. If we do, it is the Happy Meal with apple slices and milk. We don't keep chocolate and candy from her, but we don't let it become a staple, either in the house or away from it (we travel quite a bit). We sit at the dinner table every night and have a DINNER. We talk, we eat, we have family time. When I am prepping dinner, she sits on the counter next to me and noshes on whatever veggie or fruit or cheese or whatever it is that we are having. Yes, my 2 year old will eat sushi (smoked fish or veggie only though), all veggies (and doesnt want them with sauces), and will take a pear over a chocolate bar. Our hope is that by teaching her the good eating habits now, we, as her parents, can lessen the effects of this marketing. Like I stated, I believe the parents are the strongest marketing force in your childs life.

  15. I haven't enjoyed a topic so much since my fellow grammar school classmates and I discussed how astronauts ate (and er, dealt with waste) on the playground when I was six.

    And no, I'm not being a wise-ass!  This was utterly fascinating.  Thank you, Chef!  If your restaurant ever served the public, I'd be a customer!

    Ellen

    Thanks a lot, and in 2016 I'll let you know if I am open for business. I am still on the fence, but Mrs. BubbleheadChef is really pushing for a place of our own. We are thinking the "theme" is going to be a nautical type place with food from ports all over. Have learned quite a bit of different foods from different places. Probably going to set up in a Sailor town on the East coast, Norfolk, VA or Groton, CT. Hope to see you there!

  16. Chief

    Your blog reminds me of one culinary incident from my smokeboat days.  My chief commisaryman had been leading chief in the EDF at NAB Little Creek before coming to submarines.  He was still qualifying on board, but did have some ideas on how to improve our menu items.  He had a recipe for curry, but was convinced that the crew would reject anything with yellow sauce.  So he prepared "Semi-authentic Indian Curry" which had some curry powder in it, but also lots of paprika, so it was red and it went over well in both the after battery and the wardroom.

    Posting as KAYSWV's other half

    Just like a Chief....always coming in and trying to change stuff!!! As a junior guy, I had a few of those types of experiences, but now that I am the Chief, it won't happen to me (can you hear the sarcasm?).

    BTW, translations:

    EDF= Enlisted Dining Facility

    NAB Little Creek= Naval Air Base Little Creek

    smokeboat= Diesel Submarine

    Commisaryman= Cook/Culinary Specialist/Mess Management Specialist

  17. Hello,

    I must apoligize in advance I did not read all the responses before posting this and I will go back and read them when I am done here. I was aboard Three submarines one boomer and two fast attacks, the USS Sea Devil (SSN 664) the USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN 644) and the USS Jacksonville (SSN 699). I was in the navy from sept 1988 to sept 1996. I have not eaten any food but from a sub or a land based mess hall. All I can say is sub food is head and shoulders better than the rest.

    Some of my food memories of subs some good some bad. The bug juice (a kool aid like drink) we drank and we also used it to clean the toliets because of its acidity. Powdered milk is the worse thing with UDT milk being not much better, Regular milk only lasted about two weeks on a long deployment due to storage issues. Once while doing a stores load a package of chicken came across that was labeled "REJECTED BY USAF". I used to help the night baker and the Captain we occassionally do "angles and Dangles" (putting the ship into a series of huigh angle dives and rises) right when we put the sheetcakes in so the sheet cakes would be extremely thin on one end. The worse part of it was that we were always told to even it out with icing.

    Now the good memories Halfway night (on a major deployment the night you are half done) we were always served prime rib and lobster tail. I grew up in the midwest and the navy began my love of ocean fish in particular Hailbut. We always took on local product when we pulled into foreign ports and once when pulling into Bergen, Norway we got some of the best smoked salmon I have ever had and the best part the MS chief, myself and a coule of officers were the only ones who would eat it.

    By the way I was not a mess specialist but a nuke Machinist mate but I did my time cranking and I also enjoyed cooking so I also did some cooking and not just on pizza night.

    thanks for the time MM2 (SS) Rodfog

    Welcome aboard, glad to have you here, Rodfog. Bug juice is still pretty prevalent, it is just way too difficult to load and store enough bag in box soda and CO2 for and entire underway and quite frankly, as much as I hate Crystal Lite, Kook Aid, and others of that ilk, it is much preferable to Coca Cola syrup with no CO2 to liven it up.

    And, you touched one of my peeves. The US Navy has never, and never will, accept meat that is rejected from anywhere. It is however, a very wide spread urban legend. Funny, the first 50000 times you hear it, but in a forum like this, I don't think it has any place. We get the same food as any restaurant in town, as our food comes from Sysco, the IJ Company, Monarch, American Foods, whatever. Unless the Air Force gets first crack at all the beef in the Northeast Region before, say, the Fisherman in Mystic, I don't think we'll ever see any rejected sticker.

    Also, while there are still some boats that still use sheet cakes, I have never, and never will. I have used round cake pans on every submarine I have been on. There are still some boats that use them, but they are not so prevalent as they once were.

  18. My gosh, an E-7 at 27 years of age?  You are either what my wife, the retired CPO, calls 'shit-hot' or CS must be a fast-promoting rating, or both.

    PS: And I am further impressed to see the E-7 with only two hash marks, indicating at least eight years of service so far.  With what rank did you enter the Navy?  Did you come in as a E-2 or E-3?  My wife came in as an E-2, and made Chief on her third try, at year 13.  The first two times, although she passed the tests and the selection board, there were not enough open E-7 slots in the corpsman rating.

    PPS: And again for the non-Navy types, being promoted to E-7, or Chief Petty Officer, is a major, major milestone in a sailor's career.  The CPOs are the middle-managers of the Navy, without which the Navy could not function.  Becoming a CPO not only requires passing difficult tests, having excellent annual reviews (including 'sustained superior performance at sea') but also being judged by a selection board who makes the final decision if you are eligble to be promoted to Chief.  And then, your rating (or job) only has so many CPO slots open per year for promotions, so if you there are not enough slots open one year, you have to try again the next year.  There are many, many sailors who finish a twenty year career in the Navy without being promoted to Chief.  In many ratings, it would be easier for an enlisted sailor to become an officer rather than a Chief. 

    So Bubblehead, are you going to be a lifer?

    I came in the Navy as an E-1, did what the Navy told me to, studied hard, picked the hard jobs, went to sea when I didn't have to (I spent an average of 2 weeks a month deployed while on SHORE DUTY!). The CS rating is horrible for advancement, but if you do what they tell you to, and be a "good Sailor", things happen. As far as my time in service, I went hit my nine year mark on October 31st this year and was frocked to Chief at my 8 year, 11 month point. I wont get another hash mark for a couple more years anyway. I made Chief my first time up. When did your wife retire? There is a fairly new program out for time in rate waivers if you get an early promote on your yearly evaluations. I have been an early promote every time I took the test for E4, E5, E6, and Chief.

    For the non-Navy types, I'll give a brief overview of the Navy Eval system:

    Once a year, every sailor gets an evaluation from the Chain of Command. There are 7 blocks that are graded 1.0-5.0. 1.0 being the worst and 5.0 being the best. Then there is a space for a write up. That space is used to describe/justify the numerical grade you have already recieved. Finally, there are 5 promotion recommendations, these are the really important blocks.

    There is a "significant problems". I think that is pretty self explanitory.

    There is a "progressing" block. That is for a sailor that may have had a few speed bumps but is getting better.

    There is a "promotable block". That is for the guy that does only what is expected of him, neither a bad sailor or and extremely good sailor. As you get more senior, it isn't such a bad block, because percentages start coming into play, but that is way too much to go into here.

    There is a "must promote" block. That is for the guys that go over the basic requirements, really above and beyond. That can only be 20-40% of your sailors in a specific paygrade.

    The last block is "early promote". That is for the real "hard chargers", your go getters. This is for the top 5-7% of your sailors in a specific pay grade. As you can imagine, competition for these spots is really fierce. The big benefit of this mark is you get one year off the time you have to wait to take the next paygrade test. It basically means you are already performing at the next paygrade.

    That is an extremely basic breakdown, I could expound on that for hours, but this is a FOOD thread, right?

  19. Thanks so much for enlightining us on this very interesting topic.  What changes would you make if you could have an unlimited budget or unlimited resources to feeed your crew?

    The budget is not the problem, the storage constraints and equipment are. I wish more cooks thought outside the box as far as military food service and instead of saying, "we can't" try "why not" every once in awhile. We could do a lot more classical cuisine, but service and prevalent attitude is the problem. If it is "french" or french sounding (concerning food), then it must be "hoity toity". Such a shame. If they only knew that the majority of french food was created by people just like them, the working class.

  20. Thanks BHC--you've been very generous with your time.

    Because Vancouver is a major cruise ship port, we read occasionally about Food-borne Illness (FBI--such as Norwalk Virus) on the cruisers. I know they take elaborate precautions, especially with the obvious perps like poultry and ground beef (separate stainless break rooms) etc. Of course all contained environments are especially susceptible.

    Are Navy ships affected very often? Have you ever seen an outbreak?

    Cheers,

    Jamie

    OH DEAR GOD, NO. Knock on wood. The biggest complaint you hear about on Navy ships is that the food is "overcooked". That is because we are required to cook to the correct temp and hold. Sunny side eggs? Not on my boat. Do I love sunny side eggs? Yep, pretty much the only way I'll eat them. Do I love a slab of BARELY medium rare steak? Yep, anything more than that is burnt. But, these are two things that you wont see on navy ships for fear of getting guys sick.

  21. I posted a few pictures of me with my cooks. 

    gallery_24820_2127_1055067.jpg

    I am the oldest one in those pictures at a whopping 27 years of age.  In the group picture I am the one on the front left (as you are looking at it). 

    You guys make for quite a stylish BOH staff picture!

    I see by your stripes BubbleheadChef that you're a Chief--a rank well-deserved. Are the colored insigniae on your breast pocket really called "fruit salad?"

    Some people call them that. I have also heard salad bar.

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