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Everything posted by Ladycake

  1. I can hardly wait to hear about The Ordinary, please, please, proceed! The bar, the (loaded) cooks and owner.....let's hear about the customers and what happened. You really are playing with us, keeping us waiting for this. You are very clever and entertaining, but I am still waiting. I think we all are looking forward to your book, but for now.....please! tell us more! Thanks.....
  2. Ladycake

    Why I Cook

    It may be totally Toad in the Hole where you are but in the southern San Joaquin Valley (California) in the early '50's, it was Egg-In-The-Middle-Of-The-Toast. Thanks Mom!
  3. I think you are already on your way! I too found myself ever more unable to keep up. It was not so much with my coworkers, but with my employees. Catering at 50 is not what it used to be; and I was so tired. I have now been teaching for nearly 5 years and find it very rewarding. I teach at a post secondary school that has other subjects, but our plant is strictly culinary. I did work first for a school that was less than honorable (all culinary schools place premiums on $$$$$ - a necessary evil). The school where I work now is very good and I feel that we are truly contributing to our student's skills and knowledge. One thing I have discovered is that a premium is put on certification in education that was not apparent in th "world". I am coming up hard on my CEC with the ACF and most of my coworkers have one kind of certification or another. If you have yours already, it may be a door opener, but most schools are willing to assist you in that quest. My school pays my membership and all certification expenses. Good luck to you and welcome to the world of education. Chèrie
  4. I too am interested in that course! Only that I could teach such a course (I would need a lot of info before hand, preferably in the form of a class like you describe. My textbook has been the Gisslen book until recently when we had to revamp our courses due to accreditation. Now I am using On Cooking and hoping soon to be using the On Baking book. I do have the CIA book and have done several things out of it. In fact the hit of our ACF dinner competition last year was the page 680 Grapefruit Mousse with Sauternes Cream and our Christmas party guests especially enjoyed the page 716 Pasion Fruit Truffles. Keep in mind that my students are only here 12 weeks, so their expertise is not great or accomplished. These were quite easy to prepare. I think the book is good, although the critique above is accurate. The Professional Baking has more than one recipe that is less than good. I just try to work around them and I give my students a substantial packet of handouts.
  5. I don't know if this will help, but one of my students made the pistachio buttercream in On Cooking today with cashews and it was excellent! She used only pureed nuts and the flavor really came through.
  6. After reading these four pages, I think some of you are right, most of the time. Money is money, and it all counts or this subject would not be here. (even $2.00) I have many years experience in the small upscale restaurant business and believe that there are several reasons for overtipping. 1. Excellant service 2. Trying to get lucky with a waitress (or waiter or date) 3. Trying to impress someone (maybe just yourself) 4. You have a lot of money and enjoy sharing it 5. Compensating ( for multitudes of things) Is it wrong? Yes, if you want somthing in return, especially if you get it. No, if it is done out of the goodness of your heart and everybody wins. Amounts? In California 20% before tax is the norm for good service (I usually tip 20% unless the service is superb or pitiful.) Do I believe I am compelled to tip? No, it is my choice. It does not matter the servers' circustances, he or she chose this job knowing the pay scale. If the service is bad, I tip less than 10% or nothing. If I am harrassed by a server, I report him or her to management and expect action (I would never again want to be served by that person.) I fired a server for following a customer out the door and down the street asking why she didn't get a bigger tip. (Unacceptable behavior is still unacceptable behavior.) I believe that we get what we deserve in the long run, there may be bad days and bad tips and there may be good days and good tips, they even out. People go out to enjoy a dining experience and we who serve are working to provide that. In exchange we all appreciate a little recognition. I like recognition for my food, maybe you like recognition for having lots of money. If you don't have lots of money why splash it around? Come around again tomorrow for a great glass of wine and relax1 Just my .02
  7. I am interested in how often you will be changing your menu (how long do the dishes served on these pieces stay on?) as it would affect the cost in development, production, and replacement of these custom items? In reality, do little pieces of these items disappear and make the item unusable? Are your dishwashers modified in any way to accomodate these items (the machines, not the men)? How many of each item do you keep in stock (would it be gauch to ask what the pricetag would be) and how often do you need to restock?
  8. Bless His heart! My ex..... You have to realize that I am a professional chef...and early on he was trying so hard to impress me...oh, my! Spam studded with little cloves and glazed with mustard and brown sugar, canned peas and iceburg lettuce with bottled 1000 Island! My nightmare come true! All I can say is bless his heart, where ever he is! But you know, I think I have one worse. A co-worker (before I was a chef) told me she had an old family recipe for the best vegetable chowder in the world. So after much anticipation I went home with her for lunch one day to a "wonderful" bowl of Carnation Evaporated Milk with Frozen mixed vegetables! Ugh, in any language!
  9. You all seem to put much more time into your camp cooking than my family. We do things like a "hobo pack", which is sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, and seasonings in a foil pack thrown in the campfire. We also do trout this way, in aluminum foil with a little julienned onion, a slice of lemon and seasonings. We carry Bisquick to mix with a little canned milk and form around an oak or manzanita stick, then roast (marshmallow style) over the campfire. My Mom is a little more sophisticated and cooks stews, beans (just the beans, onions, hamburger, a little tomato product, chili powder, and seasonings), and one pot spaghetti (hamburger, tomato product, onion, green bells, maybe a little red chili flakes), and her alltime favorite (steak)...or my alltime favorite (pork chops.) My sis is really good at Campfire Girl stuff, like fruit turnovers. She also has worked up some techniques for berry cobbler (freshly picked blackberries with a Bisquick crust). Yummy! As kids we routinely had Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with hotdogs for our first night in camp while setting up etc. It became tradition only when her kids complained about not having it, as we had never even recognized the routine. :-) I am interested in hearing what kind of fish you all are catching (we go for the trout-rainbow, brown, etc. as we are in the central Sierras in California where they are native.) What do you catch and what do you prefer to eat (especially those of you who are not nearby?)
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