Despite rumors to the contrary I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I’ve just been terribly, stupidly busy. And for those who wonder why I continually do this to myself you will be relieved to know that my sole New Year’s Resolution is to learn to say “no.” (I can hear Keifel chuckling now).
Our first catering gig went remarkably well, despite the fact that nearly twice as many people showed as we had guaranteed for. Again, not my mistake but I think it may have colored the overall impressions. JC, my partner, said there were raves on the food, which we of course love to hear. We did go all out quality wise and now we know what we need to be charging.
My buffet production has come and gone, as well. There were some glitches and my packet didn’t dazzle as much as I had hoped. I made an A but a low one that won’t have much impact on my lower than I’d like midterm grade. I think I might be looking at a B for Culinary III, which I have to admit has me in shudders. I’ve had a 4.0 to this point and I would like to keep it. I can’t seem to do anything exactly right this semester in the class. It is frustrating and has shaken my confidence, probably more than I am comfortable admitting. Keifel says that’s my problem, that cooking is like graphic design and that I need more attitude and ego. Maybe. But those with attitude and ego don’t seem to be faring any better than me in class. I know that I don’t have an “arrogant chef” within just waiting to blossom. And if I did I would beat her down with a whisk anyway. I don’t want to be that person. I also don’t think I would be a very good teacher if I became that person. I do realize that I am my own harshest critic and that I am not satisfied unless it’s an A that’s a perfect 100. I was terribly nervous the night that I cooked, to the point that it was mentioned on my grading sheet. I also know that I need to relax, again, this isn’t brain surgery. No one is going to die if my soup doesn’t have enough body or I didn’t put herbs in my crackers. I’m not going to die if I don’t make a 100 on every assignment. I think I am frustrated because I can’t seem to hit that sweet spot this semester with this instructor and it gets under my skin.
I know I promised to post recipes but as I mentioned they are in excel which doesn’t seem to play nice with the format here. For now, I have one recipe I have been tweaking that began as an item for the project.
Victoria’s Ruby Fruit Sauce
1 bag cranberries
zest and juice from one largish orange
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup black currant preserves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of salt
juice of half a lemon or to taste
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the majority of the cranberries have burst and begun to break down. The sauce will have begun to thicken. Reduce the heat again to low and stir in the remaining ingredients, tasting and adjusting the seasoning. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate up to two weeks.