Sliding into fall

victoria —  August 19, 2006 — Leave a comment

Things have been moving at a fairly brisk pace these days. The Hemingway’s Key West party went off without a hitch though the turnout was a little low. The food however was fab but there is not a single picture. Keifel had to work late at Apple because of the tax holiday and J&J and I were busy hosting.

The menu consisted of smoked trout cakes* with red pepper jam, grilled coconut lime shrimp, coffee and brown sugar rubbed pork tenderloin with Hawaiian bread rolls and chipotle cilantro mayo, tropical fruit platter, veg platter, black-eyed pea dip, guacamole, old school daiquiris and coffee meringues and key lime pie. Keifel and I wound up eating fruit salad for three days and I had to come up with creative ways to use up the left over veg from the tray. I think in future we are going to have to fine tune the party invites for the book research to a core of people who come every time. Making a whole lot of food for people who may or may not come and don’t RSVP is costly.

In other news, I am still teaching classes at the Pannery, though things have been up and down with that. Thursday’s class was a bit of a bust. Can I just say I hate cooking fried chicken in front of people? It is a too slow process and because of the shitty range we have at work, I couldn’t keep the oil to temp. So despite the fact that overall the food was good, I had a complainer that resulted in four people getting their money back and one of them spending what seemed an eternity talking with the assistant manager about my shortcomings. Regardless of what did or didn’t happen, the customer is always right. I went through my staged reaction: disappointment, defensiveness, pissed-offness, and finally resignation. There isn’t a thing I can do about how she perceived the class or me. It’s just the first real complaints I’ve had, even if perhaps 60% of her complaints weren’t directly about me, I tend to take things to heart and very personally (often when it isn’t really warranted–though I think I have gotten better over time). Plus all this drama came on the heels of so many of my classes getting cancelled. I am at that point where I want to say whatever and go back to the latest edition of Olive.

School is also gearing up. I have my internship (that is happening at the Pannery), a computer class I am testing out of and one I have to take and I will graduate in December with an A.A.S. to go with my B.A. and M.A. My father always said you could never have too many letters after your name, just don’t put them all on your business card because that looks both silly and pretentious. I need to join the ACF so when I graduate I will be a Certified Culinarian, which means I can put a CC on my chef jacket after my name if I so choose. Go me.

If all goes well (meaning we get enough folks to register), I will be teaching the revamped community education class at NSCC this fall. It means a 7 Saturday commitment in the heart of soccer mom season but Keifel is going to pick up that slack and be the soccer dad, should the class actually make the cut. I won’t know until next week sometime though the first class is on Saturday the 26th. Eek.

*Smoked Trout Cakes
Makes approximate 30 bite-sized cakes

1# smoked trout
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 diced serrano or other red chili
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced very fine
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
salt and pepper to taste
panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) to coat
oil for frying

Break up the trout with the tines of a fork and add all of the remaining ingredients except the panko and oil. Form the mixture into small cakes (one to two bite-size) and roll them in the panko. Set them on a baking sheet or tray and refrigerate about 30 minutes to allow them to firm up. Heat about a 1/4″ of oil in a heavy sauté and fry the cakes until golden brown, turning once. Serve with red pepper jelly.



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