kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)
God when is summer going to be over?  What good is it to live in a place where half the year you're in a constant state of exhaustion from overwork, and the other half you have to beg and plead for hours?  We only stay open to eight o'clock in winter, and aren't even open for lunch.  So between that and needing time off for class--yeah, it's gonna suck too in it's own way.

But, I'm finally getting trained at saute station!  Woo!  I already know how to make most of the saute stuff, I just haven't worked a whole shift at it before. 

But I almost forgot--I'm getting a raise!  And after next month I can start getting benefits, which include paid holidays and paid time off.  Woo!  So it's not all bad, really.  I would just like to not be called in on my days off so  much, or called in to work a double shift when I was only supposed to work one.  I have money now, I'm sure it's more than I've made in my life, ever, but when do I have time to spend it?  (Yes, yes, I know I should be saving it anyway...just as well I suppose.)

And while I'm at it, how is it that delivery trucks always know the most opportune moment to show up with a shit-load of food? 
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Fuck Off)

Yesterday my boss yelled at me across the kitchen, "You wanna make soup?"  I was like, "Whaaaat?", because that is just a very random thing to say to someone, when you haven't been talking about soup, or talking at all.  So yeah, they told me to make a soup of the day.  How freaking awesome is that?  I called it minestrone but it was actually Nana's Cure All Soup.  A nod at her because she was the first one to tell me I was good enough to do this professionally, and she was a fabulous cook herownself. 

Now it is time for more ranting about stupid customers!

Stupid person number one tells his server to tell the cooks that our fetuccini is actually linguine.  We were incensed, rightfully so, because A.) it is fetuccini, and B.) what difference does it make?  Apparently this customer was so annoying that the manager even went to the cooler and got a box of it to show the guy that yes, this is in fact what we say it is, and he still insisted that it was linguine.  So apparently not only are we dumbasses, but the manufacturer doesn't even know what they are are making.  We were serving the End-All Be-All of pasta knowledge that night and didn't even know it. And, by the way, I checked my textbook, and the only difference between linguine and fetuccini is size--linguine is smaller that fetuccini (and it is not what we have been inadvertently calling fetuccini).

And this takes the cake.  This guy is allergic to lettuce.  But he still wants something salad-ish.  So he asked the server to ask me (I was working pantry that night) to make up a plate of salad toppings, just no lettuce.  So I made something like a fruit and cheese tray, with tomatoes and olives and cucumbers and blue cheese and feta and even strawberries and kiwis.  It was pretty.  I was proud.  The guy sent it back and the server said, he wants it like a caprese style salad.  What. The Fuck.  Dude.  I am a cook, not a mind reader.  Do you see salad caprese on the menu?  Then why are you trying to order a salad caprese?  Asshole.  I mean, yeah, if you have a food allergy we work around that to make sure you get safe and delicious food.  But if you want to order something to which you are allergic to the main component, then you may just want to get a bowl of soup, ya know?   

You see, people have this misconception that cooks and chefs choose this career out of some sense of wanting to serve others.  Not true at all.  We do this because we are creative and food is our artistic medium.  You don't go to an art exhibit and tell the artist that you would buy this portrait if the subject was wearing a green dress, because green is your favorite color and you just hate the color blue, so could you just repaint it? 

Probably not a perfect metaphore, but you get my meaning.
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Firefly--Wash)
Yesterday at work, I decided to have a bowl of soup for lunch.  A server guy was standing there and we were talking, and I peeked in the soup thing and saw we have a new soup, some kind of cream of chicken & mushroom thing.  I got a bowl and tasted it and I told the guy, "It tastes like Campells." 

He said "Really?" 

And I said "Yeah, I mean it's not gross or anything, it's just nothing special."

And then I turned around and one of the other cooks was right behind me, and I said "Hi!" in that fake bright oh-shit-I-hope-I-didn't-piss-him-off-how-much-did-he-hear voice.  And the server just busted out laughing.  But the cook was not the one who made the soup and he agreed, it tasted like it came from a can.  Which says one of two things: either canned soup is actually great, or the other cook cannot make good soup.

Mike, I'm beginning to think you're right and that my life would be a good basis for a sitcom.
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Fuck Off)

Last night I was scheduled to work pantry (which means I made salads and deserts).  A server passes the word on that we have a seventeen top coming in at five thirty.  Turns out that seventeen top was a junior varsity cheerleading squad.

"Oh shit," I said, peering around the door.  "I am fucked."

And I was.  There was a bullseye painted right on my ass, because every single one of those bitches ordered salads.  Ceasar salads, mostly, two wedge salads (which come with blue cheese dressing, although one asked for ranch instead), and one Greek salad.  I wondered if any of them realized that Ceasar salad is not the most healthful salad in the world?  I would be afraid to find out just how many calories are in our dressing....
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)

Well I'm back--I took off a couple days before Memorial Day Weekend to visit my grandmother, who lives up past Birmingham.  A fair drive.  I always cook for her when I visit, and Shannon, I made Mulligatawny soup and she loved it!  She said it was the best thing I ever made for her!  I wish I had remembered to bring my camera, because I also made my lasagna (my lasagna is legendary in my family).  Dangit!  When I made the soup I got a little creative since this was the second time--I decided to keep on subbing chili powder for the turmeric, and I used two different types of apples, a granny smith and a Washinton red delicious, and wow, that really changed it up!  I also threw in a red bell pepper but those were the only changes I made. 

Oh thank god Memorial Day is over.  I worked a combined 22 hours on Sat and Sun, with no break at all on Sunday, unless you count when I was sent to the grocery store to buy more watermelons and when I took a pee break.  Oh yes, and we stayed open an hour later than usual because of the holiday!  And I didn't find that out until fifteen minutes before I thought we were closing!  Grr.  We only had about five tickets, not worth staying open an extra hour for!  And of course there was the big buffet we had down at the pool--apparently we do a special buffet on every holiday.  Something to look forward too.  But we get to eat all the leftovers (and take them home!) so I'm not really complaining.

And of course I didn't complain when my boss called me yesterday morning and gave me the day off!  I was scheduled to come in at four but there was a scheduling conflict and he wanted me to take yesterday off and come in today instead.  Hell yeah!  I was expecting him to say they were getting slammed and needed me to come in early. 

All in all a busy week, but I'm rested and ready to take on the summer vacation season, which I am told is a whole new kind of crazy.  Bring it, bitch.
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)

Of all the assorted bullshit that's been going on, oh, since pretty much I moved to my current location, I think I'm finally at a place where I can look at it and say, oh, it wasn't so bad, and be glad that things worked out as they did.  Even the thought of putting up with TDC again is not so very daunting.  I did once before, and I lived to tell the tale, with much added bitching and moaning.  And he did do one good thing for me--he placed me in my internship.  I can't say enough how much I love it there--I was expecting to have to do a lot of crappy jobs that no one else wanted to do, but they don't do that at all.  They are genuinely interested in helping me learn, and don't treat me as if I'm an idiot, or incapable of doing certain things because I'm a woman--I've run into sexism a time or two (mostly in class, actually, with some students who have been cooks for years and are just getting a formal education).  I'm given a certain amount of--how to put it--trust, or autonomy I guess.  During our Mother's Day Buffet I was put in charge of the dessert table, setting it up, making everything look nice, and keeping backups ready.  Remember I've only been there three months.  And just yesterday, as soon as I walked in, one of the other cooks told me to make up a fruit and cheese tray for a banquet.  Just make it look pretty, he says.  And leaves me alone and lets me do it.  And what's even nicer is when people say how nice the things I do look.  Don't mean to toot my own horn there, but it is nice to be told that I've done something well, especially considering my lack of experience in such things.  Being able to work in this place has made everything I went through worth it.  Would I have found as great a place to work in Atlanta, or Birmingham?  Maybe, maybe not.  I don't want to find out anymore. 
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)

The garden is growing!  I am a little shocked that it's actually thriving!  The pepper plants and basil have already nearly doubled in size since Friday.  I think it's because I bought some halfway decent soil instead of whatever was cheapest.  But IT IS ALIVE.  Except for possibly my leeks.  Toby keeps trying to eat them.  Gah!  At first I was pissed, but then it occured to me that cats probably eat grass when they get sick like dogs, and I know he has a problem with hairballs.  So then I felt bad.  He probably had a tummy ache and was just trying to feel better.  But it's not my fault he won't eat the medicine the vet sold me.  He won't even eat bacon grease, which is an old folk remedy for hairballs.  Since the medicine the vet has is basically flavored vasoline there's probably no harm.  But he won't eat it.  Instead he eats my leeks.  The idiot.

Well.  That's what's been going on.  Garden, Toby, work (is still great, and I'm not quite so intimidated by working the line anymore), class (is still great too, I have a ton of pics I need to get around to uploading), I think I've covered everything.

Oh yes, I finally finished Last Argument of Kings.  I think the problem with it is that I don't sense that Joe really likes his characters very much.  I know he set out to write his books as a kind of anti-epic fantasy, and he certainly succeeded in that...but for some reason it just didn't engage me, at all. 
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Eddie Izzard)
So.  The executive chef was fired two days ago.

Probably my job is secure; he was fired for not being able to keep food costs down.  And really, I see what they mean; he had filet mignon on the menu for only $19.  That's nineteen dollars for fucking filet mignon--a steal. 

So now I get to be freaked out again--what if whoever they hire to replace him is a total asshole?  What if they want to renegotiate my salary?  Damn.  But I still like the new job, though.  I really could not work with a better bunch of people--and I get to be snarky and witty, and they high five me when I say Fuck You!  How many times does a Fuck You earn a high five?  Of course it was all in jest, but that's the thing.  I can be as foul mouthed as I want and no one cares.  Not only that, but I have some stiff competition.

For example.  A server came in and said a customer wanted to know what was in our tomato vinaigrette.  We start listing ingredients.  The server interrupts.  "Does it have cream in it?" she asked.

 I said "Fuck no it doesn't have cream in it.  It's a fucking vinaigrette.  You don't put cream in vinaigrette.  Fucking idiot." (I meant the customer, not the server.) 

Before I came here such language would have been unacceptable.  I can't tell you how many times I bit my tongue and refrained from such obscenities.  But I'm finally free.  It may be going to my head and I may be overdoing it a bit--but I couldn't say stuff like that for six months, so cut me some slack.

And now you have one question never to ask a chef.  Is there cream in the vinaigrette.  You know what happens when you put vinegar in cream or milk?  It spoils.  It tastes fucking nasty.  Besides the fact that everyone knows vinaigrette is oil and vinegar, at it's simplest.  Usually it has an emulsifier--mustard or an egg yolk--and seasonings, but that's basically what that is.  I knew that long before deciding to be a chef. 
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)

So.  The internship.  It progresses.  I was nervous at first, because I didn't know the people who worked there, but they're all extremely helpful and genuinely interested in helping me learn.  And the chef is just fantastic--even the few times I fucked up he didn't yell or anything, just patiently explained what I was doing wrong.  Oh, and he's alumni!  He was in the second graduating class.  So there's a bond right there.  And he's also taking an interest in my personal life, not too prying, just things like my hobbies, have I made many friends around here etc...  Found out he likes reading too, although he's more into nonfiction.  Also he told me some neat sounding bookstores that I should go check out.

And he's paying me a dollar more per hour than I asked for.  And he promised me at least five days a week (I'm actually working six this week) so I might actually be able to save enough money to take a few summer classes.  The whole financial aide thing not having worked entirely in my favor.

So all in all, except for the Cold From Hell, things have been going pretty damn well.

Speaking of the Cold From Hell, when most people get sick they eat chicken soup--but I have never been much of a chicken soup fan.  I much prefer chili.  Gets the snot flowing.

Don't look Shannon! Beans! Beans everywhere! )
kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)
I am officially a (paid!) intern!  Yay!  I start today at three!

I am excited beyond all measure. 

Also I think I had the flu this week...but I am starting to recover.  Yesterday and the day before were hellish.  But you know, I am not about to start this job out on the wrong foot by calling in sick on my first day.  Plus I don't have a fever anymore, so I am not contagious.  Isn't the difference between a cold and the flu having a stuffy nose?  If you can't breath it's a cold, and if you can breathe but you're hacking up a lung it's the flu?

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kat_nic: A cat wearing glasses (Default)
the nice misanthrope

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