Despite what previous posts may have told you about my life here, the day to day routine isn't exactly a cake walk. This no make-up, no perfume, no jewelry routine is getting rather old. And I can't decide what I'm more sick of - washing dishes or scrubbing floors. A mountain of dishes like this can appear out of nowhere, especially when the chef says, "Class, each of you will be required to make a hollandaise for me during your practical, so I want each of you to make your own today." By the time all 17 of us had gathered our equipment and ingredients, I'm surprised there were any sauce pots or bowls left in the room! And you know what that means? All of them will be in the sink eventually which means they must be scrubbed, rinsed and sanitized.
Our stocks class has been structured down to the minute. We are asked to arrive 5 minutes before class begins so that we have time to put our things away before lining up outside alphabetically for uniform inspection. If our coats aren't ironed, our aprons aren't bleached, or our shoes aren't polished guess what. We go home. After inspections, we take our daily quiz, sit through lecture and enter production. We then clean briefly before heading up to dinner promptly at 5:45, return to class at 7:00 to finish cleaning, and we're supposed to be out the door by 7:30. Yesterday, we worked more efficiently than we ever had, so we were able to do a large amount of the cleaning before heading off to dinner. That meant that we would return from dinner at 7:00 for any last-minute announcements or reminders from the chef and head out the door 30 minutes early. Or so we thought...
Upon returning from dinner, we cleaned the last few pots and began to gather our things to leave. The chef asked, "Have you cleaned the floors?" We were so proud to say, "Yes, chef. We scrubbed them before dinner." He replied, "Well you're doing them again. Floors should ALWAYS be the last thing you clean. And they just look dirty." Great. After scrubbing the floors for the second time, we had to re-wipe down the tables to prevent water marks from forming, and we ended up leaving at 8:00 which was 30 minutes late.
Aside from that, this week has been packed with incredible learning opportunities. Johnson and Wales has so many unique organizations that expose students to various aspects of the food industry. This week was particulary exciting because I was able to attend both an ice sculpture club meeting and a beer brewing club meeting.
The ice sculpture club, formally known as The Chippers, meets every 2 weeks in one of the culinary labs. We split up into groups of 2-4, and each group is given a 300 pound block of ice to carve whatever we want. They have templates to choose from, but I suppose a group could free-hand the sculpture if they wanted. I was paired with another freshman who hadn't carved before either, and we thought this design would be fairly simple. We were wrong, but had a great time trying to do it! To begin the sculpture, we had to trace a template on banner paper which we then stuck onto the ice and outlined in the ice using small picks.
We then used chain saws (of which I do not have pictures) to cut off larger chunks of ice around our design. From there, we roughly chipped away the ice which creates a ridged look as shown in the picture below.
Smoothing tools are then used to give the sculpture a cleaner look and to add any detail work. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of that process either. But here's a picture of some of the other students working on their sculptures. A few of the members have been doing this for over a year and carved some very impressive pieces. Hopefully I'll get better with time!