Here’s one thing I’ve learned fairly quickly here:
Everyone speaks in terms of seasons...not years. As in, Is this your first season? Meaning, is this your first time/first year working on the island?
As it is my “first season”, I can’t help but feel a bit like a plantation debutante or similar. Feel a bit like I should be wearing a sweeping ball gown in the manner of Scarlett O’Hara. But anyway...
Everything is new to me here...but here’s one thing that’s not: The Weather.
Anyone who lives in Iowa (or did for awhile) is familiar with the bipolar nature of Iowa weather. Eighty degrees and sunny one day, and a light dusting of snow two days later. Not much surprises us Iowans when it comes to weather (although this long hard winter past would have done it, if anything).
You can imagine how amusing, then, it was this morning to shuffle my iPod playlist and what motivational tune should pop up first? California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas. Oh, how so ironic.
But, from what I’ve gathered in my conversation with the people who’ve returned for several seasons...this cold, rain, and iced over waterways business is highly unusual and unseasonal. And, it’s keeping the customers away. Which made for another easy day in the trenches today. However, there are still things to be done, surfaces to wipe down, cream sauces and soups to make, mirepoix to cut, and stations to prepare for the day.
I arrived at 9 a.m., and my station (officially referred to as “Pantry”) must be stocked and ready for service by 11 a.m. Two hours is a long time and not enough time, depending on what I’m doing. Because the night before was slow also, there was not a lot for me to prep...therefore, Chef set me to doing a large hotel pan full of small dice mirepoix (ah, more practice with the blade).
Tomorrow is my first day off since I started eight days ago. Even though it’s supposed to be another day of cold and rain, I still have errands to run and goals to achieve:
- Obtain bike
- Finish reading Homer’s The Odyssey and Julia Child’s My Life in France
- Begin reading A Guide to Modern Cookery by Auguste Escoffier
- Copy, neatly and coherently, notes I’ve taken at work into journal (flip notebooks, pens, and Sharpies distributed to us by Chef on the first day of work - how’s that for proactively organized?)
Obviously, not all of these objectives will be obtained tomorrow...or will they?