Sunday, April 27, 2014

Today's Inspiration: Johnny Cash

My first week of employment on Mackinac Island is complete, and it has been an up and down of a magnitude that I cannot recall since the summer of 1993.  New living arrangements, new jobs, new faces, and new procedures are daunting...and I'm old and set in my ways (Cf. Yesterday's Post).  But, being older and wiser certainly has its benefits.  So, yay, for getting older.

The restaurant where I work is about four minutes beyond the cafeteria where I eat breakfast (the brisk 12-minute walk, remember?); thus, enough time to listen to one last song on my iPod before I clock in and start handling my kitchen business.  So, I thought it might be mildly amusing, yet inspirational, if I shuffled my playlist...and let the song that came up be my motivational anthem of the day.

Day One (the first day of serving customers and "real" work): Queen's "We Are The Champions".  Pretty damn fitting, I think.

Day Two: Enya's "I Will Find You" from the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack.  I assume this song refers to me finding my skills and groove this summer.

Today: Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line".  I had to ponder this...I finally decided that this meant to be respectful and patient towards my chefs and do exactly what they tell me to do.

I know at some point in time the tourists will arrive, and the comfortable routine I've got at the restaurant will turn on its head.  Until then, the days have been good. And I learned two things, even:

1.  Julienne can refer to the size of a cut of a vegetable (i.e. julienne = 1/8", fine julienne = 1/16").  But I learned today that julienne can also refer to the vegetable is placed when it is cut.  For example, an onion.  When we cut onions for hamburgers at our family picnic, we slice them parallel to the root, or the hairy little end.  But, if we turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it perpendicular to the root, that's julienned onions.

2.  I also learned a really quick, kick-ass way to deseed tomatoes.  Quarter the tomatoes, and starting at the point furthest from the core, turn the knife nearly parallel to the tomato and carefully shave off the flesh and seeds (keeping knife parallel all the way).  I wish I had a video to demonstrate's definitely a visual thing...but as our chefs are way against cell phone usage in the kitchen, I doubt they'd go for videotaping either.

I keep a close watch on this knife of mine.
I keep my eyes on the cutting board all the time.
Makin' cuts requires all my mind,
because this learnin's mine, I walk the line. 

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