So much information is overloading my head- and my palate- that it’s hard to believe we are only finishing week three of Culinary training. This week has affectionately become known by my carnivorous classmates as meat week.
Weeks one and two included primarily chicken: roasted chicken, pan-seared chicken, braised chicken, poached chicken, stuffed chicken… feeling a little Forrest-esque. Add in vegetable of the day- fifty ways- and protein-laden lentils and quinoa… I was in heaven. The majority were not. Don’t get me wrong- the meals we’ve put together have been of surprisingly high caliber, and leftovers make their way into backpacks pretty darn fast. But there’s just nothing like a big piece of meat. Juicy red meat. Having a very low carnivore titer, I don’t share that sentiment exactly. But I’m trying to.
Monday morning started with the fabrication- chef terminology for what most would call butchering- of an entire lamb. Entire, as in minus the head and insides. The rest of it was all there. And it took less than twenty minutes, including explanations of every cut. Wow.
I somehow navigated through Monday’s beef tenderloin better than anticipated. Tuesday’s pork with sage and apples was actually easier than the stuffed chicken leg/thigh pieces Wednesday had to offer… but I was able to eat and critique, even enjoy to some degree. Today’s leg of lamb- yes, the little guy from Monday morning- was a challenge. And tomorrow his “rack” I suspect will be just as difficult.
With twenty weeks to go, there are plenty more meats on the menu. And I’ll find a goal beyond survival. But this week, survive was the goal. And survive I have.