Monday, August 25, 2008

Back in action

I had an awesome time up in the mountains this last weekend with the men's group at my church. I was a freakin wreck by the time I got home yesterday, though and took today off from work to rest up. I was so tired that I couldn't even fall asleep when I had finally made it home. I did, however, make it to class tonight and we worked some more on sauces. We made a kind of bastardized marinara/tomato sauce which we then made into a tasty espagnole (brown sauce) by adding some reduced veal stock and brown roux. Wednesday we will have a quiz on the five leading sauces: veloute (white stock and blonde roux), bechamel (milk and blonde roux), brown sauce or espagnole (brown stock and brown roux), tomato sauce (tomatoes and liquid - water or stock), and Hollandaise (butter and egg yolks). Some others that the chef deems notable but aren't categorized with these "Escoffier leading sauces" are: butter sauces (beure blance, rouge, etc), cream sauces (such as Alfredo), pestos, emulsions (such as vinaigrettes), chutneys, and more. Sorry to bore you with the details of my note taking, I'll leave it at that.

I also did some more reading and am now about half way done with "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell. It's a great book. I would almost venture to say that other people might find it a bit boring but Orwell writes in such a way that it really takes you in. I sort of feel grimy and in need of a shower after I read some of the chapters where he describes the absolute squalor and desparity of living penniless (or sou-less, or pence-less, you know - dead broke). I find it to be an easy yet engrossing read. It certainly lends some perspective, it's just hard to come back to my all too easy desk job and listen to some of my coworkers complain. I hope that as soon as I finish with it that my copy of "The Physiology of Taste" by Brillat-Savarin (I forget his first name but he's noted as being the first famous food writer, he is to writing what Escoffier is to cooking) will arrive. The chef offered extra credit for a book report on it but it promises to be a fantastic read anyway.

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