It's after class, and a pastry student who graduated from culinary last term is getting changed in our tiny cubicle change room.
"It was intense, but really good - hopefully things will continue that way", I reply. "How was your first week?", I ask as I know she's just started the pastry course.
"First one to the hospital!", she boasts proudly.
She makes a fist with her left hand and shows me her scar.
"Ten stiches! First day! Check it out!"
Between her first and second knuckle is a scarred circle. I understand she's talking about three months ago, when she was right where I am now. Obviously, during her knife cuts she got a little carried away and sliced off the whole front of her finger, which the hospital stitched back on.
So much for relaxing my knife fears.
Start of Week 2
Monday morning. New cooking station and new partner. Each week we switch cooking partners and stations. This week's partner tears through veggies like nobody's business!
We started with mayonnaise, which was perfect. Moved onto Caesar dressing. Perfect. Made a few more vinaigrettes, croutons, toasted kasha and combined everything we made into 3 more salads.
It's going to be a good week.
I made pork stock on the weekend, although I had originally planned on beef but couldn't get the bones. Skimmed it forever, (ok 7 hours) and it turned out surprisingly well, not too porky. Next step is to clarify it with the clearmeat, which I hope to do tonight or tomorrow night.
The class is getting noisier, which I have to admit, I don't like. There is a lot of chit-chat going on by some people. It has even been noted and mentioned by our instructors. Incidentally, one of our big rules is that we don't talk about anything non-food related at school. I actually like this rule a lot, we're there to learn, and this rule keeps things on track.