Week 6: Mid-term Break

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the first week where I haven’t actually been sure what to write. Our week seemed longer than usual, and was dominated by thoughts of Friday’s mid-term exam: herbs and salad leaf identification, service skills (setting a table, presenting a bottle of wine and pouring a glass) and techniques. We would be faced with ten each of herbs and salad leaves to identify, as well as having to provide two recipes for each herb. Techniques would be drawn from a list of thirty, with all of us having to chop and sweat an onion and make a paper piping bag (it helps to have done origami….).

I  had my pre-exam panic on Tuesday, just to get it over with early in the week. I arrived back from the gym to find my housemates going through the list and making pointers for each technique. They all verbalised how they felt better afterwards; I, on the other hand, felt worse, especially when I tested myself on my herbs and couldn’t remember all my previously allotted recipes.

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Fast forward to Friday afternoon, and it all went just fine. Mushrooms and mayonnaise (not mixed together!), so I got off lightly (no filleting a round fish for me).

The learning point was more about dealing with my anxiety and analysis. Have I learned as much as I should for half-way through the course? Is it OK that I still feel like a ‘student’? Am I on the right track, or for that matter, any track at all? Will I hone my presentation skills, or will it still be a case of ‘pop on a sprig of something and hope for the best’?

Mr. WB pointed out that I’m not doing my Leaving Cert and it doesn’t matter if I pass at the end of 12 weeks. One of my classmates said ‘I’m highly competitive… not against with other people, but with myself’. Guess I’m not the only one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, and by the way, I also filleted monkfish, got my stitches out, tasted 6 Spanish wines before 11am, had some wonderful Iberico ham, and shucked my first oyster. Busy week!

Quote of the Week: :

One of my classmates getting rather uptight in the waiting line Friday afternoon: “I can’t remember what we use to sweat the onion”

My reply: “Our own juices”

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