Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All Over But the Shouting

Sorry for the light blogging last week, Thursday was our Spring Classic Cuisine Dinner. It's the final big dinner event of the year, and for us Second Years, of our culinary school careers. It was a huge roller coaster for me. We were supposed to prep on Wednesday, and finish on Thursday. I was in on Monday prepping, to make sure my ice cream was done in time, and was there every day through event day -- on top of closing Sunday night at the bar and opening on Tuesday. I was on my feet almost the entire time, and by Thursday night, my entire lower body was in pain, and I was exhausted, both emotionally and physically, and feeling a mixture of elation and frustration.

I was elated because the dish was a success. I had several "Dumb luck" moments where I stumbled upon components of the dish that went over better than I expected. The Bend Distillery Hazelnut Espresso vodka that I used for the flambe' was delicious. In keeping with the 100-mile menu concept, I'd picked Bend mostly on what I knew of their other products. The same with the honey used in the honey caramel sauce -- Glory Bee Honey is HQ'ed in Eugene, but they get honey from all over the place. I asked for a local honey, and they sold me some made from the nectar of the meadow foam flower, gathered near Junction City. It was incredible -- it had this rich, full aroma that reminded me of good cavendish pipe tobacco. I got the toasting of the hazelnuts just right, and the overall presentation was spot on. Everyone loved the show when I flambe'ed it, and I also got good feedback about how it tasted.

I was frustrated because throughout the days leading up to the even, I was constantly unable to please one of my chef instructors. Some of the time it was little mistakes on my part that he had a valid reason to criticize, and those made me mad at myself. But there was also a lot of criticism of things that I felt I was doing right -- questioning my choice of recipes, when the recipes in question had gone over so well in our dry runs -- from the fact that my honey caramel sauce didn't have caramelized sugar added to the honey, to the temperature the recipe called for me to cook the honey to, to my choice f liquors for the flambe'. He even made a snarky comment about my ice cream melting (when it was not). To top in all off, some of my classmates decided to confront him, at our final debriefing, about a separate issue (one in which I was not involved), and what should have been the best night of my school career ended up being miserable and awkward.

But oh, well. Two more weeks of class and then finals, and I'm done.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Musical Geography Trivia Question of the Day

Two Parter, Vic has to give everyone else a one day head start:

Old times where ain't half as rotten as where?

OK, Vic, go for it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

A tip of the toque to Ed Morrissey via the Llama Butchers:

"...if Obama considers discussion of foreign policy “divisive”, then he should hie himself right back to Academia. Guess what, Senator? Presidential elections focus on foreign-policy principles, and if you can’t defend yours, then you have no business running for office."

It's been my experience, in observing the political debate for the last 12 years or so, that when a liberal of Leftist calls you "divisive", what they really mean is "Why can't you just see things my way?".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Another Tip of the Toque to Rob at Say Anything Blog:

"We can't afford six more years of President Bush."

- Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), in support of Barack Obama

Six years.


How many years is a presidential term?




I Didn't Tell You So, But I Could Have

A Tip of the Toque to Rob at Say Anything Blog.

I really wish this suprised me, but it doesn't. While I've been prating for the people in Myanmar, and wishing I could do more to help, like I did after Katrina, I've also been wondering, silently to myself, "just how is the Left going to spin this to pin it on Bush?"

Well, Anne Applebaum of Slate Magazine has the answer:

Unfortunately, the phrase "coalition of the willing" is tainted forever—once again proving that the damage done by the Iraq war goes far beyond the Iraqi borders...
There you have it, folks. Because George W. Bush sent U.S. troops into Iraq, people are dying in Myanmar. Incredible. The logic is just... breathtaking.

Rob makes a good point in his entry over at Say Anything -- The parallels between the ruthlessness, megalomania, and brutality of the ruling Junta in Myanmar and the former regime of Saddam Hussein are so striking that it is tempting to question the intelectual integrity, if not the reasoning powers, of someone who advocates intervention in one situation while opposing intervention in the other. I would further argue that to not only take that position, but in fact to use ones support of the former as further excuse to criticize the latter, requires a level of chutzpah that would make P.T. Barnum kneel in awe.

But this is what BDS reduces people to. I have been hesitant, myself, to use that term, because I think that often on the Right we use it as a form of Argumentum Ad Hominem to dismiss criticism of the President. But every time I resolve not to take that view, along comes a case of true BDS that is so blatant that I find myself facing the old laugh-or-cry conundrum.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Musical Geography Trivia Question of the (Day? Week? Month?)

Strike two... this is the first time I've stumped my readers two songs in a row. Let's see if I can make it three.

No man for debt shall go to jail from where?

Musical Geography Trivia Question of theDay

Posted 4/23:
If my TV's broke, my life's a joke, and the sheriff moved next door, where do I live and what's the outlook?
No one got this one, so here's ne answer: