From October, 2009

Okay. This time I screwed up. Remember when I mentioned that the metric system was going to be the end of me? ML bit me today. On the very first day that we were to make something that needed to be seasoned properly, I used way, way too much vinegar. Soooo… if you have a measuring cup with no visible labels save for some hash marks on the inside, you might want to assume that each hash mark represents 100 ml. Lesson learned! Today we did vinaigrette à l’ancienne (traditional, using wholegrain mustard) and à la francaise (French with Dijon mustard). We made Fine julienne de carottes, sauce citron (carrots, shallots, parsley, and French vinaigrette with lemon juice) and Salade de tomates aux onions rouges et vinaigrette au basilic (blanched and skinned plum tomatoes with red onion and basil vinaigrette), and Salade de season et vinaigrette a l’ancienne (seasonal salad with grain mustard seed dressing). In demonstration, we were also shown Choux rouges, vinaigrette aux noix (red cabbage with walnut vinaigrette. If you heat the vinegar before dressing the salad, it softens the cabbage and preserves the color!) and Emince de cocombres aux fines herbes (sliced cucumbers with herbs vinaigrette). For those of you who actually speak French, I apologize for all of my mistakes. I have absolutely no background in French. I’m simply copying out of a book. By destroying my vinaigrette (never, NEVER drink a cup of black coffee before class. Your palate is completely destroyed!), I managed to destroy my salads as well. Fortunately, my vegetable cuts and presentation were good, so the day wasn’t a total loss! However, pretty salads that taste of a little too much vinegar will never sell! I’m definitely happy that I got this mistake out of the way on day two. Fortunately for me, every single student in my group was also accused of using too much vinegar! If you have to make a mistake, it’s pretty darn fabulous to make the same exact mistake that every other student in the class makes! Valuable lesson number one is officially under my belt. On to day three!

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