July 2012 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

You have got to try this...
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 11:12 am

Ok, this is the closet to industrial espionage that I have ever got. This is a recipe for chocolate fondant (gooey chocolate cake) that we use at work factored down to a domestic quantity.

Chocolate Fondant

Preheat oven to 200c

Melt 40 grams of 70% chocolate and 32 grams of butter over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Whisk one 60g egg and stir into the chocolate mixture.

Sieve 33 grams of icing sugar and 16 grams of plain flour into the chocolate egg mix.

Pour into two greased 150ml dariole moulds and bake at 200c for 8 minutes.

Stand for 1 minute then turn onto a plate.

Serve with cream, icecream...whatever...it's just yummy. So far this with caramel icecream is pretty awesome.

And then I have an awesome day
Monday, 16 July 2012 12:25 pm

I just have to post that today rocked. We had to wake up extra early because I had to get to college by 8am. But after the theory class, which I had actually prepared for, we then spent the afternoon in a practical kitchen class making stocks and a sauce.

We had to make beef stock, chicken stock, fish stock. Then a roux which we turned into a bechamel and then into a cheese sauce. As the chef instructor kept coming to our station he would look into our pots and say, 'Good, very good' and wander off. When we had finished our cheese sauce we got him to test it and he said it was good. Damned with faint praise.

Later on everyone had to dump there cheese sauce into one container which I assume will be used at some later date. So I was the first to put our sauce into the bucket. A few minutes later the chef instructor says accusingly, who put their sauce into this bucket, I gingerly raise my hand and say it is ours. 'Bloody beautiful!' he says, and heads off to assist another team. Man was I proud.

Then tonight I came home and planned to cook dinner (It is awesome to have an evening at home with Deb). We had a loin of venison in the freezer for weeks that I was not sure how I was going to prepare. But I was just sort of gripped with and idea. So...

Rare seared venison in a porcini seasoned crust on braised root vegetables with a morello cherry & frontinac reduction with toasted haselnut and thyme crumbs.

I wasn't happy with the final plating but it was delicious, seriously one of the best meals I have eaten in ages. The tastes and flavours where outstanding and the balance absolutely perfect. I don't want to blow my own trumpet but HOLY CRAP IT WAS YUMMY!

Sorry for not writing much
Sunday, 15 July 2012 4:36 am

So three weeks have gone past and I haven't written a thing. I have debated saying anything publicly here but have reached a point where I just think to hell with it.

I am not enjoying my place of work very much and it has ground me down to the point that I actually dread having to go to work. When I hired on they started by paying me an hourly rate and I am now the only person in the kitchen not a fixed salary. That means that every additional hour I work is an additional hour they need to pay me for. So the owner has told the chef to restrict my hours to as close to a 38 hour week as possible.

This basically means that I arrive at work at mid-afternoon (normally 1-2 hours before I start getting paid) and then prep my butt off for service, race through that, and then get stuck with cleaning the kitchen for a couple of hours. Rinse and repeat. The suggested salary packages would be hilarious if they weren't being serious, so I have stuck with my hourly rate and restricted hours.

The biggest issue through is that the chef has just been riding my case for such a long time that I have forgotten what it feels like to be happy at work. Picture Gordon Ramsey on a bad day, with haemorrhoids, and aheadache...you get the idea. Every single mistake is pushed and twisted until I am just miserable. I have come so close to quitting on so many occasions that it isn't a new feeling any more.

At the moment I am on two days a week TAFE release for the next 7 weeks. That is about the only thing that is making me hold on. In only 7 weeks I will have the formal part of my first year out of the way and I can finally give notice and move onto somewhere else. I just need to hold on for 7 weeks.

On top of that they are stuffing with my hourly rate as well and trying to tell me that what I agreed at the beginning has never been paid. It is just the icing on the cake.

Domestically life is been up and down. Mum went into hospital briefly with a suspected clot that luckily wasn't and Marjorie managed to pull a whole saucepan of boiling water onto herself and took all the skin off her legs. She's still in hospital at the moment receiving treatment with Dinah enjoying a week in the cattery.

Freya came up for a few days and gave us a wonderful excuse to eat out on several occasions. I also had a crack at making a mushroom ragu that I served over cauliflower that turned out better than I was expecting actually for a vego meal.

And other than that it has been business as usual. We finally got Deb's birthday number plates fixed to her car and registered with main roads. They look pretty cool actually as you walk up to the car and see 621-DEB. Nice.