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Turkey Induced Coma and Re-Building the Line

Welcome back Chef Fans! We have just got back and survived the big Turkey-Day. This is going to be a combo post about my times over the Thanksgiving holiday, and working up to it, and re-building the aftermath that is a restaurant closed for 5 days. With no further a-do lets travel back in time to Nov. 24th….

It’s a day like any other on the Line but with one exception, it’s the last lunch before we are closed for 5 full days. Most of you are probably wondering why, well since the Line is worked by NECI students like myself and run by our chef instructors, school gave us the 25th-28th off of class. This means that anything that will not last for the 5 days has to be thrown out as it will be bad when we get back. In a case when we would question if it would last we crio-vaced it. Now since we didn’t have very much to be crio-vaced that meant that we had a very large prep list for when we got back (today, 11/30/2010) however everyone was just thinking about going home and seeing family and passing in to a turkey induced coma. Myself very much included.

I wake up and get on a plane early morning turkey day, as the plan is touching down back home in Kansas all I can really think is “I’m home, it’s been 5 months but I’m home!” I’m met at the airport by my dad and brother and we talk and joke as we drive home talking almost the whole time about NECI. After relaxing at home for a little bit I do what I love to do most I start cooking Thanksgiving day dinner. This year was almost completely different from years past, oh yes we had all the standard dishes but this time I was cooking all of them and putting my own little flair on each one, and instead of it being me helping my dad it was him getting to sit back and relax while I treated my family. My dad had made the joke of “I flew in my own private chef for Thanksgiving” so I wanted to give my family just that. Wearing one of my chef coats, I poured everything I had learned in to this meal, and while being critical of myself and learning in the process, the reactions of my family was everything I had hoped for. I pulled out all the stops and even shared the recipe for the pie I had made back in bake shop and it was gone by the end of the night.

From here I skip to Thanksgiving 2.0 with my mom and grandparents. Now this time I really didn’t make much and only really helped my mom finish the dinner. What I loved about this dinner was that having spent time at NECI I can taste! My mom would make something and ask me to taste it, I then added my own little twist to each dish and every time my mom would taste it again after she would be “floored” by how much better and different it taste just adding a little extra. I have to say that one of the best complements I received the whole time, besides family fighting over who got to take what leftovers, was that I had elevated our family cooking to the next plateau of taste and flavors.

My weekend behind me I walk into Line today ready for some real work, and man did I get it. Everyone was running at full speed from the start of class to the end of class. When you have to prep a full kitchen’s worth of items it gets a little hectic, but we got it done with no time to spare. I can honestly say that I don’t have any clue where the time went today all I know was that I had one task after another to complete. Being one of two dedicated prep people is fun because it lets me get my hands in to every station a little, including the chef’s. All in all it has been a whirl-wind of activity the last 5 days but it was good to go home and see friends and family. It’s better to know that I have learned all sorts of things that are just second nature to me now.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving NECI!

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2 Comments on “Turkey Induced Coma and Re-Building the Line”

  1. leaf52 November 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Ah! I bet someone made an intentional assignment to put you on prep after 5 days off!

  2. Grandma December 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Loved, loved, loved having you hear and helping to kick Thanksgiving dinner up a knotch” Love you.

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