Culinary School

Culinary School: Have Mercy

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What I really didn’t want to do was squeeze into a bathroom stall and change from work clothes into a pair of checkered pants. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how I was going to pick up my heavy, tired legs or how I would truss a chicken or make up a marinade […]

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Culinary School: A Bit of News

I have a lot of good intentions. I would like to one day have a very large garden. Maybe I’ll even wear a sun hat while I tend to it. I would like to return to painting. I would very much like children one day when I am not too busy to remember to bathe […]

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Culinary School: Roller Coasters

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When I was a kid I used to love a certain amusement park roller coaster that, in retrospect, did little more than beat my head against a padded seat harness. But what about the anticipation of slowly chugging up a wooden mountain? What about cutting through the wind and roaring down the other side? Yeah, […]

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Culinary School: End of the Line (The Final Practical)

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At first there is only the sound of 11 knives beating against a board. Then there is the smell of butter melting in hot pans throughout the room, followed by the crescendo of whisks smacking stainless steel bowls. We don’t talk. We’ve been instructed not to speak unless our words are guttural sounds proclaiming, “I […]

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Culinary School: Ugly Things

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A consommé is a highly regarded, clear, rich stock and is virtually rid of impurities. You and I have both enjoyed consommés in French restaurants — sometimes as a base for French onion soup, other times straightforward with added leeks and carrots. In a classic sense, a consommé is one of the greatest luxuries in […]

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Culinary School: Mother Sauce

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When I was a kid I thought I’d probably own an advertising agency like my dad. I imagined a closet full of very trim looking blazers and lots of leather heeled shoes. I still remember promising my mom that I was going to be someone very important one day, thank you very much. Now, as […]

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Culinary School: Self-Preservation

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A few weeks ago I singed the flat of my thumb on a 500 degree sheet pan. Since then I have watched my skin regrow over the raw area — stretching, covering, wanting so desperately to self preserve. It dawned on me, recently, that my fingerprint has been growing back in a different shape. Those […]

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Culinary School: Dear Dustin (A Letter to my Husband)

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Maybe some people have it all figured out. I’m not one of them. Maybe you aren’t either. I was just browsing old emails and found this one, which made me laugh out loud. (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes.) The following is an actual email I wrote to my husband in early February, shortly […]

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Culinary School: Sharper Knives, Hotter Flame

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The difference between a simmer and a boil is the slight turn of a dial. One will produce a beautiful stock, rid of any impurities and another will make a dull, cloudy water. Just the slight turn of a dial. Two weeks ago, as I finished up Cooking 1, I was worried about flipping an […]

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Culinary School: End of the Beginning

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There are two parts to every story — an end and a beginning. In the beginning of this story, I sit on a long bench outside my classroom on the first level of Cincinnati State’s ATLC building. I am holding a green bandanna and though I know nothing about how to tie it around my […]

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