Improvising…. and Crying

Chef assembling beef Wellingtons en masse

Chef assembling beef Wellingtons en masse

My chicken livers did not arrive with yesterday (Friday) morning’s meat delivery so I had to reevaluate my game plan for the day. I was originally planning to make a full recipe of the chicken liver mousse and split it between one terrine and multiple jars for the charcuterie board. Chef broke the news to me — “Young lady, are you making chicken liver mousse today?” “Yes Chef!” “Well… your livers aren’t coming. I ordered them, but they’re not coming.”

Thankfully I had enough in the walk-in to do a half recipe, so I madeĀ the jars only before moving on to using up the rest of the duck pate meat to make two additional terrines. That’s FIVE terrines total of the duck and walnut pate. Crazy! I unwrapped the ones I had cooked off the day before… I pulled them out at a higher internal temperature than I intended, but luckily it did not feel overcooked or dry when I cut into one of them. The ones I made yesterday are pressing overnight so I’ll see how they come out today. Those should be considerably better as I had time to ensure there was plenty of water in the bain marie.

I also cooked off my poached potatoes for building my next salmon terrine, popped out and buttered a chicken liver mousse terrine, and boiled a flat of eggs (30) for deviled eggs, all before service started (although I didn’t finally settle until 4:50pm). I missed family meal (or rather, preferred not to eat the leftover cream sauce sans chicken) so I went over to Pantry and made a small salad. Singing Hot-Apps Guy hooked me up with a few bites of leftover pasta here and there… a total of four whole gnocchi. Wooooo! (Don’t worry – I ate a late dinner after work.)

One sad milestone though — two of the people in the kitchen saw me cry :( I was hit in the face by a frozen loaf of ciabatta and while it mostly startled me and made my lip/gums tingle, I was really frustrated that the waterworks had turned on. Luckily it was Fish Guy who saw, and he’s been like a big brother to me in the kitchen. He found a hidden-away corner for me to stand in and brought me a clean towel. Pastry Girl was the other person, and she seemed sympathetic. But still! I didn’t want the Kitchen to see that side of me! When I came back to my station, nose a bit red, no one said anything. Sigh.

Service was busy but most of the tickets came in for Pantry and Pizza. It was a salad and pizza party! I stepped in to help when I could, but it was also a valuable experience to observe the kitchen as a whole and to be able to stay in the loop with everything that is going on. This was especially useful as we had many tables tonight that ordered from Pizza, Charcuterie, Pantry, and Hot-Apps all on one ticket… four stations sharing 3 duplicate copies means I am often left without a copy hanging on my rail and I just have to pay attention to the timing. It’s a great mental exercise and tonight (Saturday) will be another busy night so I’m looking forward to the practice.

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