This morning on my way to school, which just so happens to be my last day of class before my review, practicum and final, I got to thinking. Maybe it was because I was so tired and my mind was just in a wandering sort of place, but there's so much I'm going to miss about school. I have a love-hate relationship with my commute but I couldn't help feeling sort of nostalgic about it today. Taking the Green line to the Red line, climbing that giant escalator in Porter Square and the newsstand guy that is always so determined to talk to me and who I can't help but smile at. I'm going to miss the smell of the kitchen first thing in the morning - a combination of coffee and veal stock that's usually simmering away. I'll also miss the guys in the purchasing room. (Anyone who has ever attended CSCA has a soft spot for Ralph's vibrantly bubbly personality and Ever's quiet sweetness.) Then, of course, the biggest thing that I will miss is seeing my new family of friends from school, weekly. They've made me laugh so hard I cried (several times) and I couldn't have hand picked a better group of people to have an experience such as this with.
Of all that I'll miss, there's also some that I won't - for starters, the silly pants that I have to wear (which I affectionately refer to as my "fancy pants" but others in the industry call "checks"). I also won't miss the hour (or so) long commute, trudging to school, eyes still sleepy and my hair tied up in a knot on top of my head, lugging around my chef's bag and knives. I also won't miss having to study for quizzes. (Does anyone ever like taking quizzes anyway?)
In addition to reflecting on what I'll miss (and what I won't..) I've also thought about how much this experience has changed me. I will never think of food the same way again and to me, that's a good thing. I feel as though I've gotten exactly what I came for: a solid foundation of knowledge to build upon further. I love that there's never an end to learning about food. There's always new flavors and combinations to discover and new techniques to try. Through school, I've also become more critical and analytical of what's on my plate and for that I am grateful as it will only strengthen my skills and make me better in my own kitchen.
Throughout this post I've also sprinkled in pictures of one of our last classes, devoted to practicing the Mother Sauces (Velote, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, Bechamel (and Marinara). So many sauces, right? Next week I have a review on Monday, my practicum on Tuesday and then the final on Saturday. Then, if all goes well, graduation!