It’s been a week since I left my last job, yet it feels like longer. I’ve done 3 shifts since starting at the new place, and am now on the first of two days off. Boy is it hard work! I was prepared for that but the physical aspect and how much I’ve felt that in my body was a bit of a surprise. Shoulders, legs, neck, back and even hands have all been achy the next day. Cuts and grazes, blisters and burns adorn my hands. I’ve washed up more dishes and pots than I care to mention. I’ve peeled about 12kg of potatoes. These aren’t negatives at all, as I am grateful for the fact that I am spending time in that kitchen. When 10pm comes around and I’m on my way home, yes I feel like flopping but I’m looking forward to the next shift.
I’ve made a few new things at since my last blog post. The first thing was a butternut squash soup with chorizo and a poached egg. The recipe came from a supplement with one of the Saturday papers. It was quite basic: roast a butternut squash, skin and all in the oven, then add stock and liquidise. The chorizo was sliced and then fried until crispy and the egg poached and both placed on top of the soup. I felt I seasoned the soup well but still it was a little bland. Next time I’d add some cayenne pepper or thyme.
Next was the massive chocolate brownie I made at work, I need to find out if the recipe is ‘secret’ or not before I can share it. To give you an idea of how big it was, it used 3 packs of butter and 12 eggs. I felt comfortable making that, it was in my comfort zone. The next day I made beans on toast for the two owners of the place. Beans on toast has never been so terrifying!
Next was the arrival of a new book, Nigel Slater’s Eat. I’d only looked through a few pages and I was already cooking meat and cheese in a pan and putting it in a ciabatta roll. Because I’d only ever eaten ciabatta when it’s been toasted as a panini, I didn’t realise how soft and delicious it was untoasted. Yum. It looks like a good simple book for when you don’t want to spend hours cooking. I made chorizo and mozzarella ciabatta with rocket.
Then, with the rice paper wrappers I’d bought a while ago, mentioned in this post I made summer rolls, which I also spied in my new book. This reminded me I had to use up the wrappers. I prepared some cucumber, carrot, spring onion, rice noodles, chilli, coriander, mint and thai basil. I’d also bought some prawns to add. These didn’t add much flavour. I put together a sauce of soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Wrappers stuffed and rolled, they tasted fresh and similar to the ones I enjoyed in Berlin, but they were missing something. They’d be good for lunchboxes, but as I don’t need a lunchbox any more…
Finally, today I was catching up on bloglovin and came across a post that mentioned National Cinnamon Roll Day in Sweden. I love cinnamon swirls/rolls when I have pastries, so I thought I’d give these a try. They use yeast and butter, so I suppose it’s an enriched dough? This has been the first dough I’ve made that I’ve felt confident with – it kneaded well and went elastic and glossy like it is meant to. The kitchen filled with the smell of cinnamon as these baked for 10 minutes. Already sampled, I can confirm they are a success. Thanks to supergoldenbakes and the post about these cinnamonny delights, they don’t look the same but the y taste so good!
After all that, I’m feeling quite exhausted! I’m on patisserie on Sunday, which I’m looking forward to. The chef said I can do what I like with the plates, woo hoo!
PS here’s the spuds that gave me blisters: