Monday, September 22, 2008

A few of my favorite things

• Being greeted in the morning by chickens, cows, sheep and pigs
• Witnessing 2 pigs shamelessly making out in plain sight, in front of all the little kids
• Sending off newlyweds with a clanging of pots and pans
• Making a fresh batch of ricotta and butter every day
• Kneading and seasoning butter
• How ricotta becomes sweeter as you add the salt
• The characters I get to work with side-by-side, 14 hours a day
• The sweet-smelling air, especially in the crisp of autumn
• Thursday farm chores and the lectures from special guests in the afternoon
• Mondays and Tuesdays being "weekends"
• Speaking Spanish
• Speaking German
• That the chef de cuisine and dishwashers alike like to greet one another with a handshake
• Picking sage for the potato chips directly from the herb garden
• That arugula here tastes like arugula should
• Edible flowers
• Getting through a night of service smoothly with enough goodies for V.I.P.'s.
• Stone Barns honey, in honeycomb, served warm
• "Field gras"
• The composting bins
• The bins for the pigs
• The recycling bins
• Never having to throw away much, not even the frying oil which gets converted into bio-fuel
• Thick financier batter with plenty of ribbons
• Good olive oil that will give us a thick financier batter with plenty of ribbons
• Sharpies
• Serrated paring knives
• Mini-spatulas
• Large supply of bamboo skewers
• Large supply of quart containers
• Large supply of quart container lids
• Small sized chef's jackets with the right size pantalones
• Midnight chefs' meetings
• Stainless steal
• The sound of plates clanging side-by-side during buy-outs
• Face bacon
• Fried pig snout
• Blue Hill baloney
• Kale chips
• Arugula salt
• Maldon sea salt
• Orange thyme
• Pretty fences
• Squeegees
• Spoons, especially the little ones
• Heaps of kitchen towels
• Controlled chaos
• Uncontrived plating
• The chef de cuisine who never freaks out
• The sous chef who's cool as a cucumber
• That Chef sometimes gives me a wink
• Feeling like family
• Working with my hands
• Constantly moving


Steve said...

Pigs making out? Where do you work? In Congress?
I'm here all week. Tip your waiters!

Undercover Cook said...

Ha! Steve, you are FUH-KNEE.

ChefWife said...

I love this list. What an interesting perspective to read about. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you are falling in love with your job.

Undercover Cook said...

Hey Hillary! Nice to see you here.

I'm not sure about falling in love... The closest analogy I can come to is having a baby. I've never had a baby, but my friend says it's the hardest yet most rewarding thing you'll ever do in your life. Sometimes when I'm carrying a linen bag full of wet kitchen towels out back, I feel like I'm pushing out something very big and heavy. Sorry if that sounds gross, but so are those wet kitchen towels.

Carmen said...

I love this. I can just smell the beautiful autumn air and I just love the Fall and farms and good food and your blog. Ricotta!

Undercover Cook said...

Ricotta, sweet ricotta...
I hope you're happy and well upstate, Carmen!