Sunday, April 10, 2005

Not so cute anymore. Posted by Hello

Russell once said something that I often think of while working. He said that food is only good in small quantities, and in large quantities it becomes unappetizing. His words were, " bowl of macaroni and cheese, good. Garbage can full of macaroni and cheese, gross." I think of this often as I have to strain stocks with 400 chicken wings in them, or here with this box of about 4000 of the tiniest morrells I have ever seen. Who picks them? Elves? Mice? I can hardly fit them between my fingers. Well, anyways, as the pictures show, 1 tiny morell, cute. 4000 tiny morells, not so cute.

This day as I have stated in the title, is the day that all of Anjana's stories about Mary Elaine's come true. I had my arsenal of tiny knives and scissors and did tasks she told stories of. Cutting the stems off every one of these morells is a start. They are cooked in simple syrup and a fortified wine. They are served with a dessert called Purdue which has a thick piece of bread cooked like frenchtoast, then baked like bread pudding, then rolled in hot caramel. Along side this is a rasche (the real name for a pulled quenelle as a quenelle has sides.) of salted caramel and...... bacon and egg icecream. The salted caramel is amazing and something I have rolling around in my head to adapt later.

After the tiny morells, I began to peel turnips the size of cherries with my tiny turning knife. They are used to garnish many things on the menu and something that must be done every day.

After peeling the tiny turnips, I made tiny parsnip chips. These range in size from the tip of a pencil eraser to no bigger than an american penny. These are eaten like cereal with parsnip milk as a course on the dessert menu. So you can imagine that it takes an ongoing supply of about 1000 plus of these chips to be done each day.

Are you crying a tear of nostalgia yet Anjana? It's all here. The foams, the gelling gum set sauces that you drop on the plate with a spoon and then pull a streak, the tiny tiny lines of lime zest that have to be perfect, the chips and tuilles, the tiny vegetables and salads, the quenelles that are shaped and garnished ahead of time then slipped onto the plate, each station soley responsible for making every last thing it uses for service. I haven't seen the tiny fried quail eggs yet. That one is all your own.


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