Well now ... a new semester, a new school year, new opportunities all ‘round. Hard to know where to start!
Our first day, by our tradition, is called “Make Me Cookies” day. Chef does a quick introduction to the kitchen and basic safety, then invites all the new students to just leave their backpacks, purses, everything in a heap on a far counter. Everyone is taught how to wash their hands properly ... the first of many, many detailed lessons.
Then ... the first recipe, the first chance!
Chef makes everyone into teams of four. The recipes are handed out. “I Am Hungry!” cries Chef. “Feed Me!!”
“MAKE ME COOKIES!!!”
And away everyone is sent on a productive exploration. This event is designed to let all the new students get to know the kitchen, to find out what is kept where, and learn some of the most basic of things.
Chef refuses to answer most questions. “Go find it yourself” is the frequent reply, along with “Yes, we do have lots of that”.
The work is terribly loud, stunningly messy and mostly inedible. Surprising things are learnt (by Chef) ... baking powder is the same as baking soda, that measurement is a whimsical option, that quality is just a matter of opinion and it is OK to leave things for someone else to clean up.
This group of students actually surprised Chef ... the cookies were mostly edible and didn’t taste too frightening. Teeth were left intact. Digestive systems did not over-rev or rumble.
Compliments were offered.
Then everyone was told to just clean up. Here are sinks, here is dish soap, so go nuts and clean up. Put everything away where you found it. You walked into a perfectly clean kitchen ... you have to leave it that way.
After a few minutes the bell rang.
“Class ending Chef!” they cried. “Not so fast, my beauties. Your parents don’t work here. You do. This mess will be left for you to clean tomorrow BEFORE class, and it will have mostly hardened into food-grade cement. So no one leaves until this place is as spotless as when you walked in. Clean up and polish it now ... when I am satisfied, I will dismiss you. No moaning. Do it!”
It gets done. Chef is happy and drained.
Here endeth the First Day.