Cooking Day 2

So today was certainly an interesting one! The morning started out with another Basic Quality Ingredients lecture... except this one took aim at soy products. I learned that soy milk, tofu, processed faux meats.... most are tainted with a derivitive of soy that is a byproduct of actual soy beans called a soy isolate (there's a third word in there... but I don't have my notes with me). Anyway, it's pretty harmful... similar to a lot of the synthetic vitamins, etc. that are stuck into food so often now. They produce carcenogens in some instances and can also affect the way your body absorbs actual soy proteins, causing allergies in some cases. Kind of like GMO's...

We also learned about pasteurization, homogenization, and irradiation... if you don't know what these mean, I suggest not looking (unless you NEED to know). You will be a little shocked, I think. The overall lesson for the lecture was that anything you buy should be raw, organic, and whole... wherever possible.... in order to preserve the nutrients of the food, retain the authenticity (and therefore the authenticity of its breakdown in your system) of the food, and avoid toxic pesticides (why ingest something that people wear gas masks to spray down?!). Scary business....

This afternoon we had our second cooking session. It was frying day... We had to sweat onions, carmelize onions, panfry dredged tofu, and deep fry vegetable tempura in a wok full of deodorized coconut oil. Now, yesterday we all did such a good job organizing ourselves and working together that we got accolades from the instructor. I believe her words were, "This is the best cooking session I've ever seen for a first week, let alone a first day! You guys are rock stars!" Today was a different story...

Because we all had to be standing over hot oil and flipping sautee pans every five minutes (as opposed to boiling things like yesterday... where pots could sit on their own for a little bit) the kitchen seemed quite a bit smaller than usual. I got spattered oil on my face from someone dumping vegetables into their wok too quickly... Stephanie (the poor girl who cut the tip of her finger off last week) set a finger on fire w/ the gas stove (because her finger was oily).... someone knocked over the teacher's glass ice tea bottle and it smashed all over the floor... oy, the list goes on.

The day ended with oil all over my skin from standing over hot oil pans... but it only went down from there. I got off the wrong subway stop to find the post office (I got a notice that I had a package they were holding). So I ended up walking about 15 blocks to the post office... really really fast so I could get there before it closed.... waiting in line for 30 minutes, and then not being able to find the F train subway anywhere near were I was... so walking 15-20 blocks back to my apartment. Did I mention that it was 80 degrees today and that I had a huge bag filled with all my stuff from school? I am tired now... and sweaty. Good workout though?

Tomorrow is another cooking day! Pretty exciting! I love that we have no idea what we're cooking until we get there!

Love to ALLLLLL of you!!!