Hello all!

I am pretty wiped out after the last couple of days... We've started actually working with food, and standing up for hours and hours is serious business! I'm sure my stamina will improve, however.

Yesterday was Japanese Knife Skills. I had seen Japanese knives, but I'd never actually used one. They're the ones that are shaped sort of like a slightly rounded cleaver. They are very rectangular and are not really made to rock back and forth like the knives most people have at home do with their curved bottom edge. I thought it might be difficult to adjust to, but they actually feel very similar and comfortable in the hand.

This knife class was 4 hours long, but we were only cutting for about 2. This entailed standing at tables and chopping countless vegetables in various shapes. It is amazing how much volume comes out of 16 people chopping vegetables for 2 hours, haha. It was actually really fun working with everyone... The cuts were simple, introductory techniques, and we all were basically on the same level! More than half the class cut themselves though... thank god, I managed to keep my fingers in tact.

Today, on the other hand, was another story completely. Today was French knife skills. The French have a style that really goes along with what I think of as "French," in general. Rococco, over the top fatty foods, 5 week long paid vacations for everyone.... you get the gist. French knife skills consist of slicing everything into teeny tiny perfectly squared off pieces.... basically taking every bit of organic shape out of vegetables and fruits.... and also wasting 3/4 of the produce in the name of aesthetics.

Today's class was 4 hours, and we were standing and chopping for every minute of those 4 hours. I caucassed tomatoes, I medium diced potatoes and zucchini, I roll chopped carrots, I minced parsley... insane. Try to turn a potato into perfect 1/2 inch cubes! Haha, by the way- those are the biggest cubes I will have to produce for my practical exam. The others need to be 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch. Eye-balled. We'll see how THAT goes.

Now, I did actually enjoy the chopping... even though it was really hard. It's interesting, it's instructor supported and corrected practice, and it's great to have all of the classmates at the tables offering advice or encouragement. I also enjoyed that I got to take home 4 heaping bags of food, pre-chopped! Yay!

I spent the rest of the day at a Fruit ID lecture in which lots of exotic fruits were described to me and then given to me to sample. I have such a hard life... ::sigh:: I am excited for my second installment of Japanese Knife Skills tomorrow, and hopefully the Vegetable ID lecture will be just as entertaining as Fruit ID was! More to come this weekend, I am sure.... 3 days weekend alone in the city with nothing to do. Might get a little boring and/or lonely, haha.. we'll see!

Also, going to order a new charger for my camera... so hopefully I'll have some pictures up and running here also!!