So here’s what went down today. We got to combine raw food with heat, which is this really cool process called “cooking.”
Here’s how it works with 13 people doing it all at once. We’re all set up in 3 groups at different ranges and we’ve got everything we need – a pot of salty boiling water for “parcooking” (that’s partially cooking) broccoli, and precisely medium diced (1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1/2″) potatoes in another pot for “parboiling.” (Not to be confused with parcooking above – one is for green veg and one is for root veg, one starts with the produce out, and one starts with the produce in.) We’ve got various colanders with bowls beneath them, a bowl of cold water for shocking the parcooked broccoli, a tray for quickly cooling the parboiled potatoes, and two saute pans set up for each, with clarified butter for potatoes and whole butter for broccoli.
Welcome to cooking where you are encouraged to dirty as many dishes as possible in the process. (Fortunately, the dishwasher completes its cycle in 3 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly.)
That’s when things start boiling over. (Yeah, gag, I know.) Suddenly you’ve got a flurry of people screaming “hot!” while racing to the sink in the back with stuff in need of draining. And everyone’s there at once and the sink is quickly filling up with discarded pots and several of you are looking nervously at each other because you realize that the bowl you used to transport the colander there has been recently showered with boiling water and you need it to bring the drained stuff back but you’re not so sure about wanting to pick up a recently boiled-upon aluminum bowl and you don’t want your side towels getting wet and you hate it when Chef starts cracking jokes about how your life as a hand and glove model is over and you better suck it up. And all this drama is just to drain the damned stuff. You’ve still got to saute and try to pull off the flipping stuff over without a spoon manouver, meanwhile other people are hurtling by you with boiling water screaming “hot” and you know they’re not talking about you in your chef’s coat.
But then you all get to have yummy, buttery hash browns and broccoli for lunch and you start to think this is all really cool.