“It’s Just A Pork Chop”

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This is the quote that is going to get me through the next year. You are all probably wondering what the heck this means…I would be utterly confused as well. The closest quote I can relate it to is “this too shall pass”.

This quote has been a joke in our house for the last two years and always seems to get me through some pretty rough and stressful times. When I first began culinary school I felt so out-of-place. First off I was going to class with kids…literally kids! God I felt so old but the best part was none of them believed me when they heard my age…my chefs didn’t either. God I love having good skin (Thanks Gram!). On top of being “the old lady” they all talked about they experience they have in the industry, me on the other hand was just a “home cook”. I was so freaked out and felt beyond inadequate compared to my classmates. If all that wasn’t enough I have celiac disease and couldn’t taste a decent amount of food.

For each of our culinary labs we have to do a practical exam in addition to our written final exam. These practicals are often (ok always) stressful. I have found that if anything can go wrong in these labs, practical day is the day that it will happen. My first lab was New World Cuisine with one of my favorite Chefs, Chef Dion. Below is the description from our practical exam sheet:

The student will be issued a Whole Chicken, a Boneless Pork Chop, a Russet Potato, and a Vegetable of the Instructor’s choosing, in order to perform the following skills.
1. Truss, season, roast, and carve the chicken. Prepare a pan sauce chosen by the Instructor (au jus, jus lie, or pan gravy).
2. Season and grill the pork chop.
3.Prepare the potato and vegetable to the Instructor’s specifications.
The student will need to prepare the products under examination, displaying proper HACCP procedures and temperatures, cooking techniques, knife skills, and sanitation procedures for instructor’s assessment. For grading and critique purposes, the student will need to present all components on a single plate at completion, demonstrating proper plating procedure.

I was fine with the chicken – no big deal and the potato (I made french fries – gluten-free of course), and then there was the pork chop. Ugh. I searched through cookbooks, and online for recipes and tips for cooking a pork chop…I knew I only had a limited amount of time so brining it was not an option. This may have been the first but definitely not the last practical that I would stress over and even cry about. Bryan was trying to explain to his mum how I was freaking out and all she could say was “It’s just a pork chop”. That is all I needed to hear. Why was I obsessing so much over a freakin pork chop?? Because that is who I am. I want to do well and prove to myself that I can do this. So now that is what we say and Bryan lovingly reminds me of that quote when I start to stress out and especially when a practical exam is coming up!

We have been saying this a lot lately. Our worlds have been flipped upside down in the last week. Our lease is up and we have to be out by August 1st. Bryan hasn’t had much luck finding a job around here so he will be heading back to NJ and taking Penny with him. At least there he has some options for work. I am stuck here for another year to finish up school because I have been told by both Bryan and my dad that they will kick my ass if I drop out and not finish especially since I only have one year left.

So here I am trying to find a place to live that is close to my job (because I love it and don’t want to lose it). I need something affordable because my school is paid for for next year and I so badly do not want to take out an additional loan for living expenses. So I am hoping to find a room for rent in a quiet house/apartment. I don’t expect to be home all that much with school and work but I will need to study, so quiet is key for me. I just hope I find something soon so some of this stress can go away.

To clarify Bryan and I are okay but we need to be apart for the next year. It sucks and not what we had envisioned but we have done this before. Our first year of dating was across country… not the ideal situation but it worked. Four years later we are having to be apart again. I just hope this goes by quickly. We’ll go back and forth to visit each other and the countdowns will begin again, and we will go back to being great supporters of each other from a distance.  I’m not going to lie this is going to be rough and suck pretty badly but it has to be done.

I need this image printed on a canvas to hang in my future room for the next year to help me get by. Not only am I with out Bryan I will also be with out Penny.

It’s just a pork chop…

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3 thoughts on ““It’s Just A Pork Chop”

  1. I hate being seperated from my hubby. I will be praying for you. I have only done it once and it was for just three months and I was breaking down super bad by the end of it. My thoughts and prayers will be constantly with you. It is just a season. I know it will pass … I pray super fast for you both.

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