Today was somewhat different - this is the first time I've worked on a Thursday. It was also the first time I took an express bus there instead of three trains. It was very pleasant - a comfortable padded seat I didn't have to leave for about 40 minutes - time enough to actually knit if I so desire. So, that was nice.
Another difference was that neither the sous chef A nor the dishwasher M had the day off. So, it was just Chef M and a fill-in dishwasher and me. Which meant that I did not spend a day with rap music. I actually tuned the radio to the music I prefer. Which, sadly, is light workday music, but that's the sort of person I am. I tuned it back to WBLS before I left. I don't dislike rap, other than some of the extreme misogyny, but misogyny isn't all that rare anywhere.
And much of the time, it was JUST me. Alone.
So, what did I do? Well, the kitchen was a mess when I came in - a mountain of pots and things by the rinsing sink, and a pile of flour around the huge mixer. Chef was in and out and hadn't given me instructions, so I took a wet rag and cleaned up around the mixer. He then had me put the candied tuna - tuna cooked with sweet ingredients that will become sandwiches called "The Big Katuna" that I haven't had yet - in gallon containers for transport.
Then, I made soup. Following Chef's instructions, I cut seven heads of cauliflower into one inch dice, and then medium diced a half dozen onions. I put the onions in a soup pot with some oil, and sweated them with some cut-up carrots we had on hand. Sweating means cooking until soft but before they have color. I then added the cauliflower and covered them with water. This was brought to a simmer.
Meanwhile, while the fill-in dishwasher tackled the mountain (scrubbing the sinks first, of course.) And I made more potato salad, which meant I had to chop up some more onions first. Chef came in about this point, put up a pot of potatoes and vented the soup - this means he put the soup pot in a sink half-filled with ice, to which he added water. In about an hour, it was chilled enough to go into the fridge. Tomorrow, we purée it. He had me julienne 15 onions for caramelizing - cooking a large amount in oil until it got some color, and then putting it in the oven to cook more.
And then he left to go across the street. I scrubbed down the kitchen, but that didn't take that long. Meanwhile, the dishwasher finished and left. I had two sautauses in the oven with cooking onions and a pot of potatoes boiling, and nothing to do. At all. And I couldn't leave because I couldn't lock the kitchen. I mean, going down the hall to the bathroom was one thing, but I couldn't just leave. Finally, after I called him, Chef came back in. The onions were not quite cooked, but they were done enough. While he dealt with the potatoes (draining them and spreading them on sheet trays to cool in the fridge), I poured the onions onto sheet trays for the same reason.
And at that point, I accidentally touched one of the handles with my left hand. OWWWW! The oven was 400°F, so the handle had to be around 350°F after being out for a few minutes. I said nothing. I brought Chef the tray of onions to put away, changed into my street clothes, and, upon his request, took my potato salad to the café. There, J gave me first a bag of ice and then a grilled cheese sandwich and a diet coke. I sat there icing the burn for about an hour, and then went home (on the three trains. Express buses run only early morning and late afternoon.) And I spent the trip pressing my blisters (oh, yes, blisters) on anything cold I could find to relieve the pain.
But I have Silverdene at home, and my hand is now relatively pain-free and covered in a teflon pad. I could even knit. And, with a glove, cook dinner.