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Archive for November, 2008

Diary Of A Knifethrower

In the beginning

there was a little girl

with her tongue caught in the electric beaters of a Kitchenaid.

Forty years have passed

and she still has not learned her lesson.

Its time to go back to school!

On December 1, 2008 I donned a new uniform.  No more drawstring pants in an institutional green color. No more masks. No more eye protection. Nor surgical gown. I was issued black striped pants and a crisp, spiffy white chef’s jacket. I did not step into an ice cold, controlled, sterile environment. Every day for a year, I stood in a hot room full of gas flames flickering, clouds of steam and thousands of aroma particles flying through the air. I went to culinary school. Don’t be jealous.

The last ten or more years of my life have been spent throwing knives at to doctors at the start of every surgical procedure. I cannot even attempt to add up the number of cases I have attended in my career. One year I tracked over 1400, and it was only an average year with no extra call shifts at night or on the weekends. I had great command of my environment and skills and I am proud of the job I have done for my patients and surgeons over the years. After the longest days and nights on my feet in surgery, I still turned to standing at the counter, wielding a different kind of knife, trying to shake my adrenalin rush off by preparing a meal. I rarely ran out of energy to do it, even after getting royally slaughtered for 24 straight hours.

I do wonder if this is where I finally see if I was really born to do anything definitive in my life. Do I always wind up in the kitchen because I am incredibly shy, socially retarded and kinda like to use the excuse that I hate awake people? Am I in the kitchen because I have a primal need to be there- like a hardwired prey drive in a wolf?  Am I really any good at it like people say? Will all the pieces fit together and finally make sense for the first time in my life? Is is because I might be only capable of caring for someone safely by feeding them instead of opening my mouth and speaking the wrong words? Could I just be totally fucking tired of medicine and want to get silly with food? Oh yeah. All of it. Believe me.

Roll with me

Here is my year at Oregon Culinary Institute. I hope it entertains the food porn junkie in you.

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