Sunday, 14 November 2010

Cross Referencing and other strange customs

Yet again the weather delivered a perfect day. A good hard frost lay on the ground and trees, evidence of a clear night, and by 8 this morning the sun was climbing sluggishly over the horizon and brightening the day. Please note that I wrote ‘the day’ not ‘my day’ as with metronomic regularity the filing loomed. You would think that after 7 previous weeks of doing this that I would have grown less despondent at the thought of organising the tons of paper handed to us each week. Well, yes a bit – but now the evil that is cross referencing was upon us.

As dishes become more complex it is often necessary to have several recipes to hand, if not for the main event then for the garnish. Since we get them in daily blocks the accompanying sauce may be from two or three weeks ago, and may be part f another dish or more likely printed on the back of a totally unrelated recipe. Tomorrow for example I shall cook an Apple Tart. This uses Flaky Pastry – made last Friday – combined with Shortcrust – not cooked since week 3. I will also be doing a noodle dish from 2 weeks ago,  but not so far cooked by me, and a new one for melted Leeks.
Unless there is a reasonable degree of cross referencing there is no chance of ever finding all the component recipes for a dish. Oh yes, and you have to hand in your indexed and cross referenced files for inspection during exam week.

The usual ploys were used to delay the inevitable but in the end there was no alternative to actually doing it, another hour of my life wasted.
On an environmental note I am amazed that we are still getting paper. Surely a DVD or emailed copies would be more efficient and would save several rainforests per year, not to mention the several hectares of plastic needed to file them in.
Many things though amaze me. You will recall that some weeks ago we broached th subject of Terroir, the precise combination of geography, geology, topography and climatic condition that determines why a wine from one grape tastes totally different to another from the same grape when the only difference is location.  To find out more follow the link Increasingly Terroir is expanding from wine into other disciplines such as Tea or Coffee growing to explain subtle differences and to identify potential ideal growing conditions. I got to thinking that looking at terroire could be a useful career, working to find out just why, for example Jersey Royals taste so good and are there other places where a similar result could be obtained 
The I hit a major problem with this. Imagine the scene you turn up at JFK Airport on your way to a major conference... “ May I ask the nature of your visit?” “Business”. “And that would be?” “Terroir”. “You what Sir?” “Terroir, I am an international Terroirist specialising in Terroirism” “Come with me, Harry get the gloves!!”

Perhaps I will seek a career in other fields.
When a blogger prattles on about filing, the environment and alternative employment you might form the opinion that it is a slow news day. Not so! It is the world’s slowest news day, several seasons passed between breakfast and lunch, And up to a decade by bedtime.
Somedays you just do not do anything newsworthy, nobody drags you out to an unexpected party or pint, your house is not invaded by rabid waterbuffalo, Ballycotton Island does not turn into a localised volcano,


(This did not actually happen)
a lesser person could become jaded, nay bored. BUT, after eight high pressure weeks with another four to go sometimes a day like that is just what you need.

1 comment:

  1. Only anothe four weeks how time flies! even Sundays it seems

    So how many weeks to NYE then? more importantly have you decided the menu yet?