Sunday, December 05, 2004

A position in the kitchen.

Through steady conversation and good behavior I have secured a position as a cook's assistant in the school's kitchen. I was able to convince them of my experience working in kitchens in the past. The head cook, I will not call her a chef, is Mrs. Weems. She is simply a person who knows basic technique and quantity operations, not truly a chef. Her cooking is utilitarian and reminds me of the other machines in the kitchen. She does her job just as the blender and the spigot do.

Today for lunch we prepared one hundred and fifty boneless, skinless chicken breasts, one hundred and fifty servings of white rice, peas, and soda bread. It was a joyless meal designed to inure the mind. Slowly, carefully, I began to consider the economy of flavor. While we cooked I looked at the large plastic containers of ground spices and imagined the excitement they would bring to the dining hall if used. These containers sat with dust upon them. They had apparently never been used. I kept my head down and and did the work that Mrs. Weems required of me.

Later this week there is a lunch of egg salad sandwiches. I will include onion and garlic powder in the mix of mayonnaise and chopped egg. These ingredients are invisible yet quite flavorful.