Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quantity Meal Day

One of the required courses in order to be eligible for a dietetic internship is called Quantity Food Production. It consists of a class component in which we learn about commercial scale food preparation and operations and a lab portion. For the lab portion, we have 40 guests (university staff and faculty) come into our dining room on campus every Tuesday and we feed them a three course meal. We also feed the 20 ish students that are in the class. This year's class is particularly large, so we are only responsible for being in lab every other week, but we still get to eat the meal every week which is awesome because the food is always delicious. We each get a turn performing the various tasks in lab, such as making either the appetizer, the dessert, the main course or the side dishes or serving the dishes to the clientele. Most importantly, we each get a turn to be manager. The manager picks the menu based on a given theme, picks the recipes, makes sure the recipes are yummy and make enough food to feed everyone and makes sure that meal day goes off without a hitch. Needless to say, being manager is extremely time consuming and stressful. And today was my turn!

My theme was "Buy Local" which was awesome because I'm totally a supporter of buying local produce, meat, dairy etc. Luckily, even in the winter, PEI has an abundant variety of all three!

My Menu
Sweet Potato Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries in a Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Yorkshire Pudding

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the blueberry walnut crisp or the beef stew but they were both delicious.

I got to use Parkes Family Honey in my sweet potato salad which was really exciting! It's not local to PEI, but I figured it totally counted. The feedback was all positive except for 3 complaints (out of 40) that there was too much turnip in the stew relative to other vegetables. Minor detail in the grand scheme of the meal. A few people even said that it was the best meal yet!

Everyone else in the class has a partner and they worked as a team to manage a meal. My partner ended up dropping the course so I was flying solo. Due to bad weather yesterday and graduated internship interviews, I had 3 staff members absent. Two were supposed to serve and one was supposed to make my appetizer. Despite being short staffed, everything ended working out! The lab instructor ended up making my app, and I ended up serving and everything was great.

Even though the majority of our mark is based on a portfolio we hand in a few weeks after our meal day, having the meal day over with feels like such a huge weight off my shoulders. It's one of those things that loom over you all semester, constantly reminding you of the work you haven't done and the amount of work you have yet to do. In celebration, I'm taking the night off! I'm reading a magazine, watching tv and eating the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. I might regret it tomorrow when the work load from my other classes hit me, but right now I'm enjoying a night off.

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