Sunday, January 21, 2018

stuff I've learned at school

I've been at my school cooking job for two weeks now, and I think I'm pretty much up to speed.  Our manager was out sick with the flu on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, and the kitchen ran like a well-oiled machine, so I guess that's a good sign.  Of our crew of eight, there are actually four of us who are relative newbies thanks to a recent shake-up.  Other than me, however, the new people are part-timers.

Here are some of the things I've learned from being in the school kitchen:
  • The recent turnover was partially the result of an employee who "had issues".  An example was when, during a school fire drill, he frustratingly announced, "This is a f***ing waste of time!"

Lesson:  (1) Monthly fire drills are a fact of life in a public school, and (2) Saying "f***ing" in a public school is heavily frowned  upon.


  • Giant whisks actually exist! 

Lesson:  When making soup for eight elementary schools, it's best to speak softly and carry a huge whisk.

  • Kids must include a protein, a grain, and a fruit or vegetable to have their meal count as government funded lunch
Lesson:  Tater tots count as a vegetable (really?)

    Poll:  would you eat it?
  • Our current kitchen manager is retiring after this school year, and her job is up for grabs.  Two of my coworkers are vying for the position.  In my opinion, they are both equally qualified for the job, but have different skill sets and management styles.

Lesson:  (1) I'm not going to vie for the job, and (2) I'm glad I don't have to be the one to decide who gets the job.

But I do have one question at this point:

Why are chef coats WHITE?

Maybe I'll learn the answer someday.


ShadowRun300 said...

Ha! Yeah.. that first lesson... a good one to learn. :)
I can’t believe tator tots are considered a vegetable. I’m sure the kids love that they are, but sheesh.
I don’t understand the white either. Our breakfast attendants used to have to wear white. We were all thrilled when they switched the uniforms to black.

LL Cool Joe said...

I had tots for the first time in the States recently, they are like tiny croquette potatoes right? I think, well that's what they tasted and looked like to me.

And yes, I'd eat that! But I have poor taste when it comes to food, well most things really. :D

Larz said...

I'm guessing white so it's easy to bleach clean. Like hospital and hotel bedding.

Jimmy said...

That is a lot of learning Abby, I'm with you everyone should know that the F word is a no no inside a public school, or anywhere else in my opinion... I can't see tater tots in the veggie category myself but whatever works I guess.

Abby said...

I still don't officially count the tater tots as veggies.

Abby said...

Yep, similar to croquette potatoes, but shredded instead of mashed. Either way, not a vegetable in my book.
That sandwich - I think it would come back to haunt me.

Abby said...

Ah, logical.

Abby said...

Yes, I think the "had issues" covers the ex-employee.

Morgan C said...

What is that food item?! Pizza, hamburger, French fries and tortillas? I get that all those foods are good, but they are good separate!

Is the whisk easy to use? I didn't know they made them that big.

And I agree, tator tots are not veggies! But they have to fit it in somehow and hope the kids don't hate the choice.

Abby said...

The first time I saw that whisk, a woman about 5 feet tall was stirring a huge vat of soup. I think the whisk is taller than she is, and it does the job!

Tee said...

When I left my school job 13 years ago, when the first big shockers of my "business" job was how often, and how comfortably my new coworkers dropped the f-bomb. Shocking because Lesson #2 was obviously well-established in my previous job.

I'm kind of jealous of that big whisk. Not sure what I'd do with it if I had one, but jealous none the less.

As for tator tots being a vegetable, I think I'm not surprised. I participated in a food program in my day care days, and it was a branch of the school lunch program. French fries, tator tots and other frozen potatoey things were allowed to be counted as a vegetable.

Abby said...

Coming into a school for me at this point, it's strange/nice to not hear f-bombs being dropped, except when telling the story of that dude.