Internship: Day 9, 10/31/05

Happy Halloween!

It was a pretty mellow day, and everyone was in a good mood. The pastry kitchen made us some chocolate cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting for Halloween treats, and they were fabulous. I’m going to have to ask them how they get their buttercream so light—mine generally turns out a little heavier.

Service was slow but steady. I still mostly handled the cold side, but did a couple of hot dishes here and there. I still feel a little lost on setup, but I’m hoping that I’ll get a handle on it soon. Since we had some extra time, we did some prep work for dinner. I peeled, cleaned, and cut up some red kuri squash. I loved the squash because it’s so pretty, but its thick skin was really hard to deal with. The smaller squash with smoother skin wasn’t so bad because you could peel it with a regular peeler and then cut through it with some effort. The larger squash were impossible—the bumpy skin made using the peeler impossible, but it was too tough for either a paring knife or a chef’s knife. Nobody was able to get them split open, even with a serrated knife. I assume there must be a way, but we didn’t figure out today.

There wasn’t much to do after service. The dinner staff was pretty much ready to go, and it looked like it was going to be a relatively slow night. I did prep the next day’s butternut squash soup before I left, which consisted of peeling, cleaning, and chopping up about 7 or 8 butternut squash and adding in 3 onions, 3 leeks, 3 carrots, and 3 stalks of celery. The butternut squash was much easier to deal with than the kuri, but it left a black film on my hand that I had to scrape off with a dish scrubby. I saved all of the seeds from both the kuri and the butternut to take home and roast, which I’m very excited about. I love fresh roasted seeds, and I haven’t had a chance to make any this year since I haven’t had the time to carve a pumpkin.

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Red Kuri Squash A thick-skinned orange colored squash that has the appearance of an oblong pumpkin without the ridges. Inside the hard outer skin there is a firm flesh that provides a very delicate and mellow flavor similar to the taste of chestnuts. This squash is available year round and can be baked, braised, pureed, or steamed to be served as a side dish or used as a base for soups. Also known as a Japanese squash, Orange Hokkaido or Uchiki Kuri squash.

Definition compliments of Hormel Online.