One of the more glamorous aspects of pastry school, and there are many (see last week’s TBT), is doing your own dishes. At home, I’ve always found that the most daunting aspect of many kitchen projects is the endless piles of dishes in the sink. I HATE doing dishes. Which is odd considering I find other forms of cleaning (laundry, dusting, bathroom) oddly therapeutic and relaxing. But dishes? Terrible texture issues…wet, slimy, stuck on grossness.
So imagine my dismay when I discovered the concept of “Kitchen Management”, that we would be grouped into teams of two for a rotating schedule of various kitchen duties (tables/equipment, trash/floors, dishes, etc.) and that every few weeks my team would be assigned dish duty. The idea is that everyone helps (yeah, that works out well…insert huge eye roll & old lady sigh) but that week’s team sets up the dish station and does the majority of the dishes. WTF? There is something very wrong with those of us in culinary school. We pay for the privilege of cleaning our own classroom. Perhaps this is training us for the real world? Nice theory but almost every workplace has a dishwasher. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s the reality. And it’s not just a couple of spatulas, a pot or two and a mixing bowl at school. It’s dozens of spatulas, mixing bowls, knives, bench scrapers, Kitchen Aid attachments and sheet pans, good God almighty, stacks of dirty sheet pans. And don’t even ask about the days we did a bit of sugar and chocolate work. Of course the weeks we missed due to the snow were the weeks my team didn’t have dishes. We arrived back to school and were right back on dishes. Reprieve this week and next and then…dishes.