Today's cooking exercise in Culinary Foundations II came as close to feeling like my days as a newspaper editor as anything I have experienced since leaving that career 17 months ago.
Deadline loomed, as the pieces came together. Nothing was quite finished, yet everything was well in the works. The key factor was putting it all together in a complementary way -- as a story, a headline and a photo would complement one another on the front page of the newspaper, all the while making sure words were spelled correctly and everything fit.
In this instance, it was keeping the poached salmon warm so I could finish the beurre blanc, check the seasoning on the rice pilaf and spoon the squash and tomato provençal onto the plate. Oh, and make sure the plate was warm.
It worked, all coming together in a furious two minutes. The adrenaline rush was very familiar. And there was a great deal of satisfaction in having completed it with accurate flavoring and saucing and attractive plating.
(Photo shows, clockwise from top: rice pilaf; squash and tomato provençal; poached salmon with beurre blanc.)