My right hand gripped a steel rod, while my left fingers were frozen. I was slowly going insane hacking away at the two heavy boxes of frozen veal bones. Today was the day I dreaded most: Veal stock day.
I felt like Daisy from Downton Abbey chipping away at this jagged mess of bones, thinking, “Why me? Why me??”
Once I untangled the bones, I had to roast them in pans that have caked on layers of oil and previous bones that if you scratched away the muck, you might find Bobby Flay’s DNA (one of ICC’s first students).
The ovens are stacked and the top shelf is unattainable for my vertically challenged body. But if I have to listen to one more male classmate complain about “helping the girls” lift something, I was going to take my ice chipper to their heads. So I used my head–literally–to shelve these colossal pans in the oven. Once I lifted the pan to the height of the shelf, my forehead did all the pushing.
Taking these pans out of the oven are especially terrifying. They’re longer than my wingspan and now they’re piping hot with meat juice just begging to drip down my bare, wimpy arms. I took these pans out like I was going onto the battlefield: Shirt sleeves rolled down and four towels double folded guarding my hands. And surprisingly, I walked away without a single battlefield.
TIP OF THE DAY: Want to make a brown stock? The secret is in the roasting. You want to brown the bones and saute your vegetables. The browner you make these ingredients, the richer the stock’s color.