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Hector's Reflection: Returning to School

We have been back in New York for almost month. Since we headed back to our home towns at the beginning of march due to Covid-19, there have been a lot of changes compared to the first time we arrived here. Now we do not go outside for anything if it’s not necessary, we only head to school and back and usually once a week we go grocery shopping. Every time we get back to our apartment we make sure to immediately clean our hands, sanitize everything we touch and take a shower before we do anything else, we cannot take this lightly.

A lot changed at school due to safety measures against the virus, now we need to complete a questionnaire on our phones before entering the school every day and have our temperatures checked. For the lockers, they decided to put them all together in an open area, so we can only change into our coats and put away our personal belongings. Something that really changed is that a bunch of students didn’t return back to school so now our classes got smaller. Now we are making all the recipes by ourselves, it used to be in groups but now for safety measures we need to work one person per station, with a mask and plastic shield on all the time.

The first two weeks in school we learned to cook game meats, force meats, and organs meats which I really enjoyed because they showed us how to break down and cook game meats that I have not had a chance to cook like rabbit, venison, quails etc.

Right now we are being introduced to the basics of pastry, ice cream making, cremes, cakes, mousses, custards, merengues, which has been a little harder than I thought because in pastry you really need to follow the instructions and measurements because once it’s made, if you messed it up, you will need to start from the beginning. It’s not like a lot of other culinary techniques where you add more of an ingredient to fix it.

During this pandemic a lot of restaurants and places are closed, and it’s not safe to be exploring New York so meanwhile I’ve been studying, reading some cook books and practicing my cooking skills at home, to be ready when everything comes back to normal, hopefully it will be soon.

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