Flubbed garnish and burnt schnitzel

I'm still stuffed from yesterday's international class. This week we focused on Germany, and although we were hoping for beer samples in class, the student presenting the food history this week did a kick-@ss job. On the other hand, I was totally off my game for some reason. I couldn't focus, didn't feel much like being in the kitchen, and thought it best to keep my tasks to garnishes and cleaning. The cleaning part went well, but I couldn't even get our garnish straight.

Instead of just a plain lemon wedge for the schnitzel, we were supposed to channel-cut a lemon, slice it thick, coat one half in paprika, the other half in chopped parsley, and then top it with an anchovy rose filled with capers. I forgot to channel cut before slicing, so I quickly cut some notches out of the slices hoping chef wouldn't notice. He did, of course. I told him I was drafting my letter of resignation as we finished the garnishes; thankfully chef has a great sense of humor, laughed and allowed me to continue to correct my mistake.

Once that was fixed and in the low-boy, I moved to saute to watch the schnitzel being cooked. I'm still amazed at the handful of students who have trouble pan frying. After seeing four of the cutlets come off the fire with bits of burnt crust, I snapped out of my funk, grabbed another pan and offered to help under the guise of moving the line faster. Selfishly, I just didn't want to eat overcooked and burned cutlets. I managed to grab and cook four perfectly golden patties that I set aside for the girls at our table.

We ate well yesterday, devouring all of the stereotypical German dishes you could imagine - schnitzel, spaetzel, warm potato salad, braised cabbage and linzertorte for dessert. The only thing missing was the beer.

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