[Ebook] Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman Par Alice Steinbach – Marjoriejane.co.uk

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Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman download Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman, read online Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman, kindle ebook Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman, Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman 3c8e9eea8641 Cookin At The RitzA Light Snow Was Falling As I Left My Hotel And Hurried Across The Narrow Rue Cambon To The Employees Entrance Of The Hotel Ritz It Surprised Me That I Had Learned Only Two Days Earlier That Such A Door Even Existed How, I Wondered, In All My Years Of Exploring The Streets And Passages Of Paris Had I Missed It After All, Back Doors Were A Major Interest Of Mine And So Were Side Doors And Courtyards Hidden Behind Green Gates And Anything Else That Concealed The Private Paris From Me Once, I Spent Two Years Writing Letters And Making Phone Calls Before Being Allowed To Visit The Mysterious Maison De Verre, A House On The Left Bank Designed In The Late S By The French Architect Pierre Chareau Compared To That Heroic Effort, Gaining Entrance To The Back Door Of The Hotel Ritz Was A Snap I Had Simply Enrolled As A Culinary Student In The Ritz Escoffier Cole De Gastronomie FranaiseNow Here I Was, On A Snowy Morning In February, About To Enter The Hotel Not As An Outsider But As An Insider, A Thrilling Prospect After All, I Told Myself, Anyone Willing And Able To Pay Seven Hundred Dollars A Pop To Stay Overnight Could Walk Through The Ritz S Imposing Place Vendme Entrance But Only Those Carrying An Employee S Identification Card Were Allowed Through The Back Door On Rue Cambon Still, As Eager As I Was To Begin What Seemed An Adventure, The Truth Is I Was Nervous About What To Expect On The Other Side Of The Door A French Security Officer Who Would Turn Me Away A Snooty Chef Who Would Laugh At My Limited French Vocabulary Classmates Who Would Criticize My Chopping And Dicing Techniques A Sudden, Humiliating Announcement From The Schools Directeur That, For Undisclosed Reasons, He Had Revoked My Student Status It Was In This Kafkaesque Frame Of Mind That I Pushed Open The Plain Unmarked Door And Stepped Into A Small Vestibule A Security Guard Sitting In A Small Room Behind A Counter Stood Up And Carefully Gave Me The Once Over Immediately His Stern Appraising Demeanor Made Me Think Of My Root Canal DentistBonjour, I Said With Fake Nonchalance, Holding Out My Photo ID In Such A Way That My Thumb Covered Any Evidence Of A Very Bad Haircut He Nodded And Reached For The Card I Watched As He Looked At It And Frowned Was It My Bad Haircut That Offended Is Something Wrong I Asked His Response Was To Look At My Face And Then At The Photo, Comparing The Two He Repeated This Twice Face Then Photo Face Then Photo Just As I Started To Explain That I D Drastically Altered My Hairstyle For The Better Since The Photo Was Taken, A Buzzer Went Off A Clicking Sound Followed As The Gate To The Long Basement Corridor Unlocked And, With A Wave Of His Hand, The Guard Motioned Me ThroughSo This Was It, Then, The Moment When I Became A Part Of The Venerable Hotel Ritz After Descending A Flight Of Stairs, I Looked Down A Corridor So Long I Couldn T See The End Of It What I Could See, However, Was A Small Army Of Employees Engaged In A Whirlwind Of Activity Fascinated, I Watched As Men In Crisp White Uniforms Picked Up Crates Containing Hundreds Of Bottles Of Evian Water And Florists Pushed Carts Filled With Lavish Arrangements Of Lilies, Tulips, And Irises As I Moved Deeper Into The Corridor I Saw Workmen Carting Off Worn Pieces Of Persian Rugs And Cabinetmakers Moving A Hand Painted Chinese Chest Marked For Repair Service Staff Carrying Covered Silver Breakfast Trays Entered And Exited The Service Elevator Some Of The Employees Nodded To Me In A Collegial Way As They Passed By I Nodded Back, Trying To Conceal My Excitement At Witnessing All The Daily Routines Necessary To Run A World Class HotelI Continued On Through The Long Corridor, Past The Sparkling White Tile And Stainless Steel Kitchen Classrooms Of The Cooking School, To The Locker Rooms Where Students Changed Into Their Uniforms After A Few Minutes Of Struggling With The Key, I Unlocked The Door On The Right Marked Women When I Opened It A Blast Of Hot, Steamy Air Hit Me It Smelled Like The Warm Dampness I Breathed As A Child When Changing Clothes In The Locker Room Of The YWCA PoolInside The Small, L Shaped Room There Were Thirty Five Bright Blue Lockers, A Few Narrow Benches, And An Adjoining Space With A Toilet, A Shower Stall, Two Sinks, And A Mirror On A Small Table In The Corner Someone Had Left A Hair Comb And A Large Roll Of Tums A Bad Omen, Perhaps, To Find In The Locker Room Of A Cooking School After Locating The Locker Assigned To Me Number I Opened It And Saw Hanging Inside The Uniform I D Been Fitted For On The Previous Day The Room Was Empty So I Began To Undress Quickly, Hoping To Finish Suiting Up Before My Classmates Arrived Call Me Insecure, But I Preferred Not To Meet My Colleagues For The First Time Wearing Only My UnderwearThe Uniform Was Formidable First, I Removed The Sturdy Closed Toe Shoes Students Were Advised To Wear And Stepped Out Of My Khaki Pants Then I Pulled On A Pair Of Heavy Cotton Houndstooth Check Trousers My Sweater Came Off Next It Was Replaced By A Starched White Double Breasted Chef S Jacket With Double Rows Of Buttons And The Name Of The School Embroidered In Blue On The Left Then Came The Napkin Like Neckerchief That Had To Be Tied In A Very Specific Way Next, I Wrapped A Starched White Apron Around My Waist, Tied It In Front, And Then Tucked A Thick White Side Towel Under The Apron String On My Left Side By This Time I Was Perspiring HeavilyFinally It Was Time To Don The Flat, Starched White Hat Worn By Students I Approached The Hat With Some Trepidation I Still Had Not Gotten Over The Humiliation Of Being Told By The Sympathetic French Laundress Who Fitted Me That I Would Require A Very Large Hat A Size , She Said Sadly There Is No Larger Also I Had No Idea Of How To Wear This Hat Pushed Back On My Head Like A Beanie With Hair Showing Or Pulled Down Over My Forehead, Just Above The Eyebrows Either Way, It Was Not A Becoming Look I Decided To Wear It In Thesevere Position Very Low On My Forehead, Almost To My Eyebrows, With All My Hair Covered Somehow, It Seemedprofessional That WayI Looked At My Watch It Had Taken Twenty Minutes To Suit Up I Made A Brief Detour To The Mirror And Stopped To Stare At Myself The Person Staring Back, The One Who Was Supposed To Resemble A Culinary Student, Looked In Fact Like A Red Army Nurse, Circa World War II Actually I Sort Of Liked The Look I Fancied Myself As Looking Very Much Like The Hemingway Heroine In A Farewell To Arms, Despite The Fact She Wasn T Russian And The Story Had Nothing To Do With World War IITo Complete The Uniform I Pinned On The Nametag Which, I Had Been Warned At My Fitting, Should In All Cases Be Worn Every DayWith Half An Hour To Kill I Headed For The Employees Cafeteria, Where I Was Entitled To Eat At A Student Discount The Pretty, Softly Lit Room Was Almost Empty, So I Sat Down With A Cup Of Latte And Studied The Dishes We Would Prepare Over The Next Four And A Half Hours Sole Fillets With A Mandarin Sauce Boeuf Bourguignon, Waffle Potatoes, Souffled Potatoes, Chocolate And Orange Mousse We Would Also Learn To Prepare Meat Glaze And Demi Glace I Flipped The Pages Containing The Recipes, Trying To Familiarize Myself With The Conversion Of Measurements And Weights From The European Metric System Into Its American Equivalent, A Daunting Task Added To That Was The Further Hurdle Presented By Having The Course Conducted In French With Simultaneous Translation Into English Between The Foreign Metric Conversion And The Foreign Language Translation, I Saw The Potential For Big MistakesIndeed I Had Spent The Night Before Worrying About Whether I Would Measure Up To The Standards Of The Ritz Escoffier Cooking School After All It Had Beenthan Twenty Years Since I D Studied Classic French Cooking And Almost As Long Since I D Cooked At That Level So, To Be On The Safe Side, I Had Enrolled In A Course Listed In The School S Brochure As Designed For The Beginner To Intermediate Student Still, The Name Alone The Csar Ritz Course, Named After The Hotel S Founder Was Intimidating To Someone Who Grew Up In A Scottish Household Where Grandmother Dragged Out The Wee Scottish Cookbook When Company Was Coming And A Fancy Dish Like Steak Pie Or Leek Soup Was Called ForI Worried Too About Meeting My Nine Classmates, All Of Whom Had Started The Six Week Course Together, Beginning In Week One I, On The Other Hand Having Neither The Time Nor Money For The Full Course Chose The Option Of Starting Halfway Through The Course In Week Four What This Meant, Of Course, Was That I Was The New Girl In Class, Subject To All The Disadvantages Accruing To Such An IdentityKitchens Are Dangerous Places Within Minutes Of Beginning Our Classroom Work, Two Students Caught On Fire Or To Beprecise, Their Long Side Towels Caught On Fire Real Chefs, It Turned Out, Don T Use Potholders When Something Hot Has To Be Handled They Use Their Sturdy Side Towels Which Is Exactly What Bruce And Paulina Were Doing Removing A Huge Stainless Steel Pot Of Fish Stock From The Gas Burner When Flames Erupted The Blaze Was Put Out Quickly And No One Seemed Concerned Except Me From The Hardcover EditionHighly RecommendedThe Beauty Of Steinbachs Narrativelies In Her Luminous Descriptions But It Is Her Perceptive Looks Into The Lives And Minds And Hearts Of The People She Meets Through Her Studies That Bring Her Settings To Life And Make This Collection Of Essays Truly EngagingLibrary JournalSteinbach Makes Such A Life Look Highly Desirable Her Stories Are Powerfully Seductive To Anyone Whos Ever Been Tempted To Get Up And Go, Following Interests Wherever They May LeadPublishers WeeklyA Delicious ExperienceThis Book Will Entertain, Educate And Perhaps Inspire Readers To Make Their Own Journeys San Francisco ChronicleI Loved Educating AliceAlice Steinbach May Visit Some Of The World S Most Popular Tourist Cities But She Does Not Follow The Ordinary Tourist Route Oh No Down The Back Alleys Alice Steinbach Goes, Slipping Through Side Doors And Riding On Employees Only Elevators Dropping Huge, Slippery Salmon On The Floor Of The Ritz Escoffier Ecole De Gastronomie Francaise And Charming Retired Geishas Into Showing Her Their Prized Kimonos, Wrapped In Rice Paper And Stowed In Boxes In The Attic Ms Steinbach Must Be Who Henry James Imagined When He Advised Novelists To Try To Become One Upon Whom Nothing Is Lost Sarah Pritchard, Author Of Crackpots A Novel In These Uncertain Times, The Smart Thing To Do Is Stay Home And Read Educating Alice Adventures Of A Curious Woman Alice Steinbach Hasfun Than Anybody, Whether Chasing Sheep In Scotland, Or Taking Cooking Lessons At The Ritz In Paris, Or Swinging To A Salsa Beat In A Down At The Heel Cafe In Havanna, Or Taking A Writing Course In Prague, Or Studying Landscape Architecture In Provence, Etc Etc Etc Alices Etceteras Are Limitless, And What All Of Us, Surely, Have Always Wanted To Do Ourselves What Is , No Matter What She Does Or Who She Sees Or How Hilarious The Encounter, She Is A Lady To Her ToesJane Geniesse, Author Of Passionate Nomad The Life Of Freya Stark A Brisk And Companionate Tour Of The Paris Ritz, Ancient Streets Of Kyoto, The Scottish Highlands, Inner Prague And Renaissance Florence, In Search Of The Secrets Of French Cooking, Japanese Dance, Sheepherding, Writing And Painting Alice Steinbachs Travel Memoir Serves Up, In Savory Detail, The Tricks And Ingredients Of These Trades, Even As She Reveals Steps In The Intimate Dance Of An Epistolary Romance Of Her OwnJean McGarry, Chair Of The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars