This morning still slightly sick Dani went to a little workshoppy thing in a professional kitchen to learn to cook some of my favorite Peruvian dishes! Our group was Aji de Gallina (chili pepper of hen...or something that sounds better than that literal translation but means the same thing.)
But Dani, you say responsibly, weren't you going to infect the food? Yesterday you weren't even allowed to touch a knife! How is it that they allowed you within a mile of that place? Or umm...1.6 kilometers. Aren't I smart? No, you're right, I looked it up. Although it strikes me that I should not have needed to.
Well, this was my strategy:
a) Tell my host parents I had improved. Which I had...possibly not enough operate heavy knives and hot pans.
b) Stifle every sneeze, cough, or sniffle whenever humanly possibly, especially while standing near Chef.
c) Duck into dark corners to blow my nose and then wash my hands thoroughly thoroughly every time.
d) Isolate my sample food at the end so that I didn't keep sticking a germ-ridden fork into my group's food.
I think it worked pretty well. Or at least, no one yelled at me or kicked me out. Mission accomplished.
And we really did make some kick-butt Aji de Gallina. We privately named ourselves the taste test winners. Although really, the process basically consisted of us doing exactly what they told us to do and asking the cooking assistant Jose (whose name apparently was actually Joselo the whole time) for help every five minutes. "Chef just said we should start...so...what do we do?" "Is it supposed to look like that?" "Is this burning?" "Where's our silverware?"
I do know how to cook some things, I swear.
And plus, it seems we didn't bother Joselo that much. In fact, he was quite insistent about giving us his email afterward to "send him the photos" or "ask him about whatever." Which reminds me of another boy at the Andean music event who also gave me his email to send him photos or ask him questions, which I never did. Although, that time I just forgot. Is this a common Peruvian pick up line or something? Seriously, the "asking" thing. They all seem to think I'm gonna have a million questions about...something. No one ever specifies.
There's a boy-snaggin' tip for y'all. No charge. Sorry, I can't recommend that for guys. So you should, umm...use your charm and wit?
Actually I'm quite sure it was our attractive hairnets and aprons. Or personally, my red nose and sickly look. I should definitely play that card more often.
Note: Despite the look of these last two blogs, (ok, and possibly this other one as well) I do not go around cavalierly collecting and rejecting boys.
But seriously now, I don't.