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Notes for "Burnt and Experienced Hands" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Notes for "Burnt and Experienced Hands"
Here are the notes for "Burnt and Experienced Hands."


"Burnt and experienced hands are more important than the vessels in the kitchen."
-- Gerard Depardieu

This picture shows the outside of Blues Moon with the main floor and two layers of apartments. The Ebonies & Ivories also own the two buildings that flank it. The taller one on the left is a multipurpose building with a retail floor under six floors of apartments. The smaller building on the right serves as storage space for artwork and furnishings which can be used in any of the apartments above the jazz joint.

The basement of Blues Moon contains the working part of the lair. The largest office below the lunch room belongs to Boss White. The one across from it is the guest room. The accounts/manager and board room offices are shared space. The big corner office in the upper right is the patch room. They actually don't have an exercise room in their own lair; instead they have a group membership at a nearby gym. Here is the layout of the main floor showing the jazz club and restaurant.

The two floors above the club have apartments similar to these. The hallway extends all the way to the back stairs. The central stairwell and elevator is instead a common lounge area. On the lower floor, the front right "open" apartment is a flop room with multiple beds, which can sleep a total of 12 people. The front left "Mies" apartment is furnished normally, but not permanently assigned, used as temporary housing or extra function space as needed. Shiv gets the back left "standard" apartment, with the bathroom protected inside the bedroom. Popgun has the right middle semi-open apartment. On the top floor, Boss White has the back left "standard" apartment, and Lieutenant Brown has the back right semi-open apartment.

This is the key to Shiv's apartment over Blues Moon. Shiv's kitchen is a cozy little L tucked into the front of his apartment. He has three blue prints on the wall there. Shiv's dining room has a small table and a quote on the wall. Shiv's living room includes a black-bordered blanket spread over a large futon. On the wall he has a photoprint of saxophonist Mark Turner. This is one of Shiv's houseplants. Here is the mail sorter. This light switch has another sticker. Shiv's bedroom has the bed done in blue. Shiv's bathroom has a snowflake theme.

This is the butcher block table in the main kitchen, with wooden chairs. They have a food prep sink two compartments and counters. The dishwashing sink is located near the back door. This dishwasher cleans glassware, while this one cleans flatware and other utensils. A separate sink provides space for handwashing.

The restaurant has three rack ovens with convection heating. Each one has 12 tiers that hold full sheet pans. Cook prefers that different types of cookies go in separate pans. There are half, quarter, and eighth pans to accommodate this. The three rack ovens are linked together, so they can be programmed from the main control panel, or individually with the keypad on the front. Cook usually doesn't let anyone else use the main one, only the individual ones. Here you can see a full-size sheet pan and a comparison of other sizes. A full sheet pan will hold 2 dozen 2" cookies.

Cake pans are usually 2 inches deep, compared to 1" deep cookie sheets. Cakes, brownies, cornbread, etc. are usually cut into 2x3" pieces. They can be ordered in single, double, triple, or quad sizes though. The restaurant customarily has cornbread and either biscuits or rolls on the menu. Dessert includes either a sheet cake or brownies, and the other option is usually a fruit cobbler. For special occasions, Cook makes a Mississippi Mud Cake. Many casseroles can be baked in the cake pans.

The stove includes 10 burners on top with a medium oven and a large oven underneath. This is the most straightforward piece of equipment in the kitchen and the one Cook usually uses as a starting point when teaching novices.

The deep fryer has large baskets and four separate bays that can be programmed individually, or collectively through the main control panel that also governs the rack ovens. This appliance is straightforward but risky, so it's often the second thing that Cook teaches people how to use.

The grill has many optional accessories. The 72" x 24" grill has two sections, each 36" wide. Accessories include two smoker hoods, two flat griddles with splatter guards, one shallow rotisserie, one deep rotisserie, and six steamer pans. There is another outdoor smoker/grill as well. Cook rarely lets anyone else use either of his grills.

Eggshells can be used as a dietary supplement for calcium, an ingredient in homemade toothpaste, or many other purposes. A food mill can filter out eggshells and mix eggs smoothly. If you have a powerful mixer like a Vitamix, you can put in whole eggs or egg insides with bits of shell in them and just blend until smooth.

The kitchen uses tape for color codes. The aisles are marked in yellow, workstations in white, safety equipment in red-and-white stripes, and hazardous things like the hominy cooker in black-and-yellow stripes. Workstations where people tend to stand in one spot for a long time have floor mats.

Safety supplies include a first aid kit and an eye wash station. And now I know why they have one, other than general safety. Cook makes hominy from scratch, which requires a strong alkali solution. ("You make your own hominy?" "Who eats hominy out a can?") Caustics in a kitchen require an eye wash station.

Know how to choose the best fire extinguisher for your needs. The most potent way to put out a grease fire is with a Class K fire extinguisher, like commercial kitchens use when they have a deep-fat fryer. An ABC fire extinguisher, popular for home use, can put out small grease fires such as a single pan. Compare methods of putting out a grease fire.

The Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln has a small dining room with attached kitchen, available for dinner parties in the privileged wing. It also provides space for the small-group or private cooking lessons.

Stocking a pantry involves choosing staple foods that can be used to make a wide variety of recipes. Many of these are nonperishable, such as dry pasta and canned vegetables. Boss White wanted to make sure that Shiv had something to eat in his new apartment, in case Shiv didn't have the time or energy to go shopping immediately. Here is a checklist of pantry essentials.

Commodity foods are those purchased to support agriculture and which are thus generally available through government programs. There is also a lot of overlap between what foods the government subsidizes directly and what foods it dispenses to the needy. Some things like butter and sugar don't appear on the current list, but are subsidized and commonly handed out.

The rewind button in the brain can replay good tape or bad tape. But mostly, these guys are assholes. Undoing verbal abuse requires silencing the inner critic. This involves changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk. Here are some examples of those changes, and a list of positive self-talk statements. Shiv has a hard time because he has rarely heard phrases from positive parenting. In order to work, positive statements must feel true. If not, the mind rejects them and may even work against them. Often it's necessary to start with a small step ("I am trying something new.") before working up to the main goal ("I am making great progress.") later. Here is a list of affirmations sorted by category.

Eggs are nutritious and make an excellent breakfast. Eating them has many benefits. You can cook them in lots of recipes. However, breaking eggs takes practice.

Butter is healthier than margarine and has various health benefits. However, it has a low smoke point, which poses a challenge to cooks. Ghee, or clarified butter, is better than regular butter. For one thing, it's almost impossible to burn under normal cooking conditions. Ordinary butter will eagerly catch fire if you fuck up in the kitchen. Just think of ghee as butter ... with superpowers.

Butter fires can be devastating. Watch a video of butter catching fire, and see what happens when you throw water on a grease fire. Learn some safe ways of putting out a grease fire.

Burns come in different degrees of severity. Second-degree burns raise blisters; small ones can be treated at home, while larger ones benefit from expert care. Burns are among the most painful of injuries. Aloe vera gel is a terrific remedy for burns. You can buy it with menthol and lidocaine added. That stuff is actually good enough to "undo" minor burns and numb blisters.

Incident analysis after a mishap can prevent it from happening again. There are many different methods. Cook's isn't fancy but it gets the job done -- and I might add, Shiv's supervillain gang is handling an accident a lot better than his asshole fosters did. Follow the steps for reporting and managing incidents.

Healthy cold cereals include Cheerios, and good hot cereals include quick oats. Raisins are among the best dried fruits, and almonds rank high among healthy nuts. These are all excellent ingredients to keep around for making breakfasts.

Dr. Bloch introduces the Get Your Sh!t Together Diet as an option for inmates who wish to participate. It starts with an appointment to establish their current baseline, with followups later to track progress. They also get multivitamins for the first month, because so many inmates have deficiencies, but after that it relies on a healthy diet unless dropping the vitamins lowers the effectiveness of the program for an individual.

The diet is high in fresh fruits and vegetables with some whole grains and dairy, plus a little meat and other healthy proteins. As many items as feasible are organic. Featured nutrients include Omega-3 oils (oily fish and other seafoods), folic acid (dark green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, brown rice), magnesium (green leafy vegetables and nuts are best; also bread, fish, meat and dairy foods), Vitamin D (oily fish, liver, eggs), and zinc (meat, dairy, seafood).

The Eat a Rainbow goal aims to serve at least one item per day from each color group (red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and white) which leads to many multicolored foods such as rainbow chard. The most nutritious vegetables include onions, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, peas, red bell peppers, broccoli, beets, potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, and carrots. Each day features three to four servings, and several of these routinely appear on the salad bar. The most nutritious fruits include grapefruit, pineapple, avocado, blueberries, apples, mango, strawberries, cranberries, lemons, durian, watermelon, olives, blackberries, oranges, bananas, grapes, papaya, and cherries. Each day features four to five servings. Grapefruit is always available at breakfast; whole apples, oranges, and bananas at lunch; and many of the others as snacks. The most nutritious proteins include fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or mutton, bison, pork, beans and legumes, low-fat dairy, tofu, nuts, eggs, and sweet potatoes. Each day offers 50-100 grams of proteins. Tofu, nuts, and eggs are always available in the salad bar; some proteins are also available as snacks.

High-fiber foods include avocados, berries, coconut, figs, peas, okra, acorn squash, turnips, black beans, chickpeas, lima beans, split peas, lentils, nuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. At least two servings are offered per day, including snacks. Hot and cold cereals made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are always available for breakfast and lunch. High-fiber cookies and crackers are also available as snacks. Probiotic foods include live cultures of yogurt, soft cheeses, miso, natto, tempeh, olives, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, and dark chocolate. At least one serving is offered per meal, and some are available as snacks. These may help improve mood. Prebiotic foods include dandelion greens, leeks, jicama, bananas, garlic, onions, and asparagus. At least one serving is offered per day, and some are available as snacks. Mood-boosting foods include salmon, bananas, coconut, lentils, kale, ginger, nuts, quinoa, asparagus, and raw cacao nibs. Ginger tea and nuts are always available, and the others served often. Dishes are made with sea salt or mineral salt instead of less-nutritious table salt.

Lessons are optional but earn extra points. These include basic nutrition, basic food preparation, the effects of food on mood, how to choose foods to regulate moods, how to have a healthy relationship with food, and self-awareness. Participants may also choose a module on mood regulation with worksheets, which is a separate program run through the mental health services that just happens to mesh well with this diet plan.

Swiss chard comes in an interesting "rainbow" variety. Other multicolored vegetables include lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and corn. Different colors may have different flavors and nutrients.

The Eat a Rainbow program presents a color wheel of food which encourages people to eat different colors of food. It explains why each color is beneficial. It offers worksheets on the food rainbow, fruits to color, and color circles. Shiv responds well to bright colors in many different contexts. Here is a lesson plan for Eat a Rainbow.

You can make your own instant hot cereal. Start out by powdering some oats. Then add whatever you want. There are also paleo recipes such as apple cinnamon hot cereal or quick grain-free hot cereal, which rely on nuts and seeds rather than grains.

T-American Fire Safety is commonly offered in Little Spark (up to 5), Junior (ages 6-12) and Teen (13-17) ranges, along with adult classes in college or community centers. Little Sparks begin with self-preservation skills: identifying a fire/smoke, understanding fire alarms, stop-drop-and-roll, crawling, stepstool safety, and calling for help. They usually wear kiddie fire helmets. Juniors explore prevention, what to do if someone flickers a pyrokinetic superpower, how fires burn, gauging the size of a fire, heat-testing doors, how to carry and use garden hoses and fire extinguishers, dragging child-size dummies to safety, tower climb over a playset, a low rope course, stepladder safety, and first aid for mild to moderate burns. Fire departments may have child-size firefighting gear for them to wear. Teens study thermodynamics, the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses, when and how to break windows or doors for escaping a fire, emergency teamwork, supporting a real firehose with a firefighter handling the nozzle, dragging teen-size dummies alone or adult-size in teams, navigating an obstacle course with smoke bombs representing fire, a high rope course, extension ladder safety, putting out several types of test fires, and first aid for more serious burns. They wear firefighting gear. Adult classes range from basics for people who missed those growing up through pre-professional training for people who want to enter a firefighting academy. These add things like effects of toxic fumes, advanced discussion of superpowers, climbing firetruck ladders, climbing a five-story tower while wearing a high-rise pack, using a fire hydrant, handling firehoses including hose hoist and advance, forcible entry, and rescue of heavy victims. They wear full firefighting gear including the supplemental air supply. Classes for minors may have a fee if private, but most fire departments offer free fire safety training at least once a year. People may also be able to hire firefighters to do special presentations -- a nice safety boost for schools or clubs, and a nice donation boost to the department's upkeep or compensation budgets. Classes for adults often have a sliding scale due to using more advanced materials, but some communities offer these free as well. Certifications are available for many variations of fire safety, including the use of a fire extinguisher.

Enjoy a recipe for Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole.

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