From C-MO Jan 11, 2011

By: Craig Munhall, Executive Chef

Today was a busy day.  Whew!  We got a bunch of things done today so it was good.  All day we waited for the snow to start falling.  I’d walk through the kitchen and I’d hear “not yet”  or “check the forecast again” . It didn’t start until later on this afternoon and now it looks like we’ll have a bunch of closings tomorrow.
Kelvin made a great lunch today, I heard a lot of positive feedback.  Breakfast and dinner were both well received.  Remember to use the comment cards at the exit of the dining hall to leave feedback.  Any feedback is good.  Just write down “Have this again” or “never have this again” that works.
We put together a theme meal for Thursday that should be quite cool.  We’re going to do all French food.  We will do our best to bring out the flavors and traditions of France.  Of Course we will have ratatouille! And Coq Au Vin! We’re going to make the ratatouille like they did in the movie…with a mandolin, how cool is that?
Today we got started with our composting program for the semester.   We brought all the pulp from the weekend down to the Earth Tub.  If it hasn’t already been mentioned or you haven’t heard, we compost all pre and post consumer waste.  We have this really cool pulper that grinds the scraps of food from the kitchen and the leftovers on your plate in the dining hall.  It looks like your typical garbage disposal but it’s connected to a device that spins water out of the mix and then pushes the pulp out a shoot.  We collect that stuff and bring it down to the Earth Tub- which is a HUGE composter…of which the school has TWO!  The resulting mulch is used on campus and in the community garden. We’re proud to be a part of this system.  When I am part of being sustainable I feel like I’m creating good karma, and it makes me want to do more.  Speaking of which, I had a conversation with a student named Anna this evening and we were talking about living sustainable.   I told her that I had watched the movie “The 11th Hour”, she hadn’t seen it, if you haven’t either, I recommend it for those interested in the environment.  Anyway, as I was driving home I thought about our conversation and what I was doing at home that was sustainable.   I came up with a few things – we use a set-back thermostat that conserves energy, we use those fluorescent bulbs that replace regular bulbs both inside and outside the house, we have one of those water filters on the faucet so we do not buy any bottled water, and I recycle.  We also control water usage when brushing teeth, etc.  These measures not only help with my carbon footprint but also on the wallet!  Being sustainable at the home is like multi-tasking!
I was wondering do you have a favorite dish?  I think it would be cool to put some of your favorites on the menu – let me know.  We are making a dish for brunch on Sunday called Hamburger Hash, it was a request from Peter, a student, he also provided the recipe.  If it’s good then let ME know….if it’s bad, let HIM know! HA!! Good Times!
One last note – We have a BUNCH of local produce coming in tomorrow.  Even though it’s winter we can still get North Carolina tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, turnips, beets, sprouts, and parsnips.  Look for them on the salad bar and as your veggies.  I’m going to be ordering a bunch of greens next, all local!

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