Thursday, September 18, 2008

your 6

one of the fun things about growing up in a military family is all the acronyms that one becomes familiar with.  there are many letter ones like awol (absent without leave which is a bad thing), tdy (temporary duty which can be fun if the location you're sent to is exotic with waterfalls and such), and many others that you may have heard or not heard.  there are top secret ones too which i can't share here since i shouldn't reveal that i know them.  but trust me...there are.  

there are also some number ones that i enjoy.  someone may say, "i've got your six" which is to say that they are behind you or that they have your back since 6:00 would be your backside if you stood in the middle of a clock facing the twelve.  with me?  directionally, too, a pilot may reference where a bogey is by saying a particular time.  these are important instructions with life and death consequences. 

in the catering world, we have some important acronyms, as well, the consequences of which could be life and death with respect to your job!  last week in a salad preset (that's s.p. in my cosmos), the little salad included a half pear.  we were told clearly, pear goes at 12:00.  now i realize i grew up in a privileged household, not only because we could afford a kitchen clock that provided a big hand and a small hand that my loving parents could explain the time with, but the military aspect certainly helped, as well.  but hard can it be to figure out that when the command is "pear goes at 12:00" you don't put it at 3:30, 6:00, or 9:45?!  this proved to be a difficult concept for many.  

compounding it was the order for the butter blossoms (those little butter pads molded to look like little flowers) to go at 3:00.  but there were two!  so does one of them go at 2:55 and the other at 3:05?  do you stack them both at 3:00?  are the blossoms as big as 15 minute intervals on the bread plate clock?!  this sent many of my catering contemporaries into a tailspin.  in the end, it seemed best to put the bottom butter blossom belatedly beyond 3:00 by barely a minute.  then leaning the other butter blossom on the bottom bud.  it turned out beautifully.  

p.s. new york has its own set of acronyms
uws = upper west side
ues = upper east side
cpw = central park west
hk = hell's kitchen

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