My half birthday is in ten days. Being 20 ½ years old won’t mean much, but it stuns me how much I’ve learned in six months, let alone in the year I’ve been a NECI student.
While skills are the first things that come to mind when pondering my lessons of late, there are other things I’ve learned that lie deeper within. I began internship at Topper’s Restaurant on Nantucket. It began well enough, but shortly after arriving on island I had a serious back injury that caused crippling pain and hung low on my usually cheery disposition. At work, I was able to remain positive, but I was told that if my health didn’t improve, I wouldn’t be able to continue working through the busy season. I immediately learned something about myself; I was able to see when a situation wasn’t right for me. It may seem insignificant, but had I not realized that so early on, I wouldn’t have been able to work at my new internship site at the Trapdoor Bakehouse & Café in Quechee, Vermont. I took control. I contacted Career Services, researched different sites, looking for a smaller more community driven location, and booked ferry tickets to leave Nantucket, travel to New Hampshire, and start what I consider to be educational internship.
Since I began at Trapdoor, I’ve become a cheery girl again. While my back isn’t completely healed, I’ve been continually seeking chiropractic help and progress is being made. At Trapdoor, I not only bake everyday, but I get to work front of the house and serve customers the pastries I created. It’s so gratifying being able to make someone smile.
Out of everything I’ve learned, there are a few things that will stick with me the most. First, listen to yourself. Your body, your mind, your heart, itknows when something isn’t right. Second, never think you’re doing something perfectly; it can always be better. And thirdly, smile. Whether it’s at my Chef, a coworker, or a customer, if you smile at them and warmly greet them, nothing bad will come of it. It’s small, but it can make the world of difference in a place of work. My internship has transformed me into a better version of myself. I’m stronger, I’ve further learned the value of kindness, and am far more knowledgeable about baking, pastry, and the elements of running a business.
Were I to make a dish for my coworkers, I’d take the philosophy of Trapdoor and make it with love, use local ingredients, and include a favorite of each of ours. Out of the small staff at Trapdoor, there are three women that I’ve worked the majority of my days with; Chef Theo, Chloe, and Padma. I’d do a variation of a scallop linguini dish I created in early July in order to include all of our favorites. For Padma, the scallops themselves, for me, the pasta, for Chef, a handful of fresh basil, scallions, and parsley, and for Chloe, a whopping mountain of juicy cherry tomatoes from the farm down the road form my house. It’s a warming meal. Each bite is different than the next, just as each day of my internship was constantly evolving; the flavors contiguously mingling in different ratios. Some bites you get a lot of garlic, some days you get a bout of grouchy customers. Though some bites seem too big to chew, by the end, you’re pleasantly satisfied, and wanting more.
1 box of pasta
1 bag of sea scallops
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 scallions chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 T butter
2 T Olive Oil
3 Basil leaves chopped
6 Parsley leaves chopped
1 box cherry tomatoes
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water
- Once pasta is in water, combine 1 T olive oil and 2 T butter until melted over medium high heat
- Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook in pan for 2 minutes, turn, and cook 2 more minutes
- Strain pasta, strain scallops, and set aside with foil over them to keep warm
- Empty the pan from the scallops, and add 1 T olive oil
- Add scallions, garlic, and tomatoes
- Once slightly browned, add the white wine and some salt and pepper
- When alcohol has cooked out of wine, add 1 T of butter to thicken
- Add the pasta and the scallops to the sauce and cook for a minute to coat the noodles
11. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot