Friday, June 19, 2009

Blood Spatter Specialist

When we woke up this morning, after the night we had last night, Erik told me he had a dream that I cut all of my fingertips off. They were pouring blood, so I decided to be an artist and paint with the color and spatter from the cuts. Luckily, what I did to myself was NOT that dramatic.

I knew yesterday was going to be an off day when arrived at 1:00 to The Restaurant and nobody was there. The lights were off and the door was locked. After about 20 minutes, The Head Chef arrived having just left just hours ago from the night before, and asked me what I was doing there so early. Um, if I am not mistaken, this is when I got there last week? But, I guess on Thursdays, when it is slow on Wednesdays, it is an unwritten rule that you get to The Restaurant later.

Thanks for the memo.

So, I kill about an hour at a local coffee shop (slickly dodging a person I recognized via Twitter) and read "Tender at the Bone" ( this will be ironic later). I stayed a little after 2:00, slowly walked back, as to not look to eager, and put on my apron.

I was working with Chef B, the Thursday chef, at a new station. Not much needed to be prepped, but he taught me how to make Biscotti, and we filled our 1/9 pans with items that needed to be restocked. I made an aoili, soft boiled some eggs, took on my daily task of blanching cauliflower and pea vines, and learned how to break down a Geoduck.

Service started. We were steady. Chef B let me plate many dishes, and I was generally pleased with how the evening was going.

Then, Chef B asked me to cut more peaches for a dish that we hadn't prepped well for because it wasn't selling. Well, it was selling last night.

I went to the back, found my peach, and began peeling the skin with my Wustof pairing knife. I was told to slice each piece thin, and then into mini triangles. Let me first say that EVERYONE in The Restaurant talks to me about having better knife skills. I remember about half the time. And the other half? Well, I will just blame my Kitchen Retardedness.

I skinned the peach without a care in the world. I begin to slice each light pink section from the pit. They were all uniform, which is an improvement, and I go to start the other half. As I am trying to wedge my knife above the pit to slice, my hand slips from the skinned peach and my Wustoff slices right into my ring finger.

It took the finger print off. I looked for a second, shocked at my stupidity, and watched as the pink fruit began to have a more ruby tone.

I had a bleeder.

I immediately went to the First Aid Kit, which I have become very familiar with these past two weeks, and got out a finger bandaid. Before I could even get it on, it was soaked with my blood. Then, I reached for a wet paper towel, and put pressure on it.

This is the best part, I am such a compulsive do-gooder that I continued to cut the peach into triangles! While bleeding!

As it got worse, I stopped, and luckily at this point, the hostess ( who is going to nursing school) assisted me with bandaging my wound. She gave me some gauze while she got all of her supplies ready, and then asked me to take off the gauze so she could bandage me. As I slowly peeled the gauze away from the cut, it ripped the small clot and my blood spattered all over my "not-so-white-anymore" Chef's coat, along with my face. I looked like Dexter after he has killed one of his victims. The Hostess was wearing a white dress. Thank God it did not get on her!

Prepare yourself for the dramatics: I started to feel faint. I am sorry, but I wasn't losing THAT much blood? I think I was in shock, disappointed, embarrased, humiliated, (insert other dramatic feelings here)...

She said she thought I should leave, I took my coat off in a cold sweat, said goodbye to The Chefs and got into a yellow cab.

I raced to the drugstore and purchased forty bucks worth of finger bandaids, finger condoms, gauze, tape, Neosporin, and Shout! (which doesn't work BTW). I came home, chugged two glasses of wine, and waiting for Erik to arrive.

At this point, my finger felt like it was going to fall off. It had already done the whole "heart-beat in the finger" bit, and now it was going numb down to my knuckle and into the palm of my hand. I had dramatic illusions of grandeur where I was losing my whole ring finger and having to wear my wedding ring on a stump.

When Erik got home, I told him I needed him to help me change my bandages. I know he has a queesy stomach around blood, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The blood had clotted on the gauze, but I had to get it off because it was too damn tight. I cut away the huge bandage that made me look like a cartoon character with hair cutting shears, and pulled away the guaze.

HUGE mistake. The blood poured out like a chocolate fondue fountain; cascading down my knuckles and the back of my left hand. Erik lost it.

I am freaking out, he is getting nauseous, I am about to faint, he starts gagging. We were a mess. The dog just laid there. He is used to all of this back and forth drama.

I got another bandage on, Erik went to the bathroom to calm down, and I drank about a liter of water in one sitting.

As we woke up this morning, and he told me of his dream where I was creating art with my blood, I decided that I AM going to take a knife skills class. I owe it to myself, and everyone that ever has to work with me in a kitchen.

And I should probably get up to date on my tetnis shots if I am going to cut myself on a weekly basis. Will this be a tradition? I am two for two right now.


  1. so sad and funny at the same time! I, too, cut myself on a regular basis. Maybe we should take that class together? ;o) Oh, and great visualization of your (and Erik's) "drama"! I could just see the whole interaction! Cashew included... :o)

  2. ewww and oooooh! Don't worry, your knife skills will improve over time, and even the best most experienced chefs still cut themselves. In the first few weeks of culinary school, someone cut themselves at least 2-3 times/week; towards the end, nary a cut! At least you know your knife is super sharp!!

    Sorry if you get this comment twice (having some issues with firefox/blogger today)!!

  3. oh no! hope your hand feels better.

    My knife skills are so bad that my Christmas gifts have included cheese, bagel, and apple slicers so that I can avoid knives. It sounds like you have a really supportive group at the Restaurant, though, who will be very happy to see you back with a healed hand!

  4. i did the same thing 2 years ago (to the exact same finger) but went to the ER to have the pad reattached. i still dont have all the feeling back in the finger, but hopefully yours will heal much better :)