Culinary Delights out at Sea – Korean Strait to Yellow Sea

I felt pretty lazy today and am really starting to feel my joints. I took it easy on the cardio hoping that maybe they just need a little rest. Afterwards I grabbed my usual in the breakfast area and was pleased to find Glen who knows how to dice my apples perfectly. None of the other kitchen staff seem to be able to get it right and I end up trying to finish the job with a clumsy butter knife. But finally I have found someone who knows what he is doing. Yay!! It really is the little things.

I made it in time for the Culinary Demo in the Princess Theatre with the Executive Chef, Amedeo Scarin and the Maitre d’, Ignazio d’Agostino. As you can tell, they are both Italian. We got fascinating cooking tips while they worked together showing us how to make pasta, salad, and tiramisu. While injecting humor into their act, they cooked up a storm with panache and ease. This dynamic duo was captivating and we learned the difference between using butter (popular in the North of Italy) and olive oil (used in the South). Also, we learned it is said in their country, never trust a skinny chef.

We got to take a tour through the galley and saw firsthand how the Diamond Princess was able to score 100 percent on the last inspection a couple weeks ago from the authorities. It was spotless and the whole operation seemed intricate like a well oiled machine. I learned that there are 16,000 meals prepared and served every day, and that they use about 18 tons of food a day. They use 2100 lbs of beef, 2000 lbs potatoes, 7000 lbs of fruit a day. That is 70,000 dishes washed daily! The numbers were overwhelming.

After lunch with the gang, I spent some time reading in the coffee bar sipping on a vanilla bean frozen latte. I was able to avoid the cookie pusher once again but it wasn’t easy. He had his eye on me but I dodged him as did a few others in the coffee bar. I suppose I am not the only one watching my sugar intake.

We had to go through the whole Chinese Quarantine and Immigration Inspection this afternoon. We had to full out some forms asking us if we had certain symptoms then they beamed a light at us. I guess they were taking our temperature. I passed but not everyone was so lucky. I wondered what would happen to those who had tested too high. I also wondered if they had eat the Thai Hot and Sour soup served at lunch. It was spicy!

All in all, I was surprised at how quickly the process went. We had been fingerprinted and photographed for Japan but nothing like that for China. Wacky. Now we are heading towards the Yellow Sea and should get to China at 7am.

It was formal night tonight but I really didn’t participate. I don’t like trying to squeeze my way through a drunken mob double fisting their free drinks at the Captains Cocktail Party. Its annoying and frustrating. I did get to have my special order of lychees for dessert though. And my server who happened to be Thai reminded me that Thank You is pronounced “Kob Khun Ka”. I am tired so I have decided to skip the show tonight in favor of some extra zzz’s. I really want to be aware and on tomorrow for Qingdao.

Grateful for a good sense of humor.

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