Sunday, January 24, 2010

Surviving The "Real" First Week of School:


Our first try at Biscuits- something happened with our flour measurement we think. The one on the left is ours- the one on the right is what they were supposed to look like. This is how we learn. (smile)

It is official. I am no longer able to eat dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights with my family. This is a new development in my continuing endeavors as a culinary student that has completely proven I have no will power, especially now that I am in Intro to Baking Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You see, the reason I have no appetite for dinner is because of the excessive taste testing I submit myself to once we have completed our baking tasks for the class period. With eight groups of two students each, our kitchen lab production yields tray upon tray of various oven baked delights. The breaking down of my willpower truly starts from the moment the recipe is handed to me. After I am familiar with the components of the formula I will be using, it is time to go and seek out each item on the ingredients list, which is not that easy when starting out in a new kitchen. (I'm still trying to get my bearings in the Bakery Classroom since this is my first semester to work in it) So I start out by collecting my room temperature butter that is just begging to be creamed, along with the scoop of pure white sugar I discovered in the large bins called Cambros under our work benches. Oh and today we are grating an entire orange for it zest, we have to fold into our batter the fresh blueberries, these I found in the walk in cooler, and then we will fill the muffin cups up to 2/3rds. No more- no less, which is not as easy as it sounds.

Dried Cherry Scones with a course sugar glaze

In the classroom I find it very hard not to lick the batter from my hands. I am sorry if that sounds gross, but I think we all can admit to dipping a finger into the bowl to taste the batter. I don't do it of course, there are too many other people here that might catch me. Besides, Chef Fred has made numerous little jokes about the fact that the beauty of baking is with such high temperatures in the ovens there isn't much chance a bacteria has of surviving, but nonetheless it is still important to practice safety and sanitation. It would just be plain rude to not play it safe any how, I am not at home.

All this being said, once the final product of our kitchen labors comes out of the oven.....

I just can't help myself!

The funny part is that I do all my little taste tests in the class as Chef goes over what went right and what needs some work. I am OK for all of that. It is once I get in my car that I am in trouble. You see we are able to take home all of our goodies and there is so much that even taking three or four bags, there is still oven baked goodness that is left in the classroom at the end of the day. So I noticed this car eating problem on Tuesday and I thought on Thursday if I double knotted the bags and told myself how much of a mess the crumbs would make in my car that I would then leave the muffins alone. Uh- huh. Sure. That line of thinking did not work, since by the time I got to the kids daycare to pick them up I had eaten half a loaf of bread, one morning glory muffin, a lemon poppy seed muffin and a bite of a cranberry oatmeal muffin. By the time I got to the cranberry I had come out of my trance and realized what i had done. So now you see why I did not eat dinner on Tuesday or Thursday this past week. There was no room for it!


Here is my game plan for this week- a few ideas to possibly keep me from going overboard with the baked goods:

1. Brush my teeth right after class! Nobody likes the taste of food right after a good teeth brushing, right?

2. We can't chew gum in class, but immediately following- if I don't have time to brush then a nice minty fresh piece of gum may work.

3. Put the baked goods in the trunk of my car- Not the front seat!

4. Tell my friends and family ahead of time I am bringing them goodies- and then drop them off on my way home. Any one want me to add you to the rotation?

5. And lastly, I will think about how expensive it will be to have to buy all new chef's clothing- especially the pants- "Everything in Moderation" I will tell myself. I would much rather buy a new pair of heels than a new pair of checkered pants, especially if the ones I have fit me in the beginning of the school year.

I am already learning so much from all of my classes. This is truly going to be a great semester- I can already tell! Oh and to my baking class partner Rye.... It is so on buddy, I'll show you how the "Real" baking gets done. Lets have some fun! Lets be the best team in class!!