As you have probably guessed by now, I've been busy! Every culinary class requires me to type up my notes, type up the recipes, and take pictures of the food all to be included in the end of semester project--a binder chock full of everything we have learned/baked/cooked. In my baking and pastry class we have been learning the 3 types of mixing methods: the biscuit method, the muffin method, and the creaming method. I am quite familiar with all three! And, it turns out, my family is pretty spoiled. When I brought home the first day's biscuits Bubba said, "they're good...but I can tell they weren't make with buttermilk." :) The school kitchen rarely has buttermilk, unlike here at my house where it is always stocked. The next week I brought home chocolate chip muffins and Goose said, "I like your recipe better." Oh, poor, spoiled family!
I am absolutely LOVING culinary school! Love. Love, love, love!! I get such a kick out of putting on my chef jacket, baggy chef pants, non-slip shoes, not-so-white-anymore apron, and chef hat. And my knife kit! It came in a roll just like on Top Chef. :) Now it is crammed full of a ton of instruments from home and I just love opening it. (When I showed it to Tink the first day she said, "Please pack your knives and go.") I have four hats. My favorite stood up tall, but I am 5'9 and adding another 4 inches to my height caused me to bump my hat against the hanging electrical outlets (for the mixers). So now I wear a plain white hat that fits over all my hair, a houndstooth hat that is similar to the white one, or a skullcap (like they wear on Grey's Anatomy) covered in cute squids, fish, and lobsters.
I am learning how to feel and see if something, like a muffin, is done. "Chefs do not time anything, " says my pastry chef. I am learning the parts of the wheat plant (ENDOsperm, not just sperm like I put on a quiz ;), the types of flours and their protein count, they types of whisks, the name of every pot, pan, and everything else in the kitchen. I am learning how to use convection ovens, how to saute, how to roast, how to break down a chicken both before and after it is cooked, how to hold my knife (not as comfortable as it seems), how the gases form while baking, etc. Did you know that if your gravy turns to jello when it cools that you did it wrong. Gravy should not do that! I wish that I had taken French instead of Spanish in school because everything is in French. Luckily, Goose is taking French and she is helping me with my pronunciation.
Here are some of the things I have made: (excuse the quality on some of the pics--I have had to use my phone a few times because I keep forgetting to bring my camera)
Chefs have the best personalities. They are crazy smart, funny, quirky, sweet, hardcore, and kind. So far I have liked everyone I have met. My very first day of pastry class I did not have the proper apron and a guy I had never met before said, "here, have one of mine." How nice is that? And everyone is like that. We are all there to learn and have so much fun together. I truly feel I am in the right place doing the right thing.
On an even more personal note...last December my little brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Such a shock. I have never felt pain like that before. It's been a little over a month and still I have moments when I feel like I can't breathe. We were close, and the thought that I will never be able to call him again or text him or hear his contagious laughter makes me want to scream. We had this ongoing tradition of trying to get each other to watch bad movies. I would call him and tell him that Bubba and I had just watched an amazing movie (or he would call me) and then we would laugh hysterically if it worked. It got so we would not trust each others movie recommendations and it always made us laugh so hard. Every time we got together we would watch a B horror movie and start off laughing at it, and end up talking our way through it about any and everything in our life. Now every emotion I have triggers my sadness. The first day of my culinary class (this semester) I was practically giddy driving home. It was so much fun and I loved it so much that I was extremely happy. I got home and cried for a half an hour.
One thing this tragedy did show me was how many people I have in my life who care for me. Even people I have not seen in almost 18 years reached out to me. But it also showed me the people who are not as close to me as I thought they were. And that was hard. It broke my heart in one case. But what can you do? I am just thankful for the people who do love me and I love them right back!
At the end of February, three of my favorite people in the whole world are coming to visit. YAY! I need to see them all so much. Girls, save your appetites until then because I plan on cooking and baking us all into comas! :)
One more thing before I wrap it up. We have a new addition to the family! My xmas present from Bubba:
Thanks for sticking with me through my looooong downtime. I will get some new recipes posted soon!