Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thoughts of the Day (from Pastry School)

I know I have let a few days pass without dropping you a note, and I apologize.  Sometimes, it seems, that time just runs away from you doesn't it?  That can be a good thing is some cases such as when the winter is dragging it's feet and seems like it's never going to end! It's times like these that I want to jump for joy when the high even hits 50 degrees, and then I put on my bright yellow flip flops in my futile attempts to will spring to come early. Here in Seattle, it never does.  

Does it sound like I'm in a funk? I am.

I really wanted to have a nice recipe to share with you, or a clever article about a wonderful ingredient for you to try.  But honestly, today I am simply uninspired.  My mind is, sadly, on many non-food things.  Fortunately, this does make me realize something interesting.  Hopefully interesting enough to fill up a blog....

My education at pastry school was very specified in the art of baking and pastry.  Since I have not had time to enjoy either, I have been dwelling on some funny little thoughts in my mind about what I learned in pastry school that applies to every day life.  Things like:

How to eyeball 1/4 of an inch
So many things in baking need to be cut, filled or frosted a quarter inch thick.  I have gotten pretty good a recognizing exactly this width.  I proves helpful in many ways around the house.

The many uses of an electronic scale
I used to think scales were for kitchen use only, but I am so glad my school required me to buy one of these.  I end up weighing all sorts of things like packages for mailing or my dog (he weighs 5 pounds 8 ounces now!)

How to speak French
So many culinary words come straight from the French language.  When I went to Paris for the first time a year and a half ago I surprised myself at how it helped me be able to get around- and more than just around the menus!

How to work in teams
This is a little more broad, but when stuff needs to get done it needs to get done.  If that means tag teaming, assisting, switching tasks, or letting someone take over.  There is no room for egos at that time.

How to write a little nicer
I can still write nicer on a cake than I can with a pen, but my hands have gotten more artistic and my cursive has improved greatly.  This really goes beyond script to all abilities in the visual arts category, of which I am not naturally inclined.

How to get dirty
Messes happen and they can always be cleaned up.  I once spilled about 20 cracked eggs in a church kitchen.  Everyone gasped, but I was able to laugh, clean up, and move on.  Whether it's flour, sugar, or cocoa powder, getting dirty is fun!

Well, that made me feel better!


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