Chef Mary and James have promised lots and lots of baking in the week to come; but as of now, the syllabus of this first week includes making sure we understand the basics of baking and its ingredients. They've set it up to aid us in understanding the science behind it all by working with experiments and a small amount of baking to ease us into the program.
We are actually going to be tested on a practical exam as well as a written theory exam..hence the need to take notes down as James and Mary go about the important points of Chemistry and math. To be completely honest; I've not used a pen to write so many pages in years! I sometimes feel like whipping my laptop out and typing out the notes...I mean, seriously; my handwriting sucks anyway! *laughs* I'm getting frustrated at how important it is that I listen...but how difficult it is for me to sit still. I keep thinking to myself.."COme on! Bake something already!"
Every couple of hours...Mary and James whip out interesting experiments with baking products to help satisfy my need to be stirring and mixing batter. YAY! We were divided into 4 groups and were sent off to make pound cakes, creme brulee, jello, and apple crisp each group with a different variation of the original recipe.
Our group of 5 had lots of fun along the way.
At the end of the day; we all got to gather around to discuss the differences in product quality according to what was added to the original formula. They then explained to us why and how these things happen..and what we should lookout for when baking.
As I watched them work at their demonstrations; I realized many habits I have when I bake does have its scientific purpose; it's just something I've never tried to make sense of. I just did it; because it worked! Just little things I do in the kitchen which come naturally from experience and watching others really did play a big part in how baked goods turned out. I guess that's why good baking comes from lots and lots of understanding of its science behind every process. Knowing how ingredients combine and how it reacts to changes in temperature is so crucial to be able to predict outcomes in our final product. It's great now that I have these things explained thoroughly to me. It's fun to watch how each experiment turns out.
We've talked about leavening agents, nuts, fruits, structure builders, eggs, binders...and so much more in just these 3 days.
It's just so much info to absorb! Mary and James are certainly well versed in both culinary and pastry fields. They are both so energetic and inspiring when they teach; the enthusiasm is contagious!I'm having a great GREAT time in class; Oh! our uniforms were passed out today. I'd take a photograph of myself in it; but I still feel a little silly wearing the chef get-up~ *giggle* I don't feel natural in the uniform; but i guess it's one of those things which need time to help ease myself into. Hmm... I'll need to remember to buy an iron to press my washed uniforms weekly.
I was going to take time to reply the comments I received in the past couple of posts and was taken aback. WOW...there were 65 in just one post! I'm overwhelmed by all the support guys... seriously; I wouldn't be the same person without all your generous comments and encouraging words. *sigh* I can't thank you all enough. I am humbled by how much everyone believes in what I do. It almost brings me to tears to think how far this blog has brought me throughout these 2 years. Thanks with all my heart to my many readers who check back occasionally to see how Su is doing. To those who offered to help settle me in here in Orlando; Thank you for your generosity... I'm truly blessed to have made friends worldwide who are willing to lend a hand in my time of need.
If anyone's wondering, I'm doing quite fine right now ;) Don't exactly need any help at the moment...Thanks for the offer though. :P
I'm settling in very well...fixing up my house and my kitchen is shaping up pretty good. I've been trying to stock it up with necessities.
I've signed up for the Farmers Market Day trip with James and Mary this weekend!! We're going to scout for some fresh American produce from farmers in Florida and beyond! So who's EXcited?!... I am!! *jumps around*