January 10, 2008

My writing finger hurts ...*pout* :P Hehe~

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*


Anonymous said...

I check my feed every night hoping you post something new lol. I am always excited to read your new journey.

Hey, you are right. I have recently jot down a lot of notes and I realised that my handwriting is even uglier and I forgot how to write. Wondering if in future human will know how to write?

I'd love to see your photograph in chef uniform. Have fun at Farmer Market. Do remember to take lots of pictures and post on blog lol.

Anonymous said...

Well Done Su!
This is Chiara from Italy. WOW, this American experience is just great, my best whishes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Su, it's Chiara again!!! Which group are you in???just wondering and very curious;-) Waiting more posts!

Beks said...

Sounds like you're having a great time so far. I'm totally jealous. Science and baking are seriously two of my most favourite things.
Have a good time at the farmers market and I hope you manage to pick up some major yummies. Take care!

Myla said...

hi, tutto benne?!

i've been readying u for some months now. i'm a Brazilian woman who truly adores your work (and to make good food as well, hehehe)

in my opinion, your work is impeccably fresh, creative and quite, quite inspiring!!!!

all the best for you always!

Anonymous said...

Hi Su Yin,
There's James in every snap...hmmmm. So excited for you and your new school. I'm still biting my lips.


Your writing finger hurts? So do I my dear. Hahaha... Can't wait to see more pictures from u.


Anonymous said...

Su, great job for everything, I don't think you need to go to pastry school since all your creations already first class.

why don't you try to apply for the job instead? I always watch chef Duff of Ace of Cakes (foodnetwork) you should try work with him, you guys will rock


Anonymous said...

hei Su, its me again, about the writing finger, yeah, I just figured it out that my finger also kinda stiff for never using pen/pencil for writing, I think Linda (hi) was right, maybe in the future we all will forgot how to write using pen/pencil


Anonymous said...

They let you take your Camera in there? Awesome.

It looks so fresh and exciting. A new chapter in your life for sure.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the States! I'm from NY and I've read you blogs off and on since early last year.

Definitely watch the Food Network, especially "Ace of Cakes". Giada of "Everyday Italian" also makes desserts so don't forget to tune her in as well. Only problem is that whenever I watch her show, I have the urge to buy pretty things for my kitchen!

Anyway good luck! Aside from eating and making things "western", Asian food will also be missed! I know I do!

Unknown said...

hey babe!!
i cant believe that ur blog has turn into `friendster` to me!!i check it every day for new,mouth-watering,drooling pics (food and of course,James!*blushing*) and exciting journey of urs.
I'm a malaysian student studying abroad just like you and i just love to try new recipes everyday!I hope one day i can have a blog just like you n we can share experiences n recipes!hihihi...
By the way,i'm wondering what is tasty cheese?i saw that in ur 3-minute-sauce.is it a cheese or a mixed cheese?i've tried once using cheddar n i didnt like the taste.
So su-yin...take care!

p/s:i would like to book my wedding cake from u in advance!no worries.it would be probably in 2011 ;p

Orion said...

Congrats Su. I salute ur bravo head on approach in a new place. If I was in your shoes, I would be hiding under a tree Haha. All the best then....

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

linda: haha yea...handwriting is like learning to swim after 10 years of not being in the water. It's kinda awkward but you know how to do it. I'm not really into taking pictures of myself..but i'll try one day when i wake up early enough to take a shot! haha i get all dirty by afternoon and its not a neat pic to take!

chiara: thanks for the well wishes! nice to hear from you all the way from italy!

rebecca: it was heaps of fun! I really love baking..but the science bit kinda intimidates me alittle. Im a little more of a hands-on type of girl..academics really send me the shivers..haha

myla: hi there! it's amazing to hear from people all over the world! thanks for the support and kind words about my work. Truly uplifting..i really appreciate it :)

wiz: ....Hahaha I see you like to see James in my pictures..

wan: :) there's more to come!

meina: aww..thats so sweet of you to say; i really don't think i'm at that level yet though; this school will definitely seal the deal for me. It's so very amazing..I love it! Ace of Cakes is cool..i dont think duff would hire me though; his entire team consists of his friends..haha I might send him an email to tell him of my existence..maybe...one day..haha..maybe..

graeme: yea they do; it's real cool...they completely encourage it. i think theyre getting a bit of business from me too; guys have been mailing me about entry into their school. Beverly is going to be very happy with me :P haha

anonymous: wow..thanks. I've been watching Giada..shes absolutely stunning! I love her italian dishes~ haha..Ace of cakes is da-bomb! I love it!

norly: heyhey~ Haha...the girls all like to see James... its kinda weird..cause he's my instructor..and i have to call him "Chef James"..GOod luck to you in your studies abroad! it's always a great opportunity.
Tasty cheese is just something we have in australian supermarkets. It's made from full bodied cheddar; it should be similar. Don't try this with our common sliced cheese in the little plastic wrappers though; THAT is NOT cheese! haha..use some grated mozzarella in the cheese sauce; it'll be good too

Orion: I miss YA!!! I hope things are well with you