Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Baking classes are awesome.

I've never been one to get up at 5:55 a.m., but I'm doing it, and have not yet fallen asleep on my way to school.
Which is good.

The class itself is 5 hours long, so I get out at lunch time and have the rest of the day to myself. Since it's 3 days a week for 6 weeks, and today was the 5th class, today was technically week 5 if I was in a regular 18 week semester.

That is something I am so grateful for! A week really is a long time to be able to forget everything you just learned. This way, you learn a bunch of new things every day, are tested on it the next day, and are allowed to build on that knowledge immediately.

But, as always, what is school without the crazies?

The following conversation took place earlier today:

Max: How many ounces are in 2 pounds?
Chef K: Well, there are 16 ounces in 1 pound...
Max: Yeah, but how many are in 2 pounds?
Chef K: Think about it. If 1 pound is 16 ounces, you need another 16 ounces to make 2 pounds. Right?
Max: So I need 16 plus 16. What is 16 plus 16?
Chef K: You tell me.
Max: I don't know. What is it?
Chef K: Work it out on paper if you can't figure it out in your head.
Max looks at the rest of the class in the kitchen: What is 16 plus 16?
No one answers. Max repeats himself, and I get frustrated.
Me: It's 32.
Max: No, what's 16 plus 16?
Me: It's 32!
Chef K: Mary, let him figure it out.
Max: Urgh! What is 16 plus 16?

Somehow, he figured it out. Everything was fine until he tried to weight out 32 ounces on a 28 ounce scale...

There was another situation later on, too. Chef K yelled across the kitchen: "Whose cookies are smoking black?" to which the same student yelled back, "No. No! No! NO! NOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! D*** IT! NO! GOSH. NO!"

It was impossible not to burst out laughing. Seriously, you would have thought this guy had just arrived at the scene of car accident where a loved one had just died. (Which is not funny, by the way.)

I understand that it's entirely possible that there is something "wrong" with this man, especially since he expresses a series of anger outbursts in each class. However, after the chef told him to discard of his cookies, he pointed to a sheet pan of chocolate cookies and said, "Do you want me to throw out these burnt cookies, too?"

They were mine, and they were not burnt.



Anyway, the first day of baking class was the first day of cooking classes for several students. There's a lady who is very nice and has a kid my age, so she's old enough to be my mother. Day 1, she looked so scared, and I remembered that feeling very vividly, so I decided to take her under my wing, show her around, and feel good that I was high enough on the food chain (finally!).

I regret this.

This woman is very comfortable with me, and everything is now, "Ugh, I have a meeting after school. I am so not looking forward to it." or "I don't want to make this." or "I haven't memorized the 3 muffin methods. I am so going to fail this quiz. HOW can I forget it?"

I've decided that the best way to handle this is to limit her to 3-5 "Aww"'s a day. I'm confident that she'll use these up before class even starts. Small talk in the locker rooms are always interesting and that's where she usually complains the most. That's 7:15 in the morning. I seriously CANNOT understand HOW a person can wake up and complain like that every day. If it's raining, thank God for the cleansing waters and the meditative weather. If it's sunny, thank God for the sunshine, which reflects His glory.

Who cares if the rain messes up your hair? Who cares if the sun is making everything muggy? Is there anywhere where God says, "It's okay. I failed today. You don't have to thank Me for what I've done."

With this lady, it's stepped up a bit more this week. She's not only complaining, she's thrown in a few undeniably, unwarranted snide remarks to me. The kind where she lifts up and eyebrow and pinches her lips together.

Okay, you can find your own darn corn starch from now on.

I don't think I have too much to worry about. While she's under her rain cloud, I'm busy going over to Mr. Williams saying, "Watchu talkin' 'bout, Willis Williams?" and commenting on how a freaky-shaped buttermilk biscuit looks like the Millennium Falcon.

I like to make myself laugh.

ANYWAY, yesterday I made 7-1/2 pounds of whole wheat bread dough. I "baked that off" today and it feels ohsogood. You know in the movies, the over-dramatized knocking on the bread and the main characters goes, "Ahhhhhhhh." I knocked on my bread like 3 times today, and said, "Ahhhhhhhh." Fresh. Wholesome. Ahhhhhhhh.

Today I also made cookies called Chocolate Jumble Cookies, with chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and instant vanilla coffee. (These are the ones that Max thought were burnt and ready for the garbage) They tasted pretty darn good, but each cookie looked like a piece of regular chocolate cookie dough that had plunged itself from a very tall building. I guess they got depressed from listening to my partner.

And, at this very moment, all my mise en place is ready in the school fridge for blueberry muffins. The class across the hall makes entrees all morning, so I get to sample fresh pasta, salmon, duck, seared and roasted chicken, and ginger-infused mashed potatoes.

I have gained 5 pounds, but that doesn't mean anything. My digestive system is confusing. If I eat too much, I get sick and lose weight. If I don't eat much, my body hoards the food to supply me with the necessary energy. I can exercise all week long and eat healthy food, and gain 3 pounds. I can overeat and eat every gram of fat that I can get my hands on, and lose 3 pounds. If I go by how my clothes fit, I can fit into a pair of shorts that my mom bought me 3-4 summers ago that I couldn't fit into last summer.

As much as I eat, I exercise, too. Remember the 5K I was training for? That was this past weekend. I ran with my friend, and we finished in 0:36:38. I'm planning on signing up for another in August and I also plan on shaving another 6 minutes off my record 3.1 mile time and finishing in 30 minutes or less.

That's all. If you read ALL OF THE ABOVE, you deserve a medal because. You. Are. Awesome.

And are obviously not A.D.D.

Or if you are, then this post totally made sense to you.

Off to watch Perry Mason!

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