build your own cheeseboard chocolate almond macarons (sucre cuit method) roasted chanterelle mushrooms huckleberry pistachio chocolate bar


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archive for April 2007

i could do this

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Tonight I attended the first of my pastry skills classes at the Culinary School of the Rockies (my reward for completing my dissertation). It was terrific! I think I probably had the most experience of the students there, but it was still really educational. My partner happened to be the woman who annoyed me the most. She’s the one who talks about herself to anyone who will listen. She wasn’t very skilled, and that was okay… the part that annoyed me was how she was completely undisciplined and had no sense of priorities, time, urgency, or organization. Still, we got along and she seemed to really like me. Perhaps that was a miscalculation on my part – I should have been a total bitch so she won’t partner with me next week. She really needs to get her mise en place In Place.

We worked on candymaking tonight. It’s quite intense. We arrive, get a brief overview lecture from Shan, our instructor and pastry chef, then it’s like they shout “GO!” and we’re off! In 4 hours, we made fondant, caramel, chocolate caramel, orange hazelnut brittle, lollipops, and then some caramelized sugar decorations. I was in my groove – this was my element! Multi-tasking, mise en place, timing the sugar, cooling the fondant… AND I also took tons of pictures. The best part about it all? There were two dishwashers. I mean two people hired by the CSR to WASH DISHES. Our brittle was the only one to turn out properly – everyone else’s seized. Maybe it’s intuition after years of experimenting on my own, and I like to think that part of my success is because I understand much of the science behind it. Either way, it rocks and I love it.


making the fondant

**Jump for more butter**

a quick break

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

I’m sleeping fitfully at night, which means, not well. By the wee hours, my brain can’t think anymore and so the natural thing to do is go lie down and sleep. Except I go lie down and continue to write and make figures and revisit sections already written – all in my head. I wake every hour or so with clenched jaw and then I’ll remember that I still have to write things like a dedication, biography, and acknowledgements… I just might have a swig of booze tonight before I go to bed and see if that helps my sleep. Heck, it might help my writing too.

Because time is tight, our menu this week is filled with quick dinners that are the equivalent of junk food like hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta, tacos. I love that stuff and we don’t have it that often.


tacos tonight – yogurt instead of sour cream


freaking out

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

I think I’m losing my mind. It’s hard to concentrate without feeling pangs of anxiety.

Kaweah hates us now. We’ve been neglecting her since we both have ridiculous amounts of work to do. She stares at us with such contempt.

I took a break this morning and made another batch of bread pudding to use up the cheese and eggs, this time with bacon and without marjoram. Delish.


beautiful, crispy bacon