Last week, quarter TWO!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

*Breathe in, Breathe out*

Ok. Last week is almost over. I have one more written final tomorrow in my Skills class *AKA Fundamentals of Classical Techniques* and then we deep clean the lab. After that I am off for 3 weeks.


I already know I earned a 110% on my Baking final on Tuesday. I earned WELL over a 100% overall in the class. I'm sad that I won't be taking a baking/pastry/sweets class next quarter, but I want to let the advanced pastry class get up and running before I take it. I think I will learn more that way since others will have gone through it and CJ will have had a chance to work out some of the kinks.

I am still not sure what I earned on my Cost Control project or the final but I will let you know as soon as I find out. Grades have to be turned in tomorrow, I guess.

Today was the practical part of my Skills final. We made Chicken Chardonnay with whipped potatoes and glazed carrots. We also made a veloute sauce to go with it, even though the chicken chardonnay made a sauce that we used on the actual dish. We served the veloute on the side. We then made pot roast and tourneed carrots and potatoes. I'm getting MUCH better at tournes. The knife and not starting out with a square makes it SO MUCH EASIER!!!!!! We also had to show our knife skills by producing 7 different cuts. I'm fairly certain I aced this part of the exam but I won't find out until tomorrow.

To help prepare for the cooking final today, I sat down last night and took all the recipes I was going to be using today and went through all the ingredients. I made a master list of the quantities of each ingredient I would need for all the recipes total so I could just go gather ALL my mise en place at once and not have to run all over for the same items for each recipe separately. This helped ALOT. I also made a list of the tasks I needed to do in what order so things finished in the proper time. I got up at 5am, left at 5:45am, and made it to the school by 6:15am. The doors opened about 2 minutes after I got there, and the few of us who got there early, as recommended, swarmed the kitchen to get ourselves set up for success. I am thankful I prepared. I felt much more calm and confident and was able to keep things pretty well organized throughout. I set up half sheet pans on my speed rack with the recipe card for each dish so once I gathered bulk mise en place, I separated them into the amounts/cuts that I needed for each recipe.

I also prepared by practicing making my pot roast and potatoes one night for Marc and fabricating and cooking the chicken chardonnay another night. I also used the chicken bones to then make chicken stock. It made a whole gallon! Now that I can fabricate the chicken myself AND make chicken stock *which I seem to be going through ALOT of here at home these days* I think I will begin buying whole chickens. It seems like I will get more for my money. Marc love, love, loved the pot roast and potatoes, as well as my glazed carrots and the sauces that went with the pot roast and the chicken chardonnay. The chicken itself wasn't very flavorful when I practiced it at home but I nailed it today at school.

I am ready for this three week break. I'm ready to spend some quality time with the kids!! I miss getting to JUST HANG OUT with them. It just seems like every free moment is taken up with errands or stuff we HAVE to do, and in the few moments we don't HAVE to be doing something, we just want to sit down and BREATHE for a minute. This doesn't make for quality time together. Harmony has been doing amazing at learning to read. She is picking it up so fast, and her confidence is growing with each new word she sounds out and gets right. I love the glow that in on her face and the twinkle in her eyes. At first it was like pulling teeth to get her to sit down and work on reading, but as she gets better and better, she begs us every five seconds to sit down and listen to her read. I am so thrilled to see this love of reading developing. It was the biggest joy of my childhood, teenhood, adulthood...I LOVE reading!!! She was especially excited to get a package of early readers in the mail from her "favorite" cousin, Delaney, this week. She carries them all around in her backpack to keep them safe from Layla's less than gentle hands. I cannot wait to be able to sit down with her and let her read to her hearts content to me.

I also cannot wait to sit and color with Layla for hours. This kid...LOVES to color. She loves to use markers which is only allowed under direct supervision, but she gets so excited when you lay on the floor and just color away with her. She chatters on about this and that and it's some of the best moments of the long as you don't have a million other things pressing for your attention.

One last thing that I am REALLY looking forward to is getting back in the consistent exercise groove. I've still managed to squeeze it in at least twice a week or so throughout school, but not in any routine fashion. This week I went running three days in a row, and I'm hoping it's a kickoff to what I can do once school is out. My goals are to exercise 5 days a week while school is out, to make sure I am drinking enough water, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. My other weakness is eating too late at night, so I am planning on working on that, too. Big plans!!

I'll probably post some things here and there during break about things I'm making around here, but they won't be as often as during school.


FuzZyCram said...

I love being the guinea pig when you practice. You're amazing!! LOVE the pecan pancakes!!! and I LOVE you!

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