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Three weeks ago we consumed our last three loaves of my bread from school. If you had asked me a couple months ago I would have swore I had stocked enough to last until Christmas, but a couple of social functions and a teenage craving later and here we are, back to using the bread machine or buying the pricey versions of bread that they sell at stores. It is amazing how quickly one can become spoiled.

The problem is we’ve finished with our bread session at school. If I could only make peace with my oven, I might be able to make some good loaves at home, but alas, though my oven has been a part of the family for 12 years, it pales beside the giant rotating and stone ovens that I have become smitten with at school.

Now I am making cookies, pastries and pies. I am not complaining, but it is a very different experience to be bringing home sweets and indulgences instead of a basic staple of healthy diets. For one thing, being the creator of my dainty items of delight, I am acutely aware of the ridiculously high percentages of butter and sugar that make up their final mass. They’re only tiny, but once you’ve told that to yourself five times in one afternoon, you start to lose your credibility.

At least I’ve stocked up for Christmas. My freezer is very full, with only 2 baking days left in this semester. Here is a sample of some of the items in it

Assorted pies

Fruit flans

Decorating these was so much fun. As they are items that would not freeze well, they are long gone. My fridge has 2 jugs of pastry cream in case I want to do more. First I need to get some tart pans though,  and find a good assortment of pretty fruit in the stores. Apricot jam is also needed for glazing. In class, it’s always about striking a balance between making something beautiful, and doing it in a reasonably quick time. Chef has no problem telling us “This is shit!” or the other extreme “Yes, it’s nice but you took so long I would have had to pay you $15 to make the damn thing!”.

I love my chef. He isn’t giving us any delusions about the real world outside of school.

 

Tart production day

The one advantage with sweets is that they’re better for bribes then bread. Dropping my younger daughter off at school often involves ducking inside with a tin of goodies and teachers perking right up when they see me in the halls. Not that she isn’t a great student on her own, it just never hurts to help.

Looking forward to next semester. In the meantime, I have lots to eat and share.

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