I love that the holidays revolve around food. This year I'm in the Big Apple without my closest friends and family to celebrate, but my Christmas will still focus on food: I'll be studying for our mock midterm.

Blogger SaucyA posted a good account of what the chefs look for that day. According to our chef, it's probably the toughest test we take at the French Culinary Institute. Luckily Monday's midterm is only a trial run before our real one comes up. Still, we all want to do well.

On the test we'll draw two recipes we have to cook under deadline. So besides going over and over recipes in my head, here's what I plan to practice in the next few days:

  • Knife skills: Improve speed and accuracy in cutting carrots, turnips and potatoes. Practice turning potatoes, carrots and turnips into cocottes.
  • Make hollandaise sauce. I almost broke the sauce last time during class. I surely won't have enough time to fix it during the midterm.
  • Practice trussing and quartering a chicken. It's fairly straightforward, but I could be more comfortable.
  • Make fresh egg noodles.
  • Make caramel. It's so easy to burn.
  • Cook a fish in the parchment paper bag since my last attempt didn't go so well - the bag didn't puff up enough.
  • Make a pate sucree, the tart dough for an apple tart we've been baking.

I have all this to do before Saturday, when I head out to San Francisco for the first time. I'll be eating non-stop and will definitely post about it.