Both of my finals were/are today – Food and Beverage Management, which I took this morning and aced; and Food Safety tonight, which I’m most nervous about passing. I didn’t study much this weekend…because…I WON! I won the apple category in the Crisco National Pie Championships, professional division. Although I didn’t win “best of show,” I was voted best apple pie in America by the American Pie Council. I’m still shocked. I entered only one pie. I’ve never entered this competition before. And I’m not a professional baker (yet). I couldn’t sit still last night, I was so excited. Studying and sleep both took a back burner.

Food Network filmed us all day Saturday – we each had our own film crew that followed the entire production/baking process. I’m not sure how it will all be edited, who will be featured, etc. but can’t wait to find out when the promos hit the air this summer. They did follow 4 professional bakers as the focus of the Food Network Challenge series, so I’m not sure if they’ll pepper the rest of us into that show, or create another show. Regardless, it was such a fun weekend – I can’t wait to enter again next year.

I had two mini-disasters they captured on camera. First, my apples had been sitting out and were at room temperature, not as firm as I would have liked them to be, so the apple corer/peeler didn’t work well. I had to peel and cut the apples by hand and all I had was my 7″ Usuba Mercer knife. They thankfully found me a pairing knife, but I lost a lot of time. Second, I made my own butter, which takes about 20 minutes. I could hear the cream starting to break at one point – I was at the “looks like runny scrambled eggs” stage. I should have stayed at the mixer, but walked away to finish cutting the apples, and, SLOSH! The cream broke with the mixer on high and buttermilk went everywhere. The camera guy ran over to catch it on film. I turned it off, commenting about the mess I had made, and then instead of switching the release to raise the mixer head out of the bowl, I switched the mixer on. I splashed buttermilk everywhere again, including all over me, the camera and the camera guy. Ooops. But, I made butter on TV, and I don’t think anyone has ever done that in a Food Network Challenge before.

Unfortunately, with all of the excitement, I forgot to make my tuition payment for summer session and was bumped out of my Quantity I class. I tried to register again today, but my spot was already taken. I’m working with the adviser to see if I can get into anything at this point so I don’t lose time. Otherwise, it will be summer break for me, with classes again in August. Bummer.