No, you can't borrow my knife

This week and last was all about cake baking. I never did enjoy baking, frosting and decorating cakes. And although I learned the proper way to level, crumb coat and frost cakes this week, I’m still not crazy about the whole process. I think it’s because I don’t really enjoy eating frosted cake.

Valencia’s “career program” curriculum came shining through this week as we were kind of left to our own accord again. Instead of a demo, we watched a video last week on how to crumb coat a cake. Key phrase is “last week.” Hardly anyone in the class remembered we had baked cakes in the first place, let alone watched a video on how to crumb coat and frost.

At the beginning of class, Chef asked us to save the cake scraps for decoration by crumbing them up and adding them to the frosted cake to hide any mistakes. This wasn’t explained very well and most everyone in the class was confused about scrap crumbs vs. a crumb coat. Yeah.

I must have looked like I knew what I was doing (which I really didn’t), because I answered the same question at least four or five times for students who, like me, were kind of wondering what the heck we were supposed to be doing. Without instruction, I just did what I’ve watched people on TV do, and what I’ve seen in bakeries. And honestly, if I hadn’t watched so much television, read books on my own about baking and cooking, I’d probably be asking the very same questions my classmates were asking.

A note to my classmates: stop borrowing my stuff
Help is one thing. I’m always happy to help a fellow classmate with questions. However, using my knives and equipment is absolutely out of the question. And this week, everyone seemed to be OK helping themselves to my offset spatulas, chef’s knife and who knows what else. After the third, “Is this yours?” question about equipment coming to me from the dishroom, I shut it down. I put everything away – my knives, my garnishing kit, measuring spoons, cups, spatulas. Everything. “Can I borrow your…” was quickly ended with a firm, “No. Where is yours?” “Oh, I didn’t bring it.” I guess that’s too bad for you then, isn’t it? (I didn’t say that last part – my facial expression sure did)

I did bring my serrated knife out at the end of the night to cut our cake. There are 20 people in our class and only two knives made it to the presentation table. I cut our cake into slices, served, and before I knew it, “Can I borrow your knife for just a second.” I passed it over to D (the boy who talks too much, but has since grown on me). Then one of the girls in the class asked the same question. I looked her square in the eye and said in my mom-voice, “Where is your knife?” “I already put it away.” “Well, I’m washing mine and putting it away as well, so you should probably go get yours.” She looked a little surprised and I didn’t really care.

So, the night left us with a funky cake – R, TR and I all had a chance to level and slice a tier. And we each cut them in different thicknesses (not on purpose), so our layers looked a little crazy. We also ran out of buttercream for piping, so we used shards of chocolate that had been silkscreened with designs. It turned out to be an abstract, wacky cake. I thought it looked kind of cool. Everyone else’s cakes looked like they came from the grocery store bakery, all Stepford and identical. But ours represented me, R and TR very well – we get the job done, but definitely in our own quirky way.

Next week, laminated doughs.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.