The Last Straw and the First Burn

I got my first burn in baking class today - a right of passage, I'm told. Maybe so, but it still hurt like hell. I was picking up someone's pan, trying to be helpful, and the side of the pan, which had just come out of the oven, hit my unprotected forearm.

It seemed the perfect Karmic spanking for me, because I completely freaked out in class today, using a tone of voice that surprised even me - a tone that caused fellow classmates to chuckle and raise eyebrows while whispering under their breath. It was a perfect blend of "are you kidding me?" and "for crying out loud" and "you're grounded" with a bit of valley girl thrown in for good measure. I think the only thing I was missing was the neck roll, finger point and a great big "oh no, you di'ant."

Last week everyone seemed to be OK borrowing my knives and offset spatulas without permission, which was simply unacceptable. And I wasn't going to let it happen again today - I kept things under close supervision, and hidden.

But somehow, my shiny new bench scraper, which had been purposely tucked beneath my knife roll, mysteriously ended up at station #2. I happened to be at station #2 watching Chef's puff pastry demo, when I spied one very shiny new stainless bench scraper with a particularly familiar shape that could only be found on the Internet - and I KNOW no one in our class had ordered anything from the Internet; it’s a miracle if they have the required tools to begin with, let alone taking the time to source equipment online.

Here's how it went down:

Me: (in a most accusatory tone) Um, WHERE did you get that bench scraper?
Classmates: From over there (pointing to my station)
Me: (in my most pissed off voice) Jeez guys, can you PLEASE ask me first?!
Classmates: It was Chef - he told us to go get it.
Chef: It was my fault. I saw it there was my fault, it was me.
Me: (shaking my head) Well, Chef. You and me, 3 p.m., schoolyard (referencing a fist fight).

I was furious. And Chef knew it. VA, a very sweet girl in our class who happened to be using the bench scraper as I was freaking out, immediately took responsibility, stopped what she was doing, and washed my bench scraper. While handing it to me, she deeply apologized. And I felt terrible, because she really is a sweet girl, and Chef was the culprit (this time).

Later at the butcher block table, as I was rolling out our 3rd puff pastry fold, Chef said to me, "Dawn, can I borrow your bench scraper?" "Yes," I said. "And thank you for asking." "Just kidding," he replied.

Hilarious, Chef. Really.

OK, so despite another nail biting episode of “who took my stuff this week,” we (me, R and TR) made 11 lbs. of the most beautiful laminated dough today - I can't wait to use it next week. And although I hate the idea of marking my territory with nail polish, I think all of my tools may have a date with a dab of passion-pink or candy apple red before next class.

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            Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
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