Three too many classes

I knew this semester was going be tough; I decided to cram in my last three classes so that I can graduate in the spring. Each class requires oral presentations, research and everything I love about food history. The tough part will be finding enough time to devote to my studies while devoting enough time to my bank and wallet via freelance work. It will be an exhausting semester, but being able to see that bright beautiful light at the end of the tunnel will keep me inspired.

In Baking II, we’re just expanding on the basics of the pastry kitchen, diving deeper into yeast breads, cake decorating, pastries and chocolate work. Since I do quite a lot of baking (but not enough to skip the class), I was concerned I might be bored — the idea of having to make muffins and other quick breads for an entire semester sounded dreadful. I asked chef if I could experiment with some gluten-free flours when we work with quick breads and yeast breads, to which he gave two thumbs up, so it should prove to be an interesting class. My goal is to come up with a no-fail, all-purpose GF flour ratio that isn’t gritty.

International class is amazing. I’ve been begging for food history and got my wish. We’re discussing topography, climate, history and anything else that may have influenced a country’s cuisine, and then we cook 7 or so recipes from different regions. Starting with Africa, we’ll eventually eat our way around the world, ending with Mexico.

Garde Manger was canceled at the last minute this week so we could all focus on the ACF competition that same day. Our school has been doing quite well; I’m really proud of our culinary team. When class picks up next week, we’ll be focusing on aspics; I’m not sure how I feel about that just yet.