Another exam day. I was able to wake up early enough that I could study and review all of the principles I needed to know from my textbook. As I walked to school, an elderly lady stopped and talked with me about culinary school.
“Do you love it? Do you really love it?”
She was adorable and I wish I had been able to talk to her more. In the classroom, stresses were high again. Two exams: written and practical. The written portion was actually quite challenging and the practical was broken in four parts—recreating chocolate chip muffins, making a half recipe of pastry cream, furnishing 10 water holding cornets, and piping. I was pretty tired, but I was able to pace myself keep quick on my feet. I presented my work at my station which I decorated with piped parchment. I didn’t want to just pipe the required text so I used my knife to decoratively cut my parchment. I used the extra piping gel to pipe a design on the shaped paper. I plated my products and called for Chef. I could spot a little smile in the corner of Chef’s mouth, but it quickly faded.
“Euh, I do not like zeez two biscuits!”
Chef pointed at two biscuits that looked rather similar to the rest of them. Caught off guard, I search for the right thing to say.
“Thaire eez some-sing about zem I do not like. I can’t figure eet out.”
I decided to keep silent.
“Very good Zonatan.”
As he checked my cornets—miniature piping bags made out of parchment paper, it placed water in each of the ten bags checking for flaws. If the homemade bag drizzled, minus one. If it dripped, minus one-half. If it did not leak at all, perfect score. Two of my bags leaked (sigh). It was funny to see Chef pouring water in the cornets and watching each student’s reaction to their very visible failure. Oh, that probably sounds quite awful. What I mean to say is that the situation was quite comical. I was probably the most fun to watch—I think I gasped rather loudly, twice.
I think Chef Knight has started a daily class tradition of picking on me—I think it all started with the Pringles. She always asks, “What are you eating?” I guess I should explain that although in traditional educational institutions eating during class is discouraged and can be disruptive; here, it’s encouraged! For example, Chef Knight walked over to my desk at the beginning of class.
“What are you eating over here?”
As she thumbed through my sack lunch (no joke), I let her know she could have whatever she wanted.
“Ooo, I’ll try that!”
Chef Knight has actually grown on me. We spent approximately 10 minutes talking about my reaction to the mysterious cucumber lemonade/foul shrimp episode. She then continued to make jokes regarding my face throughout the remainder of the period. She’s funny.
When I arrived at the home this afternoon, I quickly showered and made a very important phone call after which I helped Yolanda prepare some homemade pizza. Following dinner, I walked five doors down the sidewalk where Melanie McMullin (Carter), my dear friend from high school, lives with her husband. I spent a couple of hours there, which we used to catch up. It was nice to be with someone with whom I already feel quite close. By 11pm, my new curfew (ha), I made the 30-second walk back home and went to bed.