• Eliana

Day 53: Nonstop Giggles.

If I had one word to describe the day it would be- giggles. From the second I stepped into the kitchen, I was all over the place and not serious at all. It was just one of those days (even though you all think everyday of mine is like this). Being that today was pastry day, I guess I chose a relatively good day to be all fluffy and giggly. We had to make two dishes- apple tart and profiteroles. Like every other station, we have to multitask between the two dishes. While making the apple tart, I forgot to include the salt and sugar to the dry ingredients (flour). I gathered and measured them out, but forgot to put them in even though they were staring at me right in the face. I then chopped the butter into the dry ingredients before adding egg and water. When chef came around she noticed that I had missed a step and that is how we figured out about my missing ingredients. Guess what! I had to start all over again. What do I do? Start laughing- chef didn’t find that amusing that I thought it was a joke. So, I started over from the beginning. My second dough I managed to get correctly and let is sit in the fridge while I worked on my pate a choux dough.

Pate a choux dough is a classic dough in French cuisine, as well as many cuisines. You basically create the dough on the stove to dry out the water, flour, butter, sugar, salt, etc. Then off the fire, you add 4 eggs one at a time into the dough until it is all incorporated. Then you pipe out little dough dumplings to cook in the oven until golden brown and dried out. Well, our oven was acting all funky (this kitchen’s ovens all belong in a pysch ward because their temperatures are SO unstable) so our little puffs dried out too quickly, but luckily I was able to salvage a good amount of them. While these little puffs were drying out, I began to make my apple compote to use as the filling for the apple tart. Once my compote was finished, I then took my tart dough out and began rolling in. For some reason, I am not the best dough roller out there, so my dough will not be winning any Miss USA pageants any time soon. Once again, I aggravated chef because she told me to put it back in the fridge because of the dough was getting too warm and unmanageable. Well, I figured I was almost done and didn’t feel like waiting, so I just decided to quickly work with what I had. When chef came back around, she told me to stop “whining” if I already know what to do. The way it came out was kind of harsh and I think she could tell that by my facial expressions. I then put my tart in the freezer to cool off before adding my compote and sliced apples on top. Into the oven my apple tart went for a quite some time.

When it was time to whip my cream into crème Chantilly and create my chocolate sauce, I was ready to begin plating the profiteroles. So, chef only showed the people doing pastry the day before how to slice the puffs correctly. I never saw exactly how to do it, but chef said I should pay closer attention when she shows us a finished exemplar dish. Again, my bad (giggle). Well, I cut my puffs the wrong way obviously and as a result got spoken to again, but this time I really couldn’t stop laughing. It wasn’t my usual laugh (loud and unmistakable), but was my nervous laugh where I know that I am not supposed to be laughing, but can’t stop even if I try to because the more I get told to stop laughing, the more I laugh out of nervousness. So, when chef told me I did it wrong, once again, I couldn’t help myself but giggle. Chef was HIGHLY offended and told me that she was going to ask me to leave if I didn’t stop. Jack was NO help! Giggling away also, but his back was to chef and he wasn’t in the red zone of the target. Well, I plated my crème puffs, presented them, but chef wouldn’t taste mine, the sous chef Nic did. Oy! I really did a boo boo.

After my crème puffs, I took the apple tart out of the oven when it was nice and brown. I left it by the window to cool. I feel bad that chef was NOT happy with me, so I decided to apologize and explain to her why I was laughing. I spoke with her and said something along these lines “Chef, I never meant to be disrespectful to you. I have so much respect for you as a chef and teacher. I laugh when I get nervous and I knew that I kept messing up, so it made me giggle even more, but I am sorry.” Chef said that I have to stop having a defeatists mentality, I have learn how to say “yes chef” sometimes and keep my mouth closed, and she appreciated my apology. Well that went well for as nervous as I was to confront her.

I presented my apple tart and did a nice job. I need to work on my crème rosettes on the side and maybe my apple slice layout on top. At the end of the class, chef had us do a cocotte competition because the Idaho potatoes we got today were MASSIVE. Carlos was pretending that the potato was his baby, it was that big. Tomorrow I am off to the garde manager station to make poached eggs and consommé again.

Lots of laughs!

Eliana

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