Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And Den? NO AND DEN!!!

So, it took me three tries to get logged into my blog account. I guess it's been awhile...If you're reading this, congratulations on holding out for THE AWESOME.

As usual, a lot has happened since my last post. Rather than continuing to avoid posting because I'm so overwhelmed by how much has gone on, I'm going to focus on the most recent events.

I graduated from pastry school! My last day of school was in August, but I still miss it every day. For my final showpiece project, I created an edible version of Starry Starry Night by Van Gogh - I think it turned out well.

After that, I had to take a performance test. I had two days, a total of 8 hours to make a 4-layer poured ganache genoise cake with chocolate filagree, 12 croissant, 6 plated mousse desserts with a sauce, garnish and tuille decoration, and 6 creme brulee. It was a lot of work, but amazing in the end. I decided to do a picnic theme, complete with sunflowers, red and white tablecloth, butterfly decorations and black plastic ant accents!

After a short but fun stint, the bakery closed down. There were several reasons things didn't work out, which I won't bore you with here. You just need to know that it was very sad for all of us who helped create such a wonderful space. The owners are going to keep the space for wholesale business, but have closed the retail side down due to limited retail business.

In the mean time...I found another job! I am now working at The Essential Baking Company, in the dessert production department. It is a great job, and I love everyone that I work with...jury is still out on whether this is the right place for me, long term. It's definitely a production focused job - great job security, and plenty of hours, but I'm still figuring out if the large scale stuff is really my cup of tea. Perhaps after the holidays when things are back to normal I can make a balanced judgment.

Nick and I celebrated our 5 year dating anniversary in August! Dare I say we are still as happy as the day we met??? Perhaps even MORE SO????? As usual, our Halloween costumes will be talked about for years to come. I'm still not sure how we come up with such great ideas at the last minute!

Nick is in the midst of his last year of law school at UW, and the most supportive of boyfriends when I come home ready to DIE after a 12 hour day on my feet. I've learned that he is amazing at hand massages, and really handy with a bottle of wine and an empty glass.

This week, during the busiest week of the busiest time of the baking year, Seattle got hit with a giant snow storm! I think most areas got 4 inches at most, YET it was pure insanity. Make fun all you want, but we have crazy crazy hills in Seattle, so driving is disastrous, no matter how well prepared drivers and the city may be. Sunday morning it started snowing, but didn't amount to much. Monday morning I awoke to an inch or so on the ground, but figured the work commute wouldn't be too much of an issue. I was an hour late to work due to bus schedules, but that was NOTHING compared to the commute home! Traffic was a total nightmare once the snow really started coming down...took me 4.5 hours to get home! First, the buses weren't running by my work, so I wound up WALKING about 3 miles to get into downtown Seattle, where I could catch a bus home....Finally got downtown, walking against the wind with ice pellets hitting me the entire time..brutal! So glad Nick talked me into wearing thermals under my clothing that morning, especially after I found out that the windchill brought the temp down to 9 degrees!

I managed to get a bus home, but I5 was totally gridlocked - My bus alternated between total standstill, and going about 2 mph. At one point we passed two vehicles sitting in the middle of the freeway, one giving the other a jump, because their battery had died in traffic! Then, one of the guys on the bus asked if he could step off to go to the bathroom, since we weren't moving anyway. Unfortunately the driver couldn't let him off because we were on the freeway, but the poor guy was so desperate. Someone on the bus offered him a water bottle to pee into! The driver made an announcement, and his very understanding and amused travel companions moved away from the back of the bus so that he could have some privacy.

The driver finally decided to detour and took an early exit....where we got stuck behind a stalled car. The bus driver got out and helped push the car out of the way. As she was walking back to the bus, two cars cut in front of us, and they proceeded to also stall! Oy!!! We FINALLY got out of that mess, and were making pretty good speed down the road, when the bus got stuck on a bit of an incline....we all packed on the back of the bus to try to weigh down the back wheels to help with traction, which seemed to be helping, but then the chains broke! I was a few miles from home at this point, and Nick came and saved me (he's currently driving an all wheel drive vehicle, thank goodness!)

Once home and warm, Nick made me a chili dog, and poured me a glass of wine! Such a pleasant way to end that commute!

And now? Now we prepare for Thanksgiving! Nick's parents are doing most of the cooking, but I am in charge of a dessert item, and Nick is in charge of a side. I wanted to make a less traditional dessert, so I'll be going with a chocolate peanut butter cream pie, and Nick wanted to do a slightly less heavy side, so orzo salad it is!

What are you thankful for this year? I'm thankful for the off-route bus driver who took pity on my cold, nearly lifeless body after work, and also for Nick's skills at making BLTs. Mmmmmm.