(this post will no longer be a mystery) My busy life.. just got a little bit busier. Last weekend (well… Thursday, Friday and Sunday night) I worked… in a restaurant. For those of you who don’t know, I have *little, to no, experience in food services. And I want to, get experience, that is.
Now where do I begin? Last summer I met my friend Phil who is a baker in Jamaica Plain (that’s where I live).. at one point I sort-of kiddingly mentioned that I’d like to apprentice with him. Long story short (and quite a few months later), Phil and a couple of friends of his just so happen to be trying to open up a restaurant and of course I told him I would like to help, in any way I can. Tyler (this fella) is also interested in the savory aspect of food making so he’s involved to. And the two of us are helping out in the kitchen, Tyler more-so shadowing/assisting the chefs and myself, helping Phil (who’s doing the desserts, of course).
panacotta with honey caviar blood oranges and some other stuff…
I’m helping a great deal with plating, but also with odds and ends and everything in between, with both dinner and desserts. It’s a super fun environment, I’m so excited to be a part of it, and I’m learning A LOT. I supremed an orange yesterday, and I didn’t even know what that word meant. And this is coming from a girl who tries to avoid using a knife if at all possible.
The restaurant is called Whisk and I’m going to have to tell you more about it another time. it’s unlike any other place I’ve ever eaten at. It’s a culinary experience, rather than just a dinner. Last weekend they had a “tasting menu” where people paid a set price and got a number of courses over the span of 2 hours. On Thursday, the guy behind BostonTweet was there and he posted about it. They’re still a lot of figuring out to do, and Tyler and I are totally working for free but it’s totally worth it.
*I worked at a Friendly’s at the fountain (scooping ice cream) on weekends for about 6 months when I was in high school. I kind of hated it. And one time I was a waitress (or something) at this place in Boston for like 3 days… but I pretty much forget that that ever happened.
This year I made 2 new years resolutions, 1 - to try my best to doodle/draw daily, and 2 - to take a bath once* a week. I’m happy to say, almost 3 weeks in, I’m doing pretty good. I kind of started doing both of them at the end of last year, and wanted to make sure I made them a priority in my life. It’s really great to make time to take a bath and be calm and quiet once a week. I actually have to set a timer because I want to take at least a 20 minute bath and sometimes I get antsy because I’m not good at just sitting, but I’m getting much better, and I’ve been reading. So why am I talking about this on my baking blog? Because it’s part of my life and it’s my blog and whatever stuff like that… but mostly because I just finished this book:
It’s actually a very small book (in length and size) and a very quick and easy read. The book does share some tips and recipes (as stated on the cover), but I really enjoyed hearing what Peter Mayle and Gerard Auzet had to say. The first half is the author talking about his experience visiting with, and talking to a great baker who’s got bread making in the family and has a well known bakery in the town of Cavaillon. The book made me want to know more about breads and to move to France and be an apprentice in a French bakery.
Almost a year ago was my first time baking for people I might not know, when I made Black and White cookies for an art opening. Usually when I bake I bring it to school, improv shows, or friends houses because I love sharing sweets. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I had recommendations where to buy a birthday cake for her roommate’s party and of course I offered to do it. Since she was willing to buy a cake from a real bakery, she wanted to pay me for my services and thus became my first “real” baking gig. Now I’ve only made a cake once before, which was during my baking class, so I still didn’t really know what I was doing. I was in the kitchen all day yesterday and had a couple of hiccups.
My task was to make a small cake for Vanessa (the birthday girl) and 2 dozen cupcakes. The only stipulation is Vanessa didn’t want chocolate on her cake, she was also in charge of buying the cupcake liners.
I made a mini yellow/funfetti layer cake, and I overfilled the pans so the middle took a really long time to bake and the outside over-baked and the top made a huge dome and I had a lot of cutting to do to make the cake usable. But at least I had a lot left make my roommate test with frosting (my nose is stuffy so my taste buds are off).
Also, I was a little stressed because I lost a lot of the cake, and I didn’t have a cake stand and was having a “what do I think I’m doing? I can’t possibly do this” moment, so the layers didn’t come out as beautifully as planned.
The wonderful thing about making a cake, is that frosting fixes a lot of it. You cover it, and make it pretty, and it all tastes the same. I made a simple buttercream frosting, that reminded me a lot of the kind you buy from a grocery store. It was harder than what I usually make for cupcakes, but was excellent for decorating. I couldn’t make purple, or pink or red because I didn’t have any red food coloring, so I decided to go with turquoise. Viola!
It was my first time doing lettering, and I really liked the line quality. I have some work to do on other decorations.
Almost a year ago I went to Disney World and visited Minnie Mouse’s house and was overjoyed in her kitchen, especially since she seems like such a baker. I think Minnie Mouse is a cartoon mouse version of me… or my idol… or something.
looking at Sleeping Beauty’s house
Well, when I was on vacation in LA last week, I went to Disneyland (for the first time ever!) and I got to visit Minnie’s west coast house. I was ecstatic.
The houses were different but equally wonderful. The kitchen had the same neat cake thing in the oven, but there were some other different things going on in the kitchen. And in Disney World, Minnie has a sewing machine and her house is a little bigger and in Disneyland she has her knitting things out.