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| August 29, 2016


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baking school: all the small things.

I became best friends with an iron garden shovel during my snow day. Or maybe mortal enemies - depends on how you look at it. I don't know about the rest of Toronto, but our little neck of the woods got pounded on. I'm pretty sure it came down from the moment I fell asleep to the wee hours of the following morning. I haven't seen that much snow on my car in years - and we just had a blizzard, didn't we? Exactly.

I had just finished my book when I heard Nadia calling my name from downstairs - turns out she got her car stuck and has a bad back. And now we know why I met Mr. Garden Tool. We spent the greater part of the evening shoveling out her car and the alley surrounding it (apparently the city doesn't recognize the road as a street and therefore doesn't plow, even though there are at least two dozen garages emptying onto it). I said lots of silent prayers as she tried to get her car into the garage, because she was slipping and sliding mere feet from where I stood next to my own vehicle.

But all is well, and there are lots more pleas of protection going up to Jesus because my greatest fear is sliding backwards into another vehicle at the stoplights on the way to school. Who puts stoplights on hills??!  And why are there so many hills?! I now understand the thought in blasting through mountains with dynamite to make flat roads. Toronto could have used you, dynamite-blasters.

I told the lady in the office to take her time getting back with me about what the plans were for the next day of class, saying that I understood her job was probably a lot more stressful because of the cancellation, and all I would be doing was reading in bed (hahaha). Apparently she took that as "let me know in five years" because I'm still waiting for that email.

Despite being neglected, I showed up for class anyway and life carried on as usual… though a car did get stuck in front of me in the alley and I feared that I was doomed to be stranded in Canadaland forever. We accomplished a ton today, again running until 5:30 because I guess that’s just how pastry week goes. I keep getting stuck mopping the floors and I can tell you - whenever I have my own place I’m investing in a Swiffer.

We baked the apple pies in the morning, then spent our day making petit fours desserts. Apparently these aren't just the cute little cake stacks that you see at fancy tea parties. Instead, it refers to anything dainty and small. Exciting, but also kind of a bummer, since I really wanted to make those cakes. Nonetheless, we marched on and made up a Pâte-à-Choux for preparing profiteroles, complete with pastry cream and Chantilly cream for filling (basically sweetened whipped cream). The pies were surprisingly wonderful, and I’m a little sad that I won’t be sharing mine with anyone. The crust tastes excellent and flakes wonderfully, and the insides are simply ooey goodness. I’m planning on shamelessly finishing it for dinner tonight.

We also made Pesche - which are cute little cookie sandwiches that look like peaches. They were prepared with lemon zest and soaked in colored brandy simple syrup (though normally the liquor is accordingly peach schnapps), then tossed with sugar and stuffed with pastry cream. Aren’t they just so cute?! I wish I could have taken a better picture instead of using the glum-looking kitchen counter, but I plan to spend my morning packing up the car instead of straddling the windowsill with my camera.

Lastly, we finished up our lemon meringue tarts. While I manned the mop and marveled at how effortlessly and thoroughly we desecrate the floor, our instructor scorched the tarts to make them look all fancy and presentable.

And now here I sit, not wanting to finish preparing for the exam but knowing full well that I need to.

This won’t be my last baking school post, but it will be the last for a while. FINALLY - time to travel back home and make my family panic at the sheer volume of desserts I’m bringing along. Thank you for following me in this journey! I apologize for getting a wee bit boring towards the tale end… I believe that’s the stress and exam anxiety shining through.

Tomorrow will be great. I’m going to ace every bit of that final and do it in record time. Positive talk works, right? That’s why people talk to their plants - should work for me, too!

Until next time, eh?

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