Sunday, June 25, 2006

It's been a long six months, but my 2 weeks summer vacation starts today. And I am doing nothing. The sweet table for Angel's wedding is done. That was a lot of work, close to a thousand petit fours all in one day. Eclairs, cream puffs, opera torte, fresh berry tartlets, and my famous pianono torte. Next time somebody asks me to do desserts, they will have to pick them up from my house. That was a long drive and I was too tired to attend the reception, so I slipped away. The night before, I did not get home until past 2 am. The graduating class of Stephanie, Lauren and Bernadette, with Chef Skufca went out for coffee and drinks at the Iberico. We will miss them.

what is nothing? Cleaning the garage, painting the garage, sealing the driveway, repainting the window trims, transplanting some plants, sewing some tote bags, organizing some disks, catching up and organizing paper work, reading, serious shopping and bonfires at night. Maybe, I will buy a bottle of tequila for some Margharitas. Life is good. Here's to your summer vacation, and what you do with it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

This is my demo cake for the just concluded cake decorating class. It has all the required elements set in the manuals. I explain to the students that these elements may seem obsolete or very traditional, but it teaches them patience, fine-detailed work and piping techniques.

I try not to forget that this is the first time students are making gumpaste flowers or covering a cake with rolled fondant. And this may be the only time they'll do a tiered cake, so I try to show as many different techniques and flowers, and practice is left for the passionate.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

when this thing appeared in my backyard 2 years ago, I thought for sure somebody was buried in my yard overnight. I realized it was an obscene mushroom. This year, I have had two so far. It is a little stinky, too. I did a little research and found out it is a member of the Phallaceae family. It is quite funny, and shuddering at the same time.

Back from Ottawa and just finishing up with the Cake Decorating Class and we're off for 2 weeks. I still have to do a sweet table this weekend, and after that,
Jim and I always say how lucky we are to have our own vacation spot. It is peaceful, it is very lush, cool, and colorful. We've worked hard to get the garden this way, and although the work is neverending, it is gratifying.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wow...can I take some of those copper bowls and pots back to Chicago?

Well, the wedding is over. I flew back to Chicago Saturday night, even before the reception started. so I can be in Ottawa for the LeCordon Bleu Cross-Training Program on Sunday. My flight was 2 hours late, and I get into Ottawa pretty late. All the instructors are staying in one hotel downtown and it is a pretty comfortable property with plush beddings and free high speed internet, breakfast and hors d'oeurves. We walked to the school this morning, and it wasn't that quite close as Kirk says, but anyhow, still fun. It was a pretty busy day. Herve Chabert demo'd so many doughs, yeast doughs, and creams. He also produced, assembled and presented Gateau St Honore and Charlotte aux poire. Chef Laurent Pages is currently at the Orlando School, so we won't see him.

Tomorrow is our first practical, we are supposed to do 2 products, and hopefully, I will get done without much embarassment and sweat. I have done these 2 products quite a lot and barring any accidents, it should be a breeze. I shouldn't talk, though.

A lot of us intend to go to the Bayward Market tomorrow night after the practicals, so I will post some pictures If I can. I would love to start collecting pictures of open markets all over the world to show how other cultures celebrate food.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sunday, June 04, 2006


candies, cousin is getting married Saturday in Minneapolis and I am making 200 boxes of truffles, with 4-5 truffles per box. I have selected hazelnut, passionfruit, coconut jam, caramel, coffee as my flavors. Albert Uster was so generous in giving us some DesAlpes couveture, leftover from their chocolate methodology tour at our school, plus a little bit leftover in my pantry. They are turning out pretty nice, I have made about 600 of them so far. I am also making the wedding cake. I haven't quite decided if I am making gumpaste flowers or just fly in with some fresh flowers from Hausermann Orchids. As you can imagine, my tiny kitchen at home is covered with chocolate.