Whoa…it’s been a crazy couple of days. I was rather disappointed that they closed the park at Seward for some v-ball tournament, but I managed to take care of a few things and at least I caught Harry Potter at the movies. =) Was going to start on my externship notebook, but when I looked for my flash drives, I realized I tossed them under my desk a couple weeks ago and forgot to put it back in my bag…I really hope someone turned it in to the office building….not optimistic, but if worse comes to worse, I really hope that the person who took the drives deletes everything on them. Aside from some office material and my resume stuff, I have rather personal pics on those…oooooh $hit!!!!!! Not only that, I lost my camera case and memory card reader at the restaurant…I can still hook up my cam to the computer for pics, but haven’t had the time yet. So I’m not only losing things, but my mind as well.
Sunday was crazy at the internship. Linette never took care of anything she was supposed to do while she was there and called d!ck last minute to tell him she couldn’t make it because of some personal situation. I had to come in early and was there working alone for over 3 hours before Erica showed up. I was busy, but fortunately, it wasn’t crazy. No muffins/scones were done, icecream/sorbet was running out and we ran out of chocolate pearls…Erica and I had our hands full trying to take care of the orders as well as trying to pick up Linette’s slack and mix everything. I was there for over 8 hours and when I left, Erica still had a lot to do. Felt bad for leaving, but I was already really tired…and I’m still there working for free. Not for long though. d!ck offered me a part-time position because he said he’s going to let Linette go since she let him down after prior warning. Ironic because the first day I was there, Linette was joking to Alejandro that I’m doing such a good job their going to have me replace her…not that I’m replacing her in any way. I’m just helping out. Anyways, I am really interested in the position…I’m working the hours anyway…would be nice to get an extra paycheck for it….it’ll be something in the industry to put on my resume…can’t be worse than going to kitchen class….might help in paying back the student loan…or for jumping out of a plane! ^_^ Plenty of good reasons and even got the go ahead from Ed and my advisor.
Anyways, so I had made plans last week to play tennis with Ed today…I was feeling rather drained and starting to come down with a cold (and kind of wanting to see Nat tonight) so I was going to cancel out. I come in to find a bundle on my desk with white shorts & tshirt, black sweatshirt, and directions to Newport, RI, a brochure for the Tennis Hall of Fame and a note saying he made reservations for 8PM and 11AM. When I talk my boss, he surprises me by telling me he had plans to take me to RI tonight and play, stay over and then play at the Tennis Hall of Fame in the morning (which is where the white clothing come in…apparently you can only wear white to play…weird) and then walk around the museum. Damn, I was staring at him speechless. It sounded awesome and overwhelming on one hand, but then I was tired (ok, maybe not so tired after hearing that), wondering how I could go about cancelling on Nat, what to do about leaving Nilla home alone over night and in the back of my mind thinking it was going to be a little odd being on a trip overnight with my boss…more than a boss…a coach/friend/boss, but still odd…
Aitey…I just finished my third week of the externship and attended my first nutrition class (I feel like a complete hypocrite in that class, but anyways…). In the beginning, I was kinda pissed that all I was doing was grunt work and it was all very routine…especially when I found out that this other intern who started the same time I did wasn’t doing what I was doing and was responsible for more recipes. After I discovered that the main reason she was doing more was because she was doing 40-50 hours a week, as opposed to my 30-35 hours, and was there most of the day…that kinda explained a lot. Gotta be careful what I wish for though. I never complained, but recently, I’ve been working on more of the recipes onm y own, which is cool…more work, but it’s good to feel competent.
This is a new dessert special that we’re putting together for restaurant week. It’s called the Macchiato…similar to the crème brulee, but I think mocha flavored and instead of burning raw sugar on top, we burn regular sugar. It’s tricky because white sugar burns faster.
This is a biscotti plate someone ordered…someone else put it together, but I thought it was pretty.
This is the cinnamon ice cream mixture I was cooking last night. The mixture basically consists of heavy cream, milk, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, vanilla bean, egg yolks and sugar and we make it the same way we make crème anglais.
This is the chocolate ganache filling we make for one of the desserts there (we pour it into fillo lined cups). It’s a huge @$$ bowl and a pain in the @$$ to make.
That’s about it for now…now if only I could just submit the blog instead of the stupid externship notebook that I still have yet to fill out.
Thought I’d start out with pics of my sexy, adorable baby and some of my dad’s b-day getogether before I went into the externship business.
There’s my spoiled brat.
Here are pics of my parents and my nephew, Brandon…he’s already walking! And always the center of attention at every gathering…another spoiled baby, but you can’t help but love him…and he’s still at an age where he still loves you back. =P
My cake, unfortunately, wasn’t great…for all my efforts to try to reduce the sugar, most of the adults (my parents, aunt & uncle) said it was too sweet. It’s strange…somehow the more I work in pastry, my own personal projects don’t come out that great. I guess it’s my own fault when I rush, but it sucks when even stuff I usually make, my cookies for example, don’t seem up to par anymore. Sigh*
Here are the Seward park tennis people. It was really too hot to play for very long today so Peter, a/k/a Dilbert took out a pack of cards and they started to play Big2.
Some chalk graffiti on the ground at the park…just taking random pics like your typical dork…
Cool and sexy Helen taking a little break on the courts.
Some action pics of Raymond & John.
My cousin visited from MD last week and I introduced him to our gang…unfortunately, the only relative I have that can really play is all the way across the country. =(
So the first week of the externship went by fairly uneventful. Extremely busy and completely wiped me out, but uneventful. Felt oddly familiar, as a matter of fact. Again and again, I’m constantly reminded of my HS job in a Chinese restaurant. Different foods, but the routines are similar. And the food is crap…or at least it is to me after I’ve seen the process.
This is the Apple a la mode. It looks better than it really is. It’s basically some cooked, sliced apple mixture (which is made in bulk, frozen and stored), topped with cinnamon ice cream, covered with whipped crème anglaise and garnished with an apple slice (those are supposed to be crisp, but instead are limp) and some pistachio thing…I don’t know what it is, but it’s sticky and I saw pistachios.
This is the caramel sauce Linette and I made on Sunday…Such a pretty color.
On Sunday, I helped prep for brunch. For some reason we had to make 10 trays of muffins and two of mini scones. From the morning at 8AM when we baked them off till the time I left at 3PM, the trays were mostly still untouched. Small wonder since it’s all crap! I was thinking about taking some back home with me for the tennis people, but I really couldn’t do that to friends. What a waste. I can understand, it’s time efficient to make a large batch, store it and bake it when necessary, but if you make a huge amount, and the product ends up $hitty and later in the garbage…doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?
This week my schedule at the restaurant is especially crazy. Going to have to talk to Chef d!ck about that tomorrow. I was scheduled for Wed (6-10PM), Thurs (6-10PM), Fri (6-11PM), Sat (5PM-Close) and Sun (5PM-Close). That’s something I really can’t work with…I need at least one whole day to do the stuff I want to do. Anyways, In addition to missing the July 4th family outing tomorrow, I’m missing my dad’s birthday dinner on Thursday. That’s 2 family things that I won’t be able to make. Personally, I don’t mind not making family getogethers, but then again, I know I’m gonna get it from my parents one way or another.
This is the cake I put together tonight for my dad. My mom requested a hazelnut cake, but due to limited time, I didn’t want to deal with a layer cake and kept it a simple sheet cake. Since my dad’s diabetic, I cut down the sugar and forgoed the buttercream. I imbibed it with a little hazelnut coffee liquor simple syrup and lightly iced it with Nutella. I toasted hazelnuts and made nut clusters with them in white chocolate and decorated the border with it.
I added a face at the end, similar to the face on my dad’s Majik Man ice cream truck, but I think it would’ve looked better if I left out the tongue.
Well, hopefully, I’ll get good feedback. *crosses fingers*
So last night was the first night at my externship gig and it was certainly…different. At first I was nervous because it seemed like a really fancy restaurant and I wasn’t sure how strict the people were in the kitchen. My fears were completely unwanted. I was really surprised and felt kind of stiff because everyone was so casual. I almost felt like I was working at Chun Yip’s (back in HS) again….not as bad of course. I think I did pretty well on my first day…got adjusted quickly and I’m getting familiar with the drill when it comes to plating the desserts. Not completely, because there was almost always something I forgot (i.e., a doily, a sprig of mint, the passionfruit sorbet, powdered sugar). High-end or no, that kitchen was messy! And there was just some things that really surprised me. Linette, the female pastry chef wore gloves all the time…she washed her hands, licked her fingers, moved stuff…all the while still wearing the gloves….That was just weird…Also the excess tossing sugar and crap on the floor, not washing tools before reusing, not washing the fruits….kinda surprised me. But, like Chef Maii (the head chef of the pastry dept at AI) told us interns…don’t lecture the chefs about sanitation. So I held my tongue. I wasn’t going to lecture or anything, but I wanted to ask, don’t you have to wash that? Oh, and…can I not wear a hat, too? =P anyways…I’m just an extern…I want to learn what I can and get out…not like I own the place.
I will never trust muffins bought outside anymore. Even if something claims to be fat free, it may not be…especially if the people in the back run out of fat free muffin mix. That was another surprise…I always though muffin mixes were supposed to be lumpy and baked right away. I never knew you can store the batter for a couple of days…should they be?
Oh, and I got up close and personal with some fancy cheeses, names of which I’m only read before last night. And EEeeeewww! People like mold on their cheese! The strangest things people eat…but then some Chinese people like durian and smelly tofu…
Here are some of the dishes we prepared…they had to go out fast so I rushed with the pics. I know I must’ve seemed a little weird, but hey, Chef d!ck said I was allowed to take pics, so…
This is a coconut tapioca soup with berries.
The sorbet with a biscotti.
Cheesecake w/ cherry compote (dammit, I can make better cheesecake!)
Chocolate ganache in a filo dough cup w/ chocolate beads (the finished plate comes with a passionfruit sorbet, but I forgot)
There were others but we got too busy and I didn’t want to slow things down for pics. All in all, everyone seems friendly enough. I guess maybe because I was new, everyone kept staring at me. It was just unnerving because everyone else was a guy so I kept keeping my head down. Chef d!ck (the pastry chef) and Chef Paul (the executive chef) are cool though. So far I haven’t really done much production work, except for prepping the yogurts for the Thalia deli/take out part of the place. Damn, those yogurts are way, way, way overpriced! It’s the same generic yogurt anyone can get at a supermarket.
Julie also had a baby theme for her cake. The little teddy is so cute. She had the Italian cheesecake and molded chocolates (which is why we had just a huge mess to clean up afterwards…those molds are a pain in the @$$ to wash).
I’m not sure what Fred’s them is, but it’s a really sweet looking cake. It was kinda funny. Through the confusion, a couple of the cakes were mixed up and Fred ended up using Julie’s cake and vice versa. He also had to do the Opera cake and Florentines.
This is Xiomara’s birthday cake and French macroons. Fred’s Florentines are in the pic also.
Finally, Jocelyn’s graduation cake and Raspberry Bavarian cake. I thought the hat was really cool, but don’t really think she should’ve painted the books like that. For some reason, when I saw the colors, the YMCA village people song popped into my head.
Well, as much as I’m going to miss everyone and making and taking pics of the stuff I make in class, I’m glad the stress of it is over. I’m probably not going to be able to take pics of stuff I’ll be working on at the externship, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have some personal projects to work on when I have time to breathe. =P
The quarter is finally over. It was one of the longest nights at school. Gonna miss all of them since we were in most of the same classes. Thank god for myspace, facebook, and e-mail. =P It’s was kind of a disappointing night actually. I know Anne had a bar class to go to in the morning so she couldn’t stay out late, Wendy had dinner plans and my mom was a little iffy. Apparently she did try to make it, but had gotten lost. I only heard her first message and when I heard the first part, “I don’t think I can make it…”, I just deleted the rest of the message and didn’t listen to her next one. My other friend just really pissed me off. I had told her the day before, because of so many cancellations, that she didn’t have to go out of her way to come if she had other plans. She told me that by saying that, it made her feel like I didn’t want her to come. It wasn’t like that, I just didn’t want her to feel obligated to come. But she said she was definitely coming and wanted to bring along a friend as well. I even confirmed with her before I left the office. 9 PM came and no show. 9:15, I texted her. Didn’t hear back from her till 10 PM. Way after the buffet was over. First text: “Uptown, drinking. Not making it”. Second text (as an after thought, “Sorry fan”. Yeah, I’m pretty pissed. I texted her back, “I told you you didn’t have to come”. I wanted to say more, but forget it. I’m just gonna wait and try to calm down some more before I say something I can’t take back. Anyways, here are the pics (just had to get though out of my system).
My cake and buffet assignments, the petit four glaces and vacherin.
This is Violeta’s beach themed cake. The shells and starfish are made of fondant…really cool looking cake, eh? Oh, he buffet assignments were Devil’s food cake & Biscotti.
This is Josh’s 4th of July cake, Torrone & Sacher torte.
This is my other favorite; my friend Aina’s baby shower cake. It’s absolutely adorable. She put so much work into the details and almost never finished on time. Oh, and her assignments were Black Forest cake (one piece fell when she cut it) and Linzer tartlettes.
This is Jackie’s cake (not sure what the theme is, but I love her grapes!), Pate au choux swans and Torte Niccole (something like that, hazelnut cake, basically)
I’m not sure what Is’ theme is, but it’s a simple looking cake. He also had the pate fruit (fruit jellies, basically, I think it was pear) and dobos torte.
This is Hannah’s Alice in Wonderland tea cake. Alice looks a little chunky, but there’s the Queen and the Cheshire cat. She covered the cake so that it looks like a dress. Pretty neat. Her buffet assignments were almond dragees (she also took out her chocolate centerpiece) and Tiramisu.
This is a mother’s day cake. That’s supposed to be a shopping bag on top. She had the lemon barquettes and opera cake.
I finally got the right red color for the flames! I ended up finishing the entire bottle of coloring and more color paste for this before I could get it the right color.
Oh and I checked out Thalia, the place I'm supposed to extern at...seems like a really fancy place, but the menu is far from health/diet oriented...I guess Gina meant it was right for me because it was open so late and I could get enough hours. Ah well....
OMG, OMG OMG…finally starting to calm down a little. Just met with my internship advisor, Gina, this morning. I was actually running late and trying to call her, but couldn’t get in touch with her. I knew that because this week would be packed for her, it would be tough for her to reschedule but wanted to try and see what I could do. In the end, I just decided to run in to school and hope she could see me or at least set a new time with her. I got lucky since a student had called in to cancel at 11, so I just hung around till then. I was so nervous and the anxiety must’ve shown on my face because Gina kept saying, “calm down…let it go…relax…it’ll be ok”. It’s just that 18 hrs a week, with my full time job and a lecture class is pretty intimidating and she did say that the first could of weeks are going to be really rough. Guess I’m lucky I don’t have a kitchen class to handle next quarter. Fortunately, the place she’s placing me in, Thalia (somewhere in the theatre district on 50th & 8th) opens late, so I can do my externship after work, but she advised that I should give up at least one of my weekend days because daytime is when production takes place and I can learn. Evenings are usually for plating. I guess it makes sense, but that just means I have to give up more tennis. =( I can probably play after the externship gig in the morning, but I’m afraid of how much energy I’ll have left. I should probably start the externship early, during my break from school so I can have rack up some hours and be able to afford a little more leniency later on. I think I should take Josh’s advice and maybe visit the place and see what I’m getting myself into. Gina said this place is perfect for me because she knows I want to go into the ‘healthy desserts’ area. Manomanoman…I’m giving up so much time and energy (not to mention what little Nat time I have)…all that paperwork I have to hand in also…I just might get stroke before I even start the internship….. $hit, and I have to deal with the finals this week… *sigh…relax…one step at a time….oh, and here are some more royal icing designs I worked on at home for my special occasion cake in school this week.
Aargh! This week isn’t even over and it’s been almost a complete disaster. Anxious at work and worrying about my projects, I completely forgot I had to attend the externship orientation this week as well. It was definitely a reality check. How am I going to be able to add an extra 18+ hours a week to my schedule?? I don’t think I can work the same hours I take in class (what kind of pastry establishment would let me work from 6-11PM?) and I’m really not willing to give up my tennis on the weekends. I really don’t know if I can finish this.
As for my cake project, I thought by preparing the lemon curd buttercream & lemon curd at home would save me extra time in class (even chef complimented me on being so prepared), but it’s been one disaster after another and now I’m so far behind, I’m starting to panic. I never got the pan I put down for requisition, the batter I made wasn’t enough to cover the sheet pan and I just ended up trashing it and starting over. The second batch I didn’t want to bother wasting 5 lemons for zest so I just went with vanilla, but by then class ran out of milk and I ended up using half and half. Time was running out and I was starting to doubt myself…seemed like every one else was making a lot of cake…mine seemed tiny & insignificant in comparison. Ran out of time and thought I tried making more today and chef couldn’t believe I was using both days just to make the cake. This time I don’t know what I did, but the cake ended up looking horrible…Thank god the cake won’t be cut, but it’s looking so much differently than I imagined…I don’t know how I want to decorate it anymore!
The cake was so thick (should’ve trimmed it more, I know, but everyone else’s cake seemed so much bigger, dammit, why am I doing this again?? ) I kept imbibing it (I was kind of heavy handed with the booze in the syrup and chef looked at me funny…I know this really isn’t a good time to give him my externship form for a good review.)
This is the “racquet face” and “tennis ball” I plan to use for the cake.
The soon to be “tennis court” (nasty looking, yes I know).
I’m seriously going to need a miracle to pull this cake off. I really wish I stick to the graduation cake (stack of books) idea originally. So want to trash the cake. Hopefully the coat of fondant will make this eyesore look better.
Between all the confusion going on in class as to what we need to get done, when the buffet will be and when we have to present the cake, I thought tomorrow was going to be the buffet and asked Anne, Wendy & Vessela to come (oops!) At least I found out before it was too late. Apparently, we’re just prepping the cake and buffet items this week and one day next week…presenting everything on Friday. Now I wish I didn’t ask anyone. Anyways, I didn’t get to prep the almond cake for my petit four glace assignment, but at least I started on the meringue cups for the vacherin. My hand was kind of shaky so the cups aren’t really round….and I was pissed because I had to make this 3 times (I kept rushing and messing up the meringue…wasted about 15 eggs.)
To top it off, I had to get lectured by my younger brother about my pics on my sites. Apparently, I embarrass my dear bro. I seriously don’t get what’s wrong with them. Maybe a tad provocative, but I don’t think I look slutty. As long as it doesn’t affect me directly, I really don’t give a $hit about what people think about them. Dammit, how can Hen be so judgmental…then again, his opinion isn’t completely objective…he is a sibling after all. I’ve never looked good…I look like Sis. Bleah…what a crappy day…only one more day to go…..