Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Monday night we had our graduation ceremony for school. It was held at a restaurant across the street which has close ties with the school, The Elephant Walk. It's a place I've always liked and don't go to often enough!

We all got our certificates, a chef's hat, and a saccharometer. I'm rather excited about the latter, as I can experiment with sorbets over the summer.

Chef told me he hoped I'd gotten what I wanted out of the course. I most certainly did. I wanted to learn how to scale up and make large quantities of pastries, and how to function in a professional kitchen. Now I'm closer to understanding that, although I'm sure I have a long way to go. Our class learned to work as a team, to move around each other and with each other with the complicated choreography of a busy and not very large kitchen. That was most obvious with our practicum as we were all doing different things and had to not get in each other's way.  My piping skills are better (again, there is still work to be done here) and decorating isn't quite so difficult. The class definitely made me better at the things I wanted to improve. There is always more to learn.

Another big part of this, for me, was that elusive thing known as "work-life balance." It's pretty obvious if you read back in this blog that when I worked in the ER I worked WAY too much. I had started to learn how to say "no" but by the time that happened I was already too far gone. With this class, I spent a few days a week at work, a few days in the kitchen, and it felt right. It made me happy. It still does. The challenge now is to figure out how to fit all this into my life in a way that continues to feel right. Changing jobs was a huge step to achieving this balance, but now I have to connect more of the dots: family, work, baking, beekeeping, canning, being outdoors... There are a lot of dots!

Am I glad I took this course? Absolutely. I am sad it's over. So is everyone who received little white boxes of pastries over the last four months. I think everyone is going through withdrawal a little bit.

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