Friday, June 12, 2009

Top 10 Mean Girl Moments - part 1

I feel that I have been shirking my mean girl duty, after all I don't know that I've shared one Judit story or even introduced you to my latest "friend" kk the albino. It's time, time to recount all those stories that went untold in another top 10 list.

10. The horror that was "the round table." Every day we had to gather for the last 30 minutes of class to see and taste what everyone had baked and take note of what the ingredient substitutions did. At first I was so excited, it was like being in my own Good Eats episode! I was having so much fun being all sciency and pretending to be smart and know what's going on. I mean I actually uttered the words "I think this has a better mouth feel and a rounder flavor". Yeah, I was that big of a dork. Well eventually this joy turned into the great bane of my existence. No matter how teenie tiny the bites were you walked out of that class feeling like a bloated beluga whale. Sick to your stomach, abdomen distended with some form of carb overload wanting to only eat protein—in 6 hours. Damn the round table.

9. The day I lost 3 pounds on cookie day. Now one would think I would have gained 3 pounds, right? After all you must taste all cookie dough to verify flavor and try the final cookie to ensure it was baked properly. Nope. Baking cookies is the best workout I've had in years. It all starts with Chef's very efficient and precise procedure for baking cookies. Let me summarize:
1. All cookies need to go on the "cool rack," starting at the bottom.
2. Once 4 full sheets ready they bake for 4 minutes, get rotated, bake another 4-5 minutes till golden.
3. Finished pans are placed on the "hot rack," starting at the bottom going up.
SIDE NOTE: there is absolutely no mixing of cool and hot pans on the racks, this is a world of segregation: cool stays on cool and hot stays on hot until cool enough to be removed (but they cannot be placed on the cool rack, that is for cool and unbaked, not cool and baked cookies. So many rules.
4. Once cookies are cool enough to be touched and still hold their shape they get shingled and moved off the rack to an appropriate counter.
5. Always remember: all pans need to constantly get rotated to ensure they're always starting at the bottom of the rack.
This entire process takes two people working in syncopation full time to perfectly execute. You know that I LOVE and respect the precision and well thought out efficiency of this system. For once I was not behind such a procedure, I was not managing the chinese sweat shop, I was the sze mihn factory worker sweating (literally) my slightly oversized but off. For about an hour and a half I repeated this procedure over and over and over and over. Oh yeah, did I mention it was in front of a 375° F oven that was opened every 5 minutes? And I'm wearing long pants, a t-shirt, neck scarf and long sleeved chef coat with apron? I think if I had this outfit that fateful BWCA canoe trip I often complain about I wouldn't have been cold and needed to put on my swimsuit and plastic bag for warmth. I digress, back to the kitchen. We were working like fiends but getting cookies in and out like it was an olympic sport (and you know I always go for the gold). Oh did I mention Chef's other rule?
6. Once you start baking, you do not leave your post. And you KNOW from the "doing dishes" complaints that I was not sitting in a room of overly motivated workers so yup, I was the one who finally started baking after 9 trays were on the rack. I'm such a sucker, you know they were just all waiting for me to do it.
I truly think this should be a workout class at the gym, I was wringing out my t-shirt like I had just completed spin class, even my socks were wet with sweat, I mean whose FEET sweat? Ugh, so gross. Open, check, close, turn, squat, shift, timer, open, pull, balance, place, close, down, shift, turn, timer, up, rotate, close, down, shift, up, check, down, shift... There was a moment where I started thinking in my head "all even numbers front to the rear two steps to the left move, one, two, three, four". Only edina grads will get that one—Ikola truly is king. I will say that I did not feel guilty for tasting any of the cookies with my calorie burning post. Screw hot yoga, I'm baking cookies.

Ok, I need a break, I'll have to continue the list later. the pool and sun is calling my name. This is what happens when I don't write all quarter! Buildup and diarrhea of the blog.

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