Thursday, July 16, 2009

Of Ratios I Speak...

There seems to be less and less time to write lately, and more messes to clean! Needless to say, I wish those two were reversed, a la Willy Wonka...

Here are a few pictures of what I have been baking lately:Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Honey-Wheat Pecan Bread:





Now for an update on my cooking school project:

Things have stalled as of a few days before the giant Open House for the school was planned. The owner of the lease basically tried to swipe the owner of the school's business and wanted to charge outragous rent, so the owner, let's call her Darleen, didn't negotiate, and said, "See Ya!" I think it is kinda amazing since she had worked so amazingly hard to gather such a great group of chefs, planned the schedule, put out tons of marketing and advertising, and so on. In other words, you just don't mess with this lady. She is working on finding another place for the school, so things have stalled for now, but I am hoping they will pick up by the fall.

I took the ServSafe class yesterday which certifies me to be a food manager in any commercial kitchen. I will know the results of the test in about 10 days. There was tons of info, but most consisted of all the ways people preparing your food can make you deathly ill, or worse. Then there was talk of parasites, roaches, and rats...how some fish make you cough up worms...then since the class took place at Denny's, we had to order lunch there. Really the last thing I wanted was a lunch from Denny's after that. So I had the least objectionable meal I could think of...pancakes. They were ok, but I actually had a stomach ache that afternoon. Call me a food snob...go ahead, I deserve it.

So here is the latest thing I am excited about:


This is a book I heard about on the radio program, The Splendid Table. I am looking forward to learning the Ratios of recipes, and memorizing them. Maybe someday I will get good enough to try out for The Next Food Network Star :) Ok, that is a big Maybe!

It is so interesting to me that just knowing a ratio, with a little technique, can make you a great cook or baker. I have been having some flattening out with my chocolate chip cookies lately, and that is soooooooo depressing since I finally felt I had gotten over that whole chocolate chip cookie thing. Actually, my cookies took second place at the fair this year, out of 160 cookies entered this year, which is not too shabby.

So I figured out that I just needed to let them cool on the pan and that did the trick. Back to their beautiful, fat, puffy selves. Sheesh. It is just the simple things that can be so hard sometimes. So, hence the Ratio book...I am hoping to gleen a few gems to improve my techniques and skills, and more than anything else, be able to cook and bake without recipes.