Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Twist

Today I learned that my chef de pâtisserie represented France in the World Chocolate Masters a few years back (and came in a very respectable 5th place, despite his showpiece breaking during the competition!)  I'm kind of in awe.  Ok, I'm fully in awe.  That was a twist I didn't see coming.  Kind of like someone putting a cherry on top of the cherry of having the opportunity to stage in 'the house of fancy pastries'.

In other news my knee is still buggered despite horsepill anti-inflammatories, I have developed the ability to sleep at will (and sometimes even not when I will it,) and today was overall a better day in 'the house of fancy pastries'.  Meaning I felt ~slightly~ less goomba like, and got to do a few new things. :)

It's the hardest work I've done physically in pastry so far, as this place produces in larger quantities than anywhere I've ever worked before.  Larger batches of everything mean larger pots, larger mixer bowls (that weigh like... half what I do?) and so on.  Even though my bruised knee doesn't like it for the moment, fortunately my back is holding up through it all and I'm counting my blessings and feeling seriously grateful toward my physiotherapist.  It feels normal most of the time now, despite the strain I'm placing on it, which I guess means we did a good job bringing it back to health (yay.)

I feel like I have a lot to feel grateful for, and I'm just hoping things continue to move in this positive direction.

Now, I must sleep.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Off to a smashing start.

My stage has started.  Today was my 4th day at the "house of fancy pastries" (as we will call it,) in Verviers, and like every day I've been there, I still feel like a goomba in a place filled with ninjas.  The first days in any kitchen are always the most difficult, as you are learning how things are expected to be done, where things are kept, and how the machinery works.  Today I learned (I hope) to watch my step more carefully.

I can't bend my left knee.  A large black bruise is developing, and though I've taken a horsepill anti-inflammatory, it seems to have no effect.  Today, you see, I managed to crash to the ground while escorting a tray of creamy, crispy deliciousness designed to be hidden as a layer in a mousse-cake from the freezer to a work surface.  While carrying the tray I didn't swerve to avoid a low stack of boxes and metal in my path (which I didn't see since I was carrying the tray.)  This resulted in my falling forward, trying desperately to keep the wobbling tray upright as I fell, and then *wham*  The tray and I hit the ground.  Nothing makes you feel more competent than almost killing a tray of someone else's work by doing a belly flop in the kitchen.  Yes yes.

I'm just hoping by the end of my stage I feel slightly less like an elephant who has stumbled into the midst of a troupe of ballet dancers.

Oh, later in the day the vibration from the dishwasher sent the tray-loader (a metal insert we use to place baking pans and grills in the dishwasher,) toppling onto me from above as I dried and put back pitchers, bowls and other things.  It was totally my day.