Hello From Paris!

Hello from Paris!  I wanted to include a nice pic of moi in my chef's uniform from Le Cordon Bleu, however I cannot seem to download all the pics I have taken.  So I will write to my guy at the company who does my web work and ask him what I am doing wrong.  For any of you who have a web address, it is NOT easy to get this stuff on the website.  Some days it clicks and some days it takes me hours.  I do not think it is the computer.....

I feel a better and not so wimpy because I have been corresponding a little with Kathleen Flinn, the author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, (a  TV movie is going to be made of her book!) and she said the Intensive course (the one I am taking) is tough because it is so fast.  And I do find it really challenging.  It is not that the recipes are so hard.  Not yet anyway.  It is the pace, the competitiveness of a few of the people, and the way it is hard to have the time to perfect each item.  What I have found is that the chefs, so far, do not taste our food after we bake it, but grade us solely on presentation.  For example, yesterday we made a St Honore cake.  Yum.  We prepared a small disk of sweet pastry dough, then we made choux pastry in balls and lined the edge of the disk after baking it, with those balls.  So far, so good.  My two dough batters were light, fluffy and perfect.  Did Chef notice these?  Non!  Then we made a Chantilly cream, which is just a whipped cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, and piped it into the center.  And here, my friends, is where I bombed.  It was the first time I have ever whipped cream by hand--Mon Dieu!- and I was so proud.  It was perfect.  But when I cut the tip of my piping bag, I did not allow enough room for the slit of the tip, so my piping was not clean edged enough.  The piping was okay, but not great.  Chef went around and piped many of the students St Honores and then he graded those.  How is that right, for Pete sake?  So when he came to mine, he shrugged -the French shrug a lot- at the piping and again pointed to the nice German girl across from me and her St Honore, which was beautiful enough to be in any patisserie in Paris.  Auuuuuuugh!  

For those of you who follow fashion, Claude Montana lives across the street from me. He was a big time designer in the 80s along with Yves St Laurent, Karl Lagerfield, and that group of Frenchmen.  Sadly, he has gone insane now and looks pretty bad. He looks like a small, blond Vincent Price. He wanders around, in his light blue bomber jacket, there is a pic of him in it on Google from the past, and waves to all the shop keepers. Just kind of wanders and floats around.... I think he is pretty well loved here by the shopkeepers.  I had a suit by him which one one of the first nice things I bought after losing my baby weight from Wyatt.  It made me sad for a while, but then I thought, well, if you must lose your mind and wander, there certainly could be worse places to do it than Paris...