Week Deux At Le Cordon Bleu

Bonjour on this Thanksgiving Day.  I do not know why, but I cannot upload images from here.  I will contact my web people, but for those of you who like pictures--and who doesn't?--I don't know what in the heck is going on.  If you have ever used a web company, you can emphasize with me in the fact that writing ANYTHING on the site is not easy.  It is not like Facebook or email.  I have to jump through all kinds of cyber hoops just to post things.  I think if I used a blog like Blogspot, it would be easier, but not as pretty, and could not do all I do.  But I really think it is time to simplify this whole web business.

Anyway, that is not what tonight is all about.  We have been baking out little hearts out, putting many hours in the kitchen and 0- ZERO- in the Parisian stores.  When I get back to the states, I promise I will post the gorgeous photos of these amazing creations we have been learning.   I will be offering several of them, for sale.  The cakes are as delicious as they are pretty.  They are delicate and multi layered.  I do not know anywhere in Fort Wayne or even Indianapolis that offers such delectable pastries.  Here is what I will be adding to the La Dolce List so far:

  1. Streusel Cake-- A flat, delicate pastry LOADED with streusel on the top

  2. Tarte passion-Framboise--passion fruit and Raspberry Tart--Delcious, delicate, and pretty when cut

  3. Fraisier--Strawberry and Cream Cake--the most beautiful cake we have made. 

  4. Opera--the famous Opera cake created for the paris Opera in the 1950s.  It is imbibed with coffee. 

  5. Bavarois aux Trois Chocolats--Three chocolate Bavarian cream dessert. Dark, milk and white chocolate.

  6. Douceur Chocolat--Heavenly Chocolate Mouse with Milk Chocolate Discs

In case you think all these are going to be pretty but taste "just real fair", as my mom used to say, I can assure that they will   Rock   Your   World.  You can see all the layers in them and each one is more delicious than the last.  Oh, how I wish I had photos for you!  Check back in 3 weeks and I will.

Let me tell you about some of the other classmates.  Last year in Level I, I was so miserable.  Those of you who personally know me, know I was so unhappy and counted the hours until the whole thing was over.  I really think the unhappiness affected my baking because I was stifled and sad all the time in school.  It really boiled down to the people in my division.  I had a very competetive group, lead by a few very mean, childish young women. They set the tone for the whole group, causing others to behave in like manner.  We are not so different from animals as we like to think.  But Karma always wins; only two of them graduated.  The others had issues--Visa could not get renewed, etc. that kept them from finishing. Karma.

This year, we have more married people and several of them have children.  Why is this even important?  For many people, when you are in your early 20s and Daddy is paying for everything because you cannot figure out what to do with yourself, you think you know it all.  It takes some personal tragedies or caring for someone other than oneself to put life in perspective.  With the death of a friend, parent, or even God forbid, the death of a child, you learn how important others are and how fleeting life is.  With the loss of health, a job, friendships, are other hardships, you learn that the ONLY things in life worth living for are health, love, and happiness.  The Dali Lama says if you are truly happy, you will naturally be good to others.  Only unhappy people are mean or cruel.   These are wise words.

We have about 1/3 less students this year. It is comprised of about 5 Americans, a few Europeans, one Israelite, one girl from Egypt, an Australian or two, 3 Canadians, 3 nice girls from India, and the rest Asians.  Only 3 guys are in the class.  One of the guys was an architect and is going for his Grand Diploma, which is Cuisine and Patisserie.  That is tough and I really respect him.   He draws about 90% of his notes in these tiny, precise drawings that you would have to see to believe.  I would like to crawl into his head and see how he thinks, see how he envisions spatial relationships. He does this every single class when we take notes.  Its so cool.  I think I know who the top 5 will be in class, and no, one of them will not be moi.  I am not competitive enough, you know that! There is some real talent here.  This year calls for a few things I have--gut instincts and the feel for the dough or mousse, and precision in writing and decorating, which I do not have.  Aughghggh..so much to learn!  But I just want to graduate, learn a few things along the way, and be the best baker and cook I can be.

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