Le Cordon Bleu

I have been in Paris for about 5 days and have really gotten the lay of the land around where I live.  I have not had a lot of time to venture out and go sight seeing, but have seen most of the sights before so that is okay.  However there is a wonderful Monet exhibit now, they say that largest collection of his works ever,  that I hope to catch and, of course I want to eat at Ralph Lauren's new restaurant and have tea at the Ritz.  A girl has to be sure to have some goals.  Of course, I shall go pay homage at the House of Chanel and The Stairway.  Amen.

But they keep us pretty busy.  The very first day we were there for 12 hours.  Yes 12. It seems like most of the business involves getting dressed and undressed!  you may think that is insane, but the locker room is sooooo small and there are so many people in it, that you can barely move so what should take about 5 minutes takes about 15.  It is hard to change and remember to get the right things out of your locker.  And I knew that since I have shit for knees, and that I am tall, that I would get one of the bottom ones.  I was right.  All my life I have been one of the tallest girls in my class and have always received the bottom lockers.  It is just an accident but it is kind of funny.   Anyway, it is so hard to change our clothes and Lord help us if someone hasn't showered! I try to get there really early but so does everyone else.  That is the only thing the school should try to change.

   The cooking is so totally different that I am having to learn all over again as if I have never baked before.  We do not use cups and teaspoons, but we use a scale and a bowl or two.  Instead of teaspoons, we use the tip of our knife to get our vanilla or a pinch of salt.  It is so exact in some ways and so inexact in others.  At least the butter is what I am used to.  But NO machines.  At ALL.  We do not even use a pastry cutter that is hand held.  We use our fingers and do it as if we are "counting money". (sublage) Then we push it away from us on the counter once or twice. (fralage)  I might have spelled those wrong.  I will look them up tomorrow and get back to you!  Also there are NO BOTTOMS on the tart pans.  They look like embroidery hoops.  the chef just whips up tarts and tosses them on the parchment paper and they don't stick and those bottoms hold.  Tomorrow is the first time I am going to attempt it.  It looks really hard.  I am used to having all these aids in the kitchen.  He barely uses any dishes.. and the outcome is this beautiful, precise, delicious dish that could be on the cover of a magazine. I do not think I will ever get the hang of it.  It is really stressful.  I even cried a little over my bloody cookies that were so humiliating.  I will save that story when it seems funny but now it is too fresh.  It is time to go to bed.  Hopefully I will have a nice chef tomorrow like I had on the bloody day.