Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Reader Mail

Hello, all!

I thought it was time to answer some of the questions posted over the last few weeks. So, here we go...

Q: "Yeah, what was the trick question?

A: The instructors always tell us that the questions are straightforward and not intended to trick you. But the question on the test was a True/False along the lines of "To achieve a textured look on chocolate, spray it with cocoa butter after taking it from the cooler." It's true that you achieve that look by spraying cocoa butter onto the chocolate when it's cold, but technically you should first put the piece in the freezer, not the cooler (refridgerator.) So, to me, that's a trick question. And, I might add, the only question I got wrong on the written exam.

Q: At what temp does water boil? Let me guess, i forgot to ask at what altitude you are at????

A: Depends. If you're in the US, it boils at 212 degrees F. If you're almost anywhere else in the worldl, water boils at 100 degrees C. But, we're Americans and we're always right, and everyone else is wrong. Just like the metric system, why would anyone want to know that there's 1000 meters in a kilometer when it's so much easier to remember that there's 5280 feet in a mile???

Q: What did you do with my cousin Tim? What did you do with the periodically intoxicated, poker playing slacker we all know and love?

A: That guy is still periodically intoxicated, and still throwing cards every once in a while. But I'm not sure I qualify as a slacker anymore, with school full time, work at the bank, work at the pastry shop, and now work at the Sofitel hotel (more on that later.) I get one day off a week now (Sunday), which is when my lovely wife gets me to do all her chores for her. Why, wanna play some poker???

Q: What did you get on your test?

A: Our last test, covering Chocolate Showpieces, Sugar Showpieces, and Wedding Cakes was brutal. I'm not sure anyone felt good about the practical part of the exam. The decorated 2-tier buttercream cake was due on Day 2 (out of 3 days) and over half the class was still decorating their cake when time was up. One guy got about 3 inches of piping done on his cake, and he was the former cake decorator at Whole Foods here in Chicago. I got mine done, but I only had 15 minutes to do all of my piping, so I wasn't happy with it at all. My sugar showpiece was nice, and my chocolate piece was decent. Anyway, the bottom line is that I got a C+ on this exam!!! I've received a "C" only once before in my life, and that was in the notorious "weed-out" class Accouting 201 at Wisconsin. So, I wasn't happy at all with the test itself, nor how I did on it. Thanks for asking.

Q: Or, if you need a dose of free-wheeling chaos as an antidote to your incipient OCD, you can always come to Iowa City. Added bonus: we can keep that ADD wife of yours entertained for hours.

A: OK, so that's not really a question, so this is not really an answer. But if you can keep her entertained for hours, let me in on the secret. Especially now that she's been put on bedrest and told she can only get up to go to the bathroom. How well do you all think she's obeying doctor's orders???

Q: Why haven't you posted a blog in so long?

A: So this wasn't a posted question either, but I thought it should be, and I thought it should get a response as well. Couple reasons. One, I'm too damn tired. There, I said it. And I can almost hear you all laughing and saying "Just wait until your daughter is born!!!" B) My digital camera died during class recently, so I haven't had pics to post. One of the girls in class has been taking pics for me, but hasn't sent them yet. And it's kind of hard to bust someone's balls when they're doing you a favor. Finally, I'm too damn tired.

That's it for the first installment of Reader Mail. Thank you all for taking time to read my blog, and especially for posting your comments. Keep them coming, and I'll try to respond when I can. In the meantime, I'll get back in the swing of things with my postings. And check back here over the next couple weeks to hear about when our proverbial bun comes out of the oven. By then I'll certainly have found a way to take pictures again. See you soon!!!


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