Thursday, September 6, 2007

Empty Nest

For the first time in 37 years I am truly on my own. It’s been 4 weeks since the youngest fledgling abandoned the nest and flew off to college in western New York. (Oh, why so far? Was it something I cooked?)

Ah, well. I am slowly adjusting. At least I have some diversions with school beginning once again for fall semester.

Some background: two years ago on New Year’s Eve, while encountering an unexpected fork in the road of life, I made the firm decision to pursue my life-long dream of getting formal credentials in Culinary Arts. Three weeks later, I was sitting in a classroom at Santa Barbara City College, ready to fill in the gaps of my culinary knowledge. The journey had begun.

Now, as I begin my fourth semester, I am learning that wine for breakfast is not such a bad concept; artisanal bread is delicious anytime; I can, indeed, make 350 panna cottas; and my new-found friends/classmates are just as weird as I am. (Alas, it will take me longer than the average young recruit to receive my certificate since I have to keep the roof over my head without the help of dear ol’ mom & dad, so I’m not quitting the “day” job.) While I have only learned a few new things cook-wise since I began, I have added to my knowledge-base regarding cost controls, purchasing, and restaurant operations and made some good friends along the way.

So, for continuing personal challenge and satisfaction, in addition to school, I intend to succumb to the various baking and cooking challenges that the world has to offer. Photographs will come later, since the above-mentioned fledgling absconded with the batteries to my digital camera. A new camera is in the pipeline, and when it arrives, I can document my continuing journey and all of its varied challenges. (To wit, the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart from Daring Bakers turned out perfectly the first time round, but you’ll have to take my word for it, since it won’t likely be around when the camera finally arrives.)

À bientôt.

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