Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Arts and Crafts

Today as we were making pies, Chef told us to cut out some pumpkins to decorate the top of the pie with our extra dough. Of course, cut out doesn't mean "use a the pumpkin shaped cookie cutter," it means using an x-acto knife to make designs. Since pumpkins are lame, I decided to cut out some hearts:

I was extremely impressed with myself. They don't even look demented! And this was freehand.

Then I looked around the room. Uh. Chestnuts with cross hatching on the bottom. Fleur de lys. An entire cat. Suddenly my hearts looked more like a pre-school experiment with play dough.

I forget how artsy and crafty everyone is here until moments like this. Chef told us that 90% of people going to pastry school have an end goal of making wedding cakes (at least, this is their goal when they start). This is not me. Judging by the way I sketch, paint, and decorate, you'd never guess that I have opposable thumbs. In high school, we had to take art, but I was in the most remedial of remedial classes (Calligraphy -- it wasn't even real art). I was so bad that I never even got to the capital letters.

Luckily I have other strengths. Many of these artsy/craftsy folk don't understand that if you need 4 9-inch dough patties, eyeballing the flour, sugar, and salt will not somehow magically add up to 36 oz. Arsty-craftsy people don't always understand that even though a blueberry pie recipe calls for a half ounce of nutmeg, in actuality, this would taste about as delicious as a tuna and fluffernutter. At the end of the day, baking is based on math, science, and understanding flavor combinations -- a perfect pie-dough kitten can't cover up a miscalculated recipe and beautifully piped chocolate won't make a bad cake taste better.

At least this is what I tell myself as I practice cutting kittens shapes with my razor blade in the privacy of my own apartment.

We really got rolling with the pies today (no pun intended, har har). My apple-apricot pie came out pretty well. We made a salted pecan crumble for the top. See a picture below!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could eat a pie with a Kitten (much less a cat) on top - I prefer your hearts