Saturday, October 22, 2016

Week Four at Leiths


 We had Monday off because they say that students are “shattered.” I was very glad to have the day and the kitchen at home to myself.  I practiced jointing, short crust pastry and knife skills and made bread and a lemon meringue pie.  As expected, everything works when you are in the comforts of your own kitchen and not under pressure.
Swiss Roll 

 On Tuesday, we made a swiss roll with jam, chocolate mousse and lemon curd. The swiss roll was harder than I thought it was going to be. Just flipping it over onto parchment paper after taking it out of the oven was very scary. I did not want to break it and found it difficult to roll. It was just so fragile. The lemon curd and chocolate mousse were simple recipes and involved very few ingredients. I appreciated not having to weigh as many ingredients after last week’s fish pie and lemon chicken. I scored a 4/5 on my swiss roll and did well on my chocolate mousse and lemon curd.
Lemon Curd 

We had our second demonstration on wine tasting that same day. I cannot taste wine and have not developed a taste for it, so I struggled a lot when trying to pair wines with given foods like turkey and apple sauce or spaghetti and meatballs. I did discover that I love white wine and rose.
We also got our test results back from the week before and I scored a 36/40 which equates to an A- at Lawrence or a 90%. In the past, I would have been irritated with this score, but because Leiths has been exhausting for me mentally and physically, I’m very happy with this score. My hard study sessions until 10:00 pm paid off.
Plaice with Vinegar Chips

 On Wednesday, we practiced fish filleting on plaice and made meringues. I had never made meringues before but they came out wonderful. My piping was so much better than last week’s session. when we piped mashed potatoes. I scored a 4/5 on my meringues only because they were a tiny bit undercooked. When we did fish filleting, I actually did well. I took my time and it was much easier than I expected. I got a 4/5 on my fish filleting.
 We ended the day with a demonstration on stock sugars, segmenting oranges and gelatine. I was very intrigued by this demo because I did work with sheets of gelatin this summer and wanted to know the science behind it.
 On Thursday, we started the day with the last of our wine demonstrations. I scored a 29/30 on the level one practice test but the real test was much more difficult. I had to stop and think about almost every question and started to over think things. I studied hard for this test so I was disappointed with how difficult it was for me. The test format reminded me of the SAT and ACT tests that I took to get into college. We had to fill in little bubbles for the multiple-choice questions. There isn’t really anything that I can do now and just pray that I passed.
 We made a sponge cake with our lemon curd filling on that same day. It is so satisfying to bake at Leiths. It’s the one thing where I can actually relax a little more and not have to think everything through. Lots of my peers say that filleting and jointing is so much easier for them because they can see what they are doing, but I just do not like dealing with meat or fish very much.  I’ve been making cookies since I was little so creaming butter and sugar is second nature to me. The teachers could also tell that I knew what I was doing so that was a plus. Sadly, when I went to take the cake rings off, the sides stayed attached. The cake did not look great, so I got another 4/5. It still tasted wonderful and I had an enormous slice with my dinner.

The first part of our Christmas Fruit Cake 

 On Friday, I crashed and burned. It seems that one day a week at Leiths, I do poorly. I feel bad because I know I can do better, but I have the tendency to topple over when I start making mistakes. I was feeling great about how I was doing this week until this day. We made a Christmas fruit cake which went well, but then we had to fillet sole menieure and wilt spinach. I don’t know why but as I turned my fish over to do the last two fillets, I went straight through the ribs. I think I may have been rushing because the people at my table were going faster. There are no ways to hide our mistakes. The teacher wanted to check our carcass to see how well we filleted the sole, and I received a 2/5 on my filleting for the day. The ribs were all broken!!!
Sole Menuiere with Wilted Spinach 

 Then we had to wilt our spinach. I overcooked the spinach and it was too greasy because there was too much butter in the pan. I got a 3/5 on the spinach. I left the flour on the fish for too long which caused the skin to not be as crispy so I got another 2/5. I still ate the fish for lunch and enjoyed every last bite.
 There were so many things wrong with my food that I did not even want to serve it to the teacher at all. I also received the weekly words of, “you really need to practice.”

  Now, I have to continue to practice jointing, filleting, knife skills, short crust pastry etc… The list goes on and on! I think I just have to pick and choose what I want to improve on because I cannot do everything in such a short amount of time. I know myself and I know that it will take me at least six fish to feel comfortable filleting.
We ended the day with a demonstration on braising and roasting lamb and beef. The food reminded me of fine-dining at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.

Victoria Sponge Cake 

 I went out to drink with my peers after class, which was needed and so much fun. While I don’t talk much, I’ve learned so much about British culture from just sitting with the group and listening.
 Blimey, it’s already fifth week and I’m almost half way done with the foundation term. I love how far I have come even though it has been mentally challenging for me. I miss home and my family and friends, and feel quite alone at times, but I know that I will look back and be thankful that I went to Leiths. 
Onward to the next chapter. 

1 comment:

Gold Tips said...

all the recipes are so awesome

Mcx Sure Call