I love this cute little dinner roll. It looks like a bread pomegranate!
(I snipped the top with scissors.)
8:20. Looking for the coffee. Crap. It's just getting put on. I need a coffee this morning. I woke up a bit achy with a sore feeling in the back of my throat.
"OK! Here it is! You've got 10 minutes to get a soup going with the vegetables I give you!" Chef C tosses my partner and I some old mushrooms and some really nasty looking tarragon.
We decide! Cream of mushroom! We start preparing a soup without much of an idea of what we're doing. You wash, I'll cut! Chef C comes around and chastises me; my way of cleaning mushrooms is way too slow. There's no more mirepoix in the bucket! We have to cut up some onion! celery! and leeks! But we can't find any leeks! The class is given a bucket of chicken stock, but I locate some veg stock in the back of the fridge. Soon every station has some sort of soup simmering away and my partner and I are still scrambling to get the veg in order. Soon we're chopping and adding to the pot as fast as we can. Somehow we manage to catch up.
At one point Chef C is back at our station giving us hell for chopping up 1/4 of a potato for our soup. "What do you need potato in there for? You're confusing yourselves! Keep it simple!" Out go the potatoes.
Fifteen minutes later I'm back at the demo table cradling my daily steaming cuppa joe. I have noticed lately, how good I feel in the morning after one cup of coffee. Maybe it's because the school demands I be alert, but I have actually stopped a few times and thought, "Wow! I feel great right now!"
We get a demo on basic bread making and are sent back to our station to finish our soups and make a few loaves. After we complete our loaves, my partner and I check out the soup, and decide to blend it. Into the blender it goes, and comes out a mushy grey colour. Ick.
We forgot the tarragon! We managed to save a few leaves which we tried to mince but they just mucked together. We threw them in anyway. My partner was tempering the cream when it was time to plate.
We finished quickly and filled our bowls and looked at our "soup du jour". It was a uniform grey and really needed something. We threw some thyme leaves on top, although it had little to do with our soup. We agreed if anyone asked, we'd tell them we used thyme instead on tarragon.
At the table, we all had different soups. I tried them all, but didn't swallow any as they all had been made with chicken stock. There was mint and spinach (no thanks), carrot and tumeric (turned every utensil they used bright orange), pear and rutabaga (interesting, but couldn't eat a whole bowl), and carrot and coriander (more coriander please!).
By the time we'd made the rounds and sat back down at our own bowls again and tasted, we'd realised one thing. Our Soup Rocked! Somehow it had come together and it was delicious!
My partner and I were pleased.
FOR KATE: I asked about secrets for crusty bread and was told it was very difficult to get crusty bread from a loaf pan, the moisture is too contained. For crusty bread it needs to be on a cookie sheet and even better - a baguette. We used not even a drop of oil at any part of the bread making process and baked them on 2 stacked cookie sheets, (double sheeting so the bottoms don't burn), the top one lined with a thin layer of corn meal.
We also made a perfectly square pullman loaf which went into a metal pan with a sliding lid, all the moisture was contained inside, and that loaf was really soft. I would have gotten a picture of it, but it was whisked away and wrapped up before I had the chance. Maybe tomorrow!