Banana Mousse    

October 1 1998
And now your moose
is ready to deposit

The task of the day:

Individual European Pastries

Today we made some way cool deserts. We used the cookies and chocolate wafers we made yesterday to layer into a banana and coffee mousse. Each mousse was pipped into 64 small balls in each desert, in two layers. They looked excellent. Actually, all of the teams made some good stuff today. There were chocolate "coffee cups" filled with mocha mousse, complete with cookie spoons. Lots and lots of glazed tart shells, plenty of chocolate garnishes. All in all, a pretty impressive day. I took lots of pictures.

In case you can't figure it out, Individual European Pastries is code-speak for "fancy plated deserts you'd pay too much for when dining out."

Two old ladies were watching me through the window today as I was making a roulade for a dish tomorrow. A roulade is a jelly roll, basically. I guess they were enjoying the show a great deal. We had an extra Opera Torte left over from lunch, so I took them out one. Chef said I'm just a big softy. He had been making fun of them. I will admit that the old ladies who tour the school are pretty funny in their love of the pastry shops.

In addition to the Roulade (which we'll be using to line a halfpipe of PVC to form into slices), we also made Caracas Cake, and poached some baby pears. Dan and I should be pretty busy tomorrow finishing out all of these pastries in time for lunch. Since tomorrow is Friday, anything we don't finish by 11 won't get served.

* * *

I found out that Dan's been taking doubles this week, doing a cooking class in the afternoon. So his day is from 5:30 AM until 8:30 PM. Wow. He's still seemed pretty bright eyed and bushy tailed all week.

Chef's been kidding around with us quite a bit lately. I think he knows we're pretty much set in what we're doing. He usually only has to tell us something, and if he does, he knows that we'll do it. We're also usually done before class it over, and are the only group that actually wipes down their station and so on. I guess we just seem a bit more together than many of the other groups. He's also been asking us "monitoring" type questions about things like the dishes.

The dishwashing situation has gotten much better, but one group still isn't cleaning as they go. They leave their dishes in the sink (I think hoping someone else will do them) and they are even in the way of others doing dishes. Today I watched one of them leave a large pile on the sink and walk away. Another class member was carrying a sheet tray full of her dishes to wash and her jaw dropped in anger and amazement. I took the dirty dishes, piled them on the floor, and labeled them with magic marker. It's become something of a class joke, I think.

* * *

Shawn and I watched Homegrown, a Billy Bob Thorton flick about pot growers in Northern California. Pretty decent and funny. Certainly not on the level of a Cheech and Chong flick, but still a bit jokey about the whole pot scene. Jon Bon Jovi did a nice supporting roll as a drug buyer. I wonder how much of the inside peek at Humbolt County is true. I've never been up there during "Harvest" but I've been told it's pretty party-like then.

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Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy