Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Failing Baking 101

Yesterday was not a red letter day for me. In fact -- a lot of days lately haven't been. I usually try and shrug shit off my shoulders when it rains down hard, but lately it's all been just kind of holding on and building up. And thus it makes me stink.

Everything I touched yesterday turned to shit. First, I made scones for an English afternoon tea being held today. I over kneaded the batter, and they turned out not too puffy. Then, I made blueberry tea cake, the first pan turned out spiffy, the second collapsed in the middle, even though I tested it with a skewer before taking it out of the oven, so I had to rebake it.

It was a tasty mistake, but... one that I could see disappointed cateringman. Supplies and content are money. My time mixing a new batch of something I already made once is money.

Then, I get shown how to make these nasty stupid little hors d'ouevres called avacado crab cakes, and they are coming out all shitty. Cateringman comes over, and he always has this little tone in his voice. The very father like, "Let me show you how it's done..."

I almost threw a temper tantrum. I was trying my hardest, and here he was -- yet again, showing me how to do it. I suck. I suck at everything. And I was mad at me, not at him. He told me to calm down (and I did) and not to take it so personally.

This morning when I came in I apologized. The one thing I needed for him to know is it isn't ever HIM I'm mad at -- it is me. He laughed and told me it was all good.

We got a call later from the woman who ordered the scones for her party. She said they tasted like fish.


Fish!?!?!? WTF?!?!?

How the hell did that happen? I had very clean hands, I didn't handle an ounce or even a dollop of fish yesterday. So there is no way it is MY doing.

There may have been fish close to the batter or something after I mixed it and placed it in the walk in fridge to cool. But it was wrapped tightly and away from everything else.

Cateringman whipped up another batch of 50 real quick like, they were done in 20 minutes. He ran them over to her house personally. I felt horrible. But I know deep down that I had nothing to do with the fishiness.

He had some reserved for another gig this weekend and we all tasted them. There is a peculiar aftertaste, but... how the hell it happened none of us know.

I just can't win.

The only really good thing is that I garnished the hell out of the little tea sandwich trays, I made an ass kicking cranberry orange nut bread, which rocked so steady your socks would have fallen off if you got within 10 feet. I did a couple things right. But not enough to feel like I succeeded at catering school.

I got a call from professor CM regarding one of our projects. He showed it to the private high school which had hired him to do an annotated history links website -- he organized the links, annotated them and assigned a rating system, I built the webpage and made it graphically pretty.

The chair of the history department at this school LOVED it, and while she was meeting with CM she called up the chair of the English department to have him look at it -- we could end up doing one for them too if we are lucky.

CM was jumping up and down and screaming with joy and gushing with praise like he did in August when I co-taught the class with him. Again -- it felt good to have my ass slathered with worship. So the one thing I can do and do very well, design websites, I'm not doing. I hate my life.

Anyway -- we were going to go to NY this weekend to see my sister, but I had already agreed to work Friday night for cateringman at a big big big party. Lee Lee's coming up for a christening at home, and is staying a couple extra days.

But because of my prior committment, I don't get to see her. I get to wear a chef coat and work a carving station. I told cateringman to make sure the coat is extra huge.

It kind of pissed me off in a little way -- last week they begged everyone to work, and when I told him what my Friday schedule was going to be (work until 3, come home, meet the girl's bus, come back, go to gig...) he seemed surprised I was working.

"But you told me you needed me to. I cancelled weekend plans."

"Oh, okay. Yeah, I guess I did tell you that..." Then he starts telling me what time to show up and stuff. Perhaps I could have gone to NY after all.

Hopefully we can see Linda for Christmas. Normally when she was living in New York we'd try and see each other more often. Now that she's in Florida it kind of super sucks. If her weekend wasn't so booked solid, perhaps she coulda come up here. Such is life, eh?

Not like I don't talk to her all the time. God bless the Interneck.

In plumbing news, the other day I'd mentioned that Doug was off to replace the washer in the sink once again. Well, it didn't work. No washer will stop the flow of water from the faucet. So, we decided to call a plumber before Doug started swearing like one.

He came this morning -- looked at the sink and said "They don't make PARTS for this thing anymore. You are going to have to replace the whole thing... and look at your drain pipe. Have you noticed your drain pipe?"

Yes. I had.

I had noticed that slowly it was getting... calcified and scaley. He said that's because it is rusting from the inside out. One good whack and the whole frigging thing will crack in half. He told me not to mop in the bathroom until he can replace it.

Good thing I don't mop. Guffaw.

So he had me look through some catalogues, he measured the area, told me what sink will fit. I talked to him about the possibility of doing a corner sink, kind of kitty cornered in there because it is such and implausably small bathroom. He showed me a few models in the catalog and said that he could probably do it without having to redrill from the basement...

I started to show Doug when he came home but he was too cranky to talk about it. He works a long hard day and by the time he gets back here he just wants a nap. So I'll go over things with him tomorrow. I want to tear down the wall covering in the bathroom before the sink gets installed -- so this could be the impetus for me to get that room partly remodeled in the next few weeks. Damn. Not what I expected I'd be doing. God's way of telling me it's this room's turn.

I'm not sure how much the sink and install will cost me. Cateringman and one of my co-workers told me to just go to home depot, buy a sink, install it myself.

It was all I could do to keep from laughing in their faces. HA! Me. Replacing a sink. I can't even make scones right.

Well, I have some MF stuff to do. Her class is attempting to meet online again tomorrow. I'm having lunch with my friend Rupa before class instead of lunch with the guys... I always see them and never see her, so she's been longing to lunch with me. I'll make that happen. It's nice to be wanted.

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