On the principal that one can always hone ones craft and learn more, I signed up for a 5 day jam making course at the French Pastry School for August 2011.
First Day: A good start. 12 people in the class 5 of whom worked in health care at some point. One person who asks a million questions and most of them over and over because every class requires that. We had lectures this morning and then cooked all afternoon. Broken into teams of two, one half the class made 5 recipes and one half did the other five. My partner and I made Dill Pickles, Candied Ginger, tart dough for a mincemeat tart tomorrow, and the mincemeat and apricot jam. Some of which were prep work for things we will make this week sometime. We really had to move. They were just a little disorganized but everyone got done in time so no big deal. My partner, who took the serious 6 month course which was graded is a neat freak. She says that the course did that to her – that one was graded on a clean work station. So she had the bottle of disinfectant out every 10 minutes. She is a worrier with not much sense of haha but is an 11 year liver transplant survivor so I suppose one can forgive her level of earnestness.
Cooking is a great equalizer. A Master’s Degree or a physician’s license isn’t much good when you are filling jars. One of the docs, who is a retired genito-urinary surgeon says that she finds it all meditative. Which is what I get from making jam – I call it my working meditation. Steady, careful with measured movement. Enjoying the zen of the day – in and out, up and down, stir and chop. The callus on my middle finger from stirring – the mark of the jam maker. I did learn today that when my chocolates get bloom on them it means that I got the chocolate too hot when I melted it.
P.S. I did not get one spot or splatter on my white chef’s coat. This is an achievement for me. Usually I’m all Miss Piggy cooks.