Sunday, 25 September 2011


Two weeks! Two whole weeks of wash your hands, sweep the floors, don't serve food that has fallen on the ground, if you have salmonella you probablly shouldn't be working, if someone is dying call 911, don't drink poisonous substances no matter how tasty they look, and despite Disneys Ratatouille, rats do not improve your establishment. Two whole weeks and finally come this Wednesday morning at 6:30 am I will be up to my elbows in butter and flour.

Don't get me wrong I did enjoy some elements of the safety classes. I learned how to efficiently design a kitchen, how to deal with suppliers, and that you can have a compost system in your restaurant and it won't break any health and safety codes. Yipee! I learned that if someone gets hit by a car and they have a bone jutting out of their leg that you should call 911 and not text your past roommate who is a medic that lives in Ontario. For the record this was a scenerio we had to act out in class but our teacher was busy with other class mates at the time. Eventually our teacher did come around to help and showed us how to do a donut bandage to immobilize the bone. So if you ever get hit by a car and have a bone jutting out of your leg you can call me and give the ambulance a day off.

While all of this was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed the gruesome emergency horror stories, I already know how to save a life. #1 I am a woman and have 13 years of babysitting and nannying experience under my belt. My maternal instincts kick in so fast it would make your swoon, and #2 I am Mama Jo. Enough said. All sillyness and conceit aside I really did enjoy those 2 weeks of safety training. It gave me opportunities to get to know my classmates better, make some friends, and have some laughs. My Serve Safe teacher was a sheep farmer so you can imagine all the sheep jokes he was pulling out left, right, and center, and if you can't imagine them just ask my dad. These past two weeks gave me the opportunity to build a routene, schedule my life, and gave me space to sort out what I want to accomplish this year. They were a good buffer zone, an extended period of grace that I didn't know I needed.

However, my chef whites came in on Thursday, we had an extensive tour of the pastry shoppe, and first and second year kitchens and along with the rest of the class we are itching to get into the kitchen! We can't wait to make bread, pipe chocolate, and be covered in butter and flour all day. We had a very long class on Friday where the chefs walked us through what a regular day would like and then we watched the film "Kings of Pastry" an inspiring and heart pounding documentary about French pastry chefs. I suggest you rent it for your next movie night, unless you have a heart condition, as one classmate put it "This is so intense! It's worse than a horror movie!"

So here I am, painfully counting down the hours to Wednesday morning and at the same time wishing they would never come. What am I doing here? Why am I in PEI? What more could I possibly learn about the pastry world? As previously stated, I'm Mama Jo. Yes I have these little waves of jitters and skeptizism and yes I have moments where I want to turn and run like a dog with his tail between his legs. But then I remember I am a strong, confident, fearless woman. Bathed in sunlight and laughter. Blessed with prayer and encouragement, and divinely gifted in optimism. And to top all of that I made a Beef Wellington for a Christmas dinner, the very menu item Chef Ramsy himself discourages everyday house wifes from making. If I can make a Beef Weelington I can make bavarian cream, brioche, and puff pastry.Theres no chance I'm turning my back now.

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