Sunday, 4 March 2012

Art, grace, and embarrasment

This week was busy! But the very word busy is an understatement and to find a stronger replacement word is impossible.

The week started out with some surprising but wonderful news. My special occasion Alice in Wonderland cake was one of the three cakes chosen to be placed in the display case! It will sit there for an entire year, safely behind glass, for all to see. I was speechless and flattered to receive such an honour. Thank you, Chefs.

All week the kitchen was a bee hive of activity. The function group had to make 500 desserts for a sports function on Friday night. We got busy on Wednesday making petit fours, cookies, puff pastry, lemon mousse, chocolate mousse, cake, cheese cake, squares, circles and triangles. It was never ending! I don’t remember much of what happened in the kitchen this week, but I do remember I was glad when it was over. We set out to make 500 desserts but we made close to a 1,000! I think my group deserves an exceptional pat on the back. Yay us!

Even though this week was hectic and clouded with the stress yet excitement that graduation is soon at hand, I was blessed with an unexpected snow day on Tuesday. I woke to the sound of the radio announcer running down the list of school cancellations. As he went through every county, checking off schools, he stopped mid sentence and suddenly said, “All schools on the Island, including colleges and universities are closed today.” Those sweet succulent words were more delicious than Raspberry Bavarian Cream. I turned off the radio and burrowed deep between the bed sheets for a few more minutes of slumber.

I bounced out of bed half an hour later determined that this snow day would not go wasted. I put aside my school books, stuffed my homework under the bed and pulled out my sketch book and dusted it off. I made a comfortable nest on my bed and surrounded myself with pencil crayons, erasers, and books with pictures of butterflies, foxes, shoes, dresses, and Lord of the Rings characters. I shut out the outside world and dove into mine. I spent three uninterrupted hours guiding pencil and colour across paper, gently rubbing out mistakes with an eraser, and high lighting movement with heavy lines. I have spent so much time on the Island channeling my creativity into baking and writing I have neglected my first love of art. It felt wonderful to glide the blade of my pencil across delicate art paper and whisk breaths of colour into a black and white form to give it iridescent life. Spending time drawing reminded me of how I got here in the first place. Had I not chosen to take art in grade ten, I would not have chosen to complete an art degree. Had I not chosen University of Waterloo to complete that degree I wouldn’t have met the people that inspired and encouraged my artistic culinary talents, and thus I would not be immersed in PEI as I am today. I owe a lot to art. Just as blood ribbons through my body giving me life and energy, so too does art.

My wedding cake was due this week but because of the snow day we all got an extension and it is not due until Monday. However, I was raised to cultivate and appreciate a good work ethic so I came in early everyday to finish my cake. The base of the cake was complete on Wednesday, but designing and building the cake topper took much longer. I came to school on Saturday, joining other classmates finishing their cakes, to finish my cake topper. For three hours I bended fondant, painted it to look like branches, and carefully places leaves all around it. When it was done I placed the glorious piece atop my already fabulous cake and stood back to look at it. It looked ridiculous. The cake topper didn’t match the rest of the cake at all, and its form was goofy and awkward and didn’t portray the grace a wedding cake should. I burst out in laughter, not at all disappointed that I wasted three hours of my Saturday afternoon making something that I couldn’t even use. By itself the tree was delicate, well crafted, and a challenge I conquered, but together with the cake it looked down right goofy. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

After bringing my cake to the kitchen for it to be marked on Monday, I packed up my things and walked home. Saturday brought another island storm. What started as snow, turned to rain, and then quickly turned to freezing rain. The sidewalks and roads were a slippery mess and getting home was no walk in the park, even though oddly enough I do cut through the park, so I guess it was. Just as I turned onto
Queen street
my feet hit a patch of ice, I lost my balance and failed to recover it. My feet flew out from under me and I landed flat on my ass on main street Charlottetown, right in front of one of the most popular restaurants in town, at dinner time. I sat there for a second, my cheeks flushed with embarrassment, hoping some handsome islander would come to my rescue, but what could I do? I clapped my hands, threw my head back in laughter and picked myself up. After dusting off the ice I smiled and said, “Well, that was graceful.” I laughed all the way home, no injury except a pulled left thigh muscle, bruised knee and an exceptionally sore behind. The lesson learned: icy sidewalks are not to be feared but embraced as a lesson in grace, poise, and the art of laughing at yourself.

Medium: Pencil Crayon.
Title: "Snow Day"
Date: Feb, 28 '12

My cake is in the show case!! And to the right and left of it are two exceptionally beatiful cakes.
Well done all!

From left to right: Honey and raspberry petit fours, lemon and cream cheese turn overs, and orange sugar cookies.

Wedding cake with epically goofy cake topper . . .

. . . wedding cake without goofy cake topper. I like it with out, what do you think?

Wedding Cake: A Love for all Seasons

Though awkward and goofy atop the cake, my cake topper by itself is quite lovely.

Spring and Summer

Summer and Fall

Fall and Winter

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