Sunday, 8 April 2012

Waking Up

The Island is just barely touching the heels of spring and everything is beginning to wake up. On Friday morning I woke up to the sound of birds singing. Their happy chatter and blissful melodies folded seamlessly into an Italian opera playing from my iPod alarm clock. I went for a very long walk this week and allowed my feet to move from their familiar paths to find new ones. The smell of the earth coming to life and beginning to grow lured me through the park and to the edge of the water. The smell of the fresh, clean, and crisp sea was no longer shrouded in bitter winter death. All the ice had melted away and the sun cast down its golden rays warming the ocean slowly, chasing away the sea monsters that reveled in the cold winter waters and welcomed back a plethora of magical life. The trees bended and stretched in the breeze waking up from their extended nap. Their branches were stripped of any stubborn fall leaves and new buds slowly started to emerge. The colours are bleak still except for a thin ribbon of red hugging the coast with the promise of warmth and life. As I wandered through the city I saw small splashes of fresh sap green as tulips and daffodils pushed their way up through the once hard now soft and nurturing soil to paint the Island with the first colours. Spring.

And then that reality was shattered when I woke up Sunday morning to a winter snow storm. Sigh.  

My last week of classes went by at a steadily. I didn’t feel taken aback by the fact school would be over soon, and I didn’t come to school with a sense of disbelief and confusion that time had passed as quickly as it had. On the menu for this week was a simple yet delicious black and white brownie duo with vanilla white chocolate chunk ice cream and double chocolate ice cream. The brownies were perfect and so was the ice cream, if I do say so myself, the sauces and candied almonds were of equal delectableness and it made for an easy week for me. I had time to help others around the kitchen and on Thursday I was blessed to have time to make a raspberry and vanilla Bavarian Cream. I’ve wanted to make a Bavarian Cream all year and on the last day of classes I made that dream come true. The first time through I left the crème anglaise on the stove to prep an ice bath. I thought the heat was on low but when I got back I discovered I had made sweet scrambled eggs. Oops. The second time through everything turned out beautifully. It was delicious! Bavarian Cream is like pudding that was made my angels. The texture is creamy and folds into every corner of your mouth with soft yet addictive flavour. I know for next time to make a double batch.  

As mentioned Thursday was my last day of class. That was the last time I would step into a classroom, lay my open brain out on the table and try to absorb all the information my teachers could give me. Well maybe it’s not the very last class, I plan to go back to school to be an architect when my mid-life crisis hits, haa haa.

It was surreal and to be honest this entire year hasn’t really felt like school. I look back on these past months and it feels like I’ve been at a summer camp. I have learned so much but I have had the time of my life doing so. I am so blessed to be able to go to class and instead of watching fire and magnesium ignite to make fire works, I watch heat, steam, and fat come together to make the lightest, flakiest pastry you have put in your mouth. Instead of listening to the history of socialism I sit mesmerized by the history of chocolate. My school uniform is not a plaid skirt with knee high itchy socks, I proudly wear checkered clown pants, a chef jacket and hat that adds an extra foot and half of height.

I can’t completely say good bye to Holland College yet, there is still my practical exam to go and graduation. You may ask: What will you be doing with your time until then? I can’t be certain about what I will be doing but I know what I won’t be doing. I won’t be packing my bags and clearing out my room. And I won’t be buying a seven piece luggage set and train ticket home. I won’t be moving back home this summer. I have found a job on the Island for the entire tourist season! Praise the Lord!! I will be working at Anne of Green Gables Chocolates as an assistant to the cook making every kind of flavour of chocolates! I am going to be a chocolatier! I am so excited!

When I was walking home from school on Tuesday, after just receiving the e-mail of congratulations, I looked up to the trees and whispered, “I’m staying!” They just smiled back and nodded, “We know. We knew the entire time.” I felt safe and invited and valued! I will have the opportunity to see PEI blossom from Spring into Summer. Watch the sun lay down for the night down by the wharf every night, and hold my breath as rock concert style summer storms shake the red shores. And I will be writing every moment down and sharing it with you!

Now that I will be the Island for a bit longer I have come up with three new “New Years Eve” goals:
-          Pick a bouquet of wild flowers
-          Find a sea shell, sand dollar, and star fish
-          Go sea kayaking

Oh and I still have yet to pet a fox. I realize my window of opportunity may be shrinking, pretty soon it will be spring and they will be hyped up on hormones and being pregnant and then have little ones to look after, spring is never a good time to approach any animal.

Spending Easter on the Island has been a delight. Good Friday was a little odd for me though. I think sometimes as Christians we don’t think it’s ok to be sad on Good Friday. When we have been taught to be happy, extend love, and be joyful in God we think it’s irreverent to mourn the death of Jesus, to be angry, sad, upset and confused as to why He died rather than us. I went to a Good Friday service with several different Charlottetown congregations, it was great to all be together under one roof, but I felt like I had the whole weekend in one service. It would have been nicer to be more unsettled at the end of the service, to leave sad, to be reminded that I am worth dying for, and to have some suspense. It would make Easter morning that much more a celebration and would give relief when the truth of the foundation of my faith comes to life.

My beloved parents sent me a little Easter box in the mail with chocolate eggs and other such goodies. On Easter morning I woke up early enough hoping to hide the Easter eggs before my roommates woke up but alas we all woke up at the same time. I decided to hide the eggs anyway even though they knew where half of them were hidden before they could start looking. I spent Easter dinner with a group of beloved, vibrant and spunky friends from church. There is something heavenly about sitting around a group of friends, eating good food, and laughing until you quite literally pee your pants. I’m not naming names but you know who you are J

In a nutshell I am on top of the world. It has been a great week, full of good news, accomplishments, friends, and laughter. If this is a preview of what the summer is going to look like then bring it on!  

Black & White Brownie duo: Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. Cream cheese blondie with chocolate ice cream, raspberry and chocolate sauce and candied almond slices.

Raspberry Vanilla Bavarian Cream with chocolate shavings, gianduja sauce, and strawberry sauce.

Another picture of Bavarian Cream because one just isn't enough.

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