Monday, December 20, 2010

Keep on, keepin on

Exams are finally over, so I can breathe easy now. It's been a tough couple of weeks trying to keep up with all the studying, the pressures of the practical exams and the butchering practical. I have to be honest, I didn't score where I wanted to be for some of the exams and I am somewhat disappointed. I made some mistakes in my cooking practical which cost me some points and an A. No, I am not fine with a B -- but I know where the mistakes were made and I have to be sure not make them again.

Our butchering practical was quick and easy -- so I thought! We had to draw out of a "hat" the protein we would fabricate. Our options were: round fish, flat fish, chicken or rabbit. Fortunately, the rabbit did not come in and that was taken out of the mix. I have only fabricated one rabbit, so I did not feel as confident as I do with the fish and chicken. So, of course, I drew chicken. I felt really good about it -- my boneless skinless breasts looked fantastic and I even deboned the thigh quite well. But I ran over on time -- by one measly minute!! Another "B" it is -- ah, bugger!! Chef also said I had a lot of meat on the top cuts of the wings -- I didn't think too much yield was a bad thing, but whatever. I thought it was perfect.

I did MUCH better on my baking practical with a 93!! I did slightly overcook my pumpkin muffins, and my danish dough was slightly dense, but my French apple tart and scones were perfect!! YAY!! Considering that was the first time I have made scones, that was fabulous! We work in groups at school, so I somehow managed to not be a part of the scone making. Not on purpose, of course, but I at least watched them be made and they are actually really easy. I made chocolate chip orange scones. They looked and tasted fabulous!

As for the written exams, my baking exam was super short -- only 25 questions! That was a nice surprise, but I am glad I still studied as much as I did. Next semester is going to be more advanced and we need to understand the science of baking on a different level. I am extremely excited to take this class -- and I hear the instructor is tough, but a great pastry chef.

My cooking exam was longer, but again, I studied enough and think I will get an A. Unfortunately, I need at 94 on the exam to get an A in the class and I am guessing I probably scored more along the lines of a 90. I am tempted to email Chef to find out, but then again, what can I do about it now? I know what I can do next semester -- and that is push myself to the next level. I know I am capable of it -- I just have to execute!

During break, which is about 4 weeks, I am going to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Chef says people aren't just born with the talent -- it takes practice. If you find that you are not good at something, keep doing it until you are good at it. So that is what I will do!

Bon Appetit!

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