31 January 2005

More Random street comments... 2

Well, while making some adjustments to my formulas, I was approached by a man with a mullet & a pink backpack.

He asked me if I was a student of {a really crappy school- that somehow has a good reputation w/ the general public}, I said "No", he said "good girl".

I thought he would leave me alone but he swung back around. He started talking about how he "had owned 40+ restaurants, was a sous chef, world traveled & could cook anything."

Then he proceeded to brag in a nervous yet confident tone about "leading the march, for all the injustices in the world....The bus drivers pass me up when they see me, they won't stop...I will fuck anyone up who tries to put me down...I'm going to get him --- make a mess out of him, and put it on the internet (I laugh nervously) NO, I Will! Fuck these people who don't treat homeless people right!

Then he throws a earring at me. "This is what preacher does..He hands out things to all the street kids -ain't that cool? That's what I'm about. I don't do any drugs or alcohol. At the AA meetings I go to {o.k ?} I see these punks go & then buy drugs outside of the meeting -- fuck that! I go after them, tell them I'll mess them up if they do that shit around here...."

After He was gone, a guy with punk gear on, sunglasses & a la brae piercing looks over at me and says: "Were you impressed? Well were you? I think he was trying to win you over."

O.k not impressed, just weirded out. I pray he doesn't act out his plan. But if he does I will have a suspect --- his face is ingrained in my memory.

What did I learn from this experience? No more Smiling & nodding. If I am uncomfortable leave. If you hear something wrong - memorize that person's face - you never know if you'll meet the next America's Most Wanted .

29 January 2005

Photography : Suzie & Liana : fun with a wussel loaf 0

Suzie & Liana cutting a wussel loaf
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

Funny stuff: This is the start of "Snooty French Baker", suzie is cutting the wussel loaf.

Liana & Suzie construct the Face
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

Now the face is being created.

Attatching The head to the body
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

The start of something good
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

Here is the prototype, we originally named it "Rico Swauve".

Black & White Profile
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

Bread --Who knew?
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

The final product -- added shoe paste buttons, mustache` and shoes.

Now A "Snooty French Baker"

28 January 2005

Food Porn ---Post your food picts! 0

Food Porn is a site for foodies to post pictures of...FOOD! Whether you cook it yourself, or if you take a picture at a restaurant, post your pics here

Peanut Butter Kiss by Herr Hans Gruber

27 January 2005

Haven't felt like writing 0

I have been really busy as of late. And lot's of notes, study & now a mid - term. I will be editing this blog code soon , adding my own design. It looks pretty good.

I have also been taking allot of photographs. I will be blogging my favorites soon.

26 January 2005

Baking Theory Notes: Fats 0


Clarified Butter By Chiot's Run

Fat added to yeast dough lubricates


  1. Hog fat or other animal fat.

+Molecular Modified Lard

  1. deodorized
  2. consistency is changed
  3. High Plasticity range
  4. Good for pastry

+Standard Shortening

  1. Original Blend
  2. hard oils + soft fats
  3. Animal fats + Vegetable Fats
  4. Not hydrogenated

+Hydrogenated Shortening
[end result is Trans fat = solid fats higher in fatty acid.]
  1. Chemically altered
  2. saturated with hydrogen
  3. Hydrogen atoms attach to fat molecules, become stable [firm]
  4. Made up of vegetable oils [ example ---palm, soybeans, rabeseed, canola]
  5. vegetable oil alone is harder to use
  6. harder to store, turns rancid quickly.
  7. final product = better storage
  8. Easier to build plasticity

+Fluid Shortening

  1. Made from Tropical oils or mutton fat.
  2. Combo of oil + hard fats + emulsifiers
  3. Sold in a tin can.

+Emulsified Shortening Added to bread it aided in the shelf life, inhibits the staling process.

Mono- & Di-glycerides = Surfactant
  • A Surfactant enables you to mix un-mixable compounds
  • A Surfactant lowers the surface tension of whatever solvent you add it to.
  • Surfactant, if used , can cause you to add a higher percentage of sugar than the formula calls for. You don't want that!
High Ratio Shortening
  • Used in Cake batter, which is an Emulsion

+ High Ratio Shortening

  1. mostly used in cakes


  1. 80% fat + emulsifiers + color + water

+Baker's Margarine*
*Must be right percentage of fat content, or fat will not melt in mouth! Pastry texture suffers.
  1. Higher melting point
  2. Colorless
  3. High Plasticity

+Roll-in Margarine*
*Must be right percentage of fat content, or fat will not melt in mouth! Pastry texture suffers.
  1. used for pastry [puff, Danish]

** With Use of butter ---charge per pastry increases, Labor increases
  1. 80 - 81% Butter Fat
  2. 14% water
  3. additives:
+ milk solids
+ minerals

  • Low melting point
  • Gives lot's of Flavor
  • Low Plasticity

24 January 2005

My first competency has come and gone... 0

Why was I so anxious? There is this thing I do when I really care about something. I become very nervous, So nervous you could freeze butter in my brain --- due to the frigid state I go to. My body screams "code red" & "all hands on deck".

I am so busy with the anxiety that I don't concentrate on what is happening around me in real time.


- maybe that is a bit exaggerated (I luv the Seinfeld characters).

Well I had my competency. I had only been in class for 8 days, so I was thinking to myself that the whole thing would be interesting. It was.

We are assigned to groups, one of these members is a 2nd year management student. The others are 2nd quarter students and me. We rotate to different positions in the bakery. Mind you this is a real working production/retail bakery.

We all knew there was a test. And The head instructor , which is from Denmark & a 4th generation baker, is testing us.

Well we draw from scraps of paper what we will be tested on. We go to pull our doughs (we've made the day before) from the reach-in retarder. No danish dough! There are 4 croissant & 1 puff pastry dough.

We are not supposed to communicate with each other, only the instructor.

But with the dough missing we shoot perplexed glances at each other. Look in the walk-in retarder, the reach-in freezer....we find the danish dough, rock solid in the walk-in freezer.

I run to his office. HE comes in confirms this. Well now we must work with the croissant dough.

I draw "plain croissants" ,

Carl says:
"you know he's going to ream you if you don't do them perfectly --- croissants are his thing"
I didn't do too bad I just forgot to add flour to the top of the dough while sheeting...so we couldn't use all of the dough, because the flour is a lubricant. IF not used while sheeting, the sheeter will "eat" it. There were holes in places -- and you want croissant dough intact(for the layers)

I did make about 20 croissants. He said they weren't half bad. ( I am thanking god right then, because this was only my second time making them).

HE told me to help Suzie. She was scaling out ingredients for Danish dough with a starter. She had everything except the ice water. I got that. We put the fresh yeast and water, and the pieces of ascorbic acid into the 40qt mixing bowl and I hand whisked it, with a wire whisk. We added the dry ingredients. The Hobart was going at 1st speed. Oops , the mixer looked like cookie dough. Suzie forgot the starter, which had been fermenting in the walk-in retarder over night. We added the started but he mixer was too dry and it wasn't congealing, the first mixture was mixed into the starter in big chunks. There was no way to save the dough.We had to throw it out.

Turns out we all screwed up in some form or another. The Instructor even commented that :
"today when you woke up you guys should have went back to bed"

He was chuckling though.

When it was my turn to go into the office. He commented on my croissants. And they weren't that bad. He also said that right now I am along for the ride, by next quarter I will be in the groove of things.

SO after I walked out of there I realized I would do alright. I am no longer anxious, I just want to do well.

23 January 2005

Found : Web Economy Bullshit Generator 0

Want to feel better about yourself ? Are you easily coerced, or in denial or just need a pick me up? Then feel free to try the Job Generator.

Special thanks to the Web Economy Bullshit Generator. It made my day!

22 January 2005

Meringue , sticky yet firm...Mousseline buttercream. 0

Adapted from one of my favorite books, The Cake Bible

Mousseline Buttercream

Formula :

Makes 4 1/2 cups - enough to fill and frost 2 9-inch x 1 1/2 layers or 3 9 x 1-inch layers]
Recipe starts out thin and lumpy looking and about three-fourths of the
way through, it starts to come together or emulsify and turn into a
luxurious cream.

Temperature of the butter is important - use butter that is 65 degrees
F. If it is too soft or the room too hot, the buttercream turns thin or
into a grainy, hopeless puddle.

If the mixture does not feel cool, refrigerate it until it reaches 65 to 70 degrees F. If the butter is
too cold, then suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat very briefly, stirring vigorously when the mixture just starts to melt slightly at the edges. Dip the bottom of the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water for a few seconds to cool it. Remove and beat by hand until

Place in an airtight bowl. Rebeat lightly from time to time to maintain silky texture.
Buttercream becomes spongy on standing.

Will keep 10 days
refrigerated, 8 months frozen. Allow to come to room temperature
completely before rebeating to restore texture or it will break down

    (454 grams) unsalted butter (65 degrees F - softened but cool - not runny and greasy)

    1/4 cup (60 grams) water

    5 large (150 grams) egg whites

    1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

    2 to 3 teaspoons liquor of choice or optional flavorings below


**Chocolate :Beat in 5 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate

**White Chocolate: Beat in 6 ounces of melted and cooled white chocolate

**Fruit: Beat in up to 3/4 cup lightly sweetened fruit puree (strawberry or raspberry) or orange, passion, lemon or lime curd.

Procedure :

1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy and set aside in a cool place.

2. Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range. In a small heavy saucepan (preferably with a non stick lining) heat 3/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.

3.Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low. (If using an electric range remove from the heat.)

first bubbles in the sugar syrup appear - signaling a temperature rise

HardBall stage[248*F]

4. Boil the syrup until the thermometer registers 248°F to 250°F (the firm ball stage). Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

5. In another another mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of
tatar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.

6. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

stiff peaks form
Stiff peaks

7. **If using a hand held mixer, beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. Don't allow the syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl.

**If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining

8. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to medium and continue beating up to 2 minutes or until cool. If not completely cool, continue beating on lowest speed.

9. Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time. At first the mixture will seem thinner but will thicken beautifully by the time all the butter is added.

If at any time the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and
beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.

10.Lower the speed slightly and drizzle in the liquor.

When I made this buttercream the steps I followed were :

While I started a sugar syrup {sugar & water} on the stove in a sauce
pan, stiring until the first signs of bubbling. I then set the temp on low and started the egg whites.

There are several key steps when dealing with egg whites. You must never over beat, have them in a clean mixing bowl and must temper the whites when adding syrup. But you've
got to work quickly witht the syrup or you'll end up with "pulled sugar" all over your beaters.

The beating should only continue until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly pulled away.

I must say I do well with meringue, it is easy to ruin the meringue - over beating causes it to become "foamy" in texture. The opposite of beautiful "stiff" peaks.

Once the meringue is done I added butter, slowly 1 TB at a time. After a lot
of beating the buttercream was very velvety. I must say I will use this
recipe again -- the buttercream holds flavor well and is great for
piping designs .

Once the buttercream was mixed enough, I added some berry puree - delicious! And it makes for a beautiful coloring. {just be sure to have some plain on hand before adding puree
- for decorating} I had to make one more batch.

21 January 2005

More new Poetry stuff ... " Phlebotomy" 1

A poem about blood donation, through the eyes of the phlebotomist.

Blue shades,
heart beats wander uneven skin.

Illusive tributaries
pushed to the surface sporadically.

More apparent once red color
floods vulnerable tissues.

rubbery at first palpitation.

Cold fingers,
tap skin with skin

Make mental notes---
..."Position"..."Depth"..."How rubbery?"

Latex snaps.
Antecubital scrubbed yellow,
odor is one of sterility.

Needle uncapped,
reveals flinty surgical steel from within.

Pursed between thumb, forefinger.

Bevel penetrates flesh.

Elegant, yet forceful insertion.

Hollow needle---
---not hollow intentions.

---Amber © Jan. 11,2005. All Rights Reserved

20 January 2005

Umpa Lumpas have impecable style.... 0

When I am in the bakery I feel a bit umpa lumpa-ish. With us in our uniforms and the constant mixing. And the big bags of sugar and flour.

Umpa Lumpas by pshab

maybe it's the constant standing -- all the blood drains from your head into your feet.


19 January 2005

Waging a war?? Me or them.... 0

Long enough, I said. Long enough. Awkwardness. I arrive in the morning and I am confronted with the icky sweet fakeness. Another day to smile at the new kid ---not really wanting to know who she is, just wanting to seem nice, for convenient approval.

This bothers me so damn much. I thought baking would be removed from the kiss your ass, spit on your face shit. The days usually start out, in the cafe, everyone at the "special" table. They all cower beside this table, pull there chairs up to it. Then a repeat at lunch. Baking on one side of the massive room, culinary on the other. Lines were drawn sometime ago.

So here we have it. A baking "Cliche", measured by how much you can talk about someone behind their back, and bitch. Then they make jokes " how some people don't want to be part of them", Why? When everyone must be assimilated and "go along". What kind of bullshit is that? I am a failure I guess because I am straight up. I want to know someone for who they are. Not everyone is this way though , but they tolerate this ritual, out of habit I think.

18 January 2005

Assembly of Cake 0

Today I make cake. I have been requested to make some kind of cake with a "baby foot" theme, for a baby shower.

I ordered 2 full sheets, of devil's food[chocolate], from our cake dept.

Today I will be taking a little drive over the river to The Decorate Shop, the only cake/candy supply shop in the metro area. I need a cake box. They always have great service, and the price s aren't bad.

I wanted to do a poured ganache but I am still thinking maybe a lighter buttercream might be better. Plus I can use the white background, the colors are pastels.

I am thinking that a standard sheet cake will do the trick. Too many people for a 8 inch round.

I need to get a smaller metal spatchula [3 1/4 "] , one with a point at the end, to help smooth over the delicate decorations.

I am doing a raspberry & ganache filling. The sides will be smooth. Either a dot or basic shell border.

17 January 2005

Let The Music Play! --Caring about electronic sharing online! 0

IF you care about music, check this site out, There are lot's of good links:

Music Droid by The Smurf

Congress has given copyright holders expanded subpoena powers similar to those granted to government officials under the USA PATRIOT Act. This means that whether or not you use peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, the recording industry (or anyone who claims to be a rights-holder!) can easily gain access to your personal information - without a judge's oversight.

Industry representatives say that the subpoenas and lawsuits are necessary to protect recording artists. But suing fans doesn't pay artists. Neither does threatening every Internet user's civil liberties. We need a constructive solution. EFF advocates offering fans a legal way to use P2P programs while ensuring that artists get paid.

EFF isn't alone in recognizing that lawsuits are not the answer. We have assembled some information on compensating artists while making P2P legal. Feel free to read it and pass it along.

There are over 60 million people in the United States who use file sharing - more than the number of people who voted for our current President. If we all band together and stand up for our rights, we can change the law.

Help end the P2P war. Become an EFF member today so the music can play on.

16 January 2005

Baking Theory notes: Wheat/Flour 1

" Flour is to wheat , as Wine is to Grapes "

What is the most important food in the world?
* Rice

our text book was wrong - listing wheat as number one. In reality wheat is 2nd in the world.


Parts of a wheat kernel :
Cross Section of Wheat

* The Germ Where sprout is formed, supports seed fat, vitamins & minerals.

* The coat or Husk The outermost covering of the kernel. "Chaff"

* Endosperm The inner most center of the kernel.

* Bran The layer covering the Germ.


* Separates the Germ & Bran
---bran contains the "fat", which is taken out to give flour a better shelf life. Otherwise it would go rancid.
* Reduces the chance of Endosperm entering into the flour. For Less expensive production & marketing of flour.

---Whiter more exspensive flour comes from the Endosperm.

---Quality of wheat effects the quality of Flour.

[types of milled Flours]:

+Patent = Made with the endosperm
--- remnants from milling patent flour are made into Clear Flour.
+Straight = Made with the whole middle part of the wheat kernel

+Whole Wheat Flour = Made from the Whole kernel.
---Due to fat content in bran, easily spoils/ goes rancid.

What effects wheat?
* Climate
* Soil

---Montana produces a large amount of Hard wheat due to the colder, drier conditions

--- Where Oregon produces Soft wheat due to mild, wetter conditions.

Specific Types of Wheat:

+ Hard Red Spring
---Sowed in the spring
---Areas with tough climates
---harvested in the fall

+ Hard Red Winter

---Sowed in the Fall
---Harvested in spring

+ Soft

What kinds of wheat flours are there?

+ Hard Wheat
---High in protein = more Gluten
---Used for bread [produces a chewier inside, crusty outside]

---Made from Spring Red Wheat
---grown in the West, mid-west & Southwest...notably Deaf Smith Country, Texas
---known for mineral content
---Make firm, elastic breads

*England named it Strong Flour

[ Hard Flours ]:

+ High Gluten [11 - 13 % protein]
+Clear [13 - 15% protein]
---Used in producing Bagels, Rye Bread
+Bread flour

+ Soft
---Lower in protein = less Gluten
---Used for pastry, cookies [produces tenderness, melt-in-your-mouth texture]
---from mostly the Mid-west
---An asset in pastry due to "smoothness"

[ Soft Flours]:
+ Cake Flour
+ Pastry Flour [used in pie crust, cookies etc.]

Why Use wheat?

* Protein of wheat
--- Gluten
which consists of :


---Gluten holds back gas causing bread dough to proof [rise]
---Gives bread structure

15 January 2005

Quotes from a pastry master... 0

My Denmark born 4th generation Baker & Head Instructor.

"When you can make true croissants & perfect Baguettes
proficiently --- then you can call yourself a real baker"

14 January 2005

Poetry : These Soulless Times! 0

This poem is a nod to some of my favorite poets. A bit old fashioned in it's stanzas.


Past and future stand -
mirror like images
on a vast plateau.

Trip the light fantasy -
ethereal profusion
and transcriptions.

Far from the falsehoods
and these soul-less times.

Numb to the pinprick counter action,
and calculated dreams.

I find sanctuary without any grounds.

The peace I seek
has no conventions,
like the countless nothings
without any visions.

I seek and find -
my ebbing...
deep patterned thoughts
and rhyme less conjectures.

My moods are forever roaming.
dipping like pools,
seeping into the countless cracks ---
which form in our crooked streets.

----Amber ©All Rights Reserved.Aug. 24.1999

13 January 2005

Poetry : Grandfather 0

"Grandfather" was written on the day of my grandfather's death. I had a seat in my uncles vineyard looking out across the grapevines and the towering blues beyond..this inspired me.

Where are you?

Among the dust and vines scattered below my feet,

keeping what little warmth to nurture the roots?

Are you amongst the wings of the prairie chickens,
whimpering in content like a silent flute?

Are you the breeze who shelters us from the unwanted heat,
shivering under the soft spoken branches ---

these who nod their lonely solitude?

are you growing amongst the vines,
helping to guide your grieving wife, daughters and sons?

If I stood among the hills, rubbed the soil on me,
would you rise through my veins---

your spirit radiating to those who know?

Do you float on the tides in murky river water?

Could you take shape as the iridescence dew on the newly harvested fruit?

Or ,
do you linger amongst the barrels only hesitating in fermented fumes,

is your spirit just with us all,
by unspoken

Amber © All Rights Reserved. May 28, 1995

12 January 2005

Poetry : Death of a Flower 0

I wrote this poem within a year of losing my aunt to cancer and my cousin to an aneurysm. It is about mourning and grief.

the mourning by onkel_wart

What heals these wounds?

one endless funeral procession.

The owls
are forever screeching
in our trees ---

---Calling out
the names.

Now lost
to the
infinite blackness,
akin to the night sky.

---Predicting our losses
which loom so large.

As if
each soul
were as nameless
as a star,
a million rosary beads.

At this hour
counting seems
to the
who feel lost,

wearing their mourning

owls wear their feathers.

---July 23, 1999 Amber © All Rights Reserved.

11 January 2005

I have written new Poetry!!! 0

A poem about nightmares.

Nightmare by Kaptain Kobold

Bloody mess
broken and torn.

Wipe the barren nonsense away,
Shake off the bad dreams
and illicit pict-o-grams.

Why do you fret?

Your morbid facade`disrobed
A softness made unaware,
innocent, yet dismayed.

No longer a bitter core.

---All rights reserved © Amber Jan.11,2005

10 January 2005

Berry Nice Puree 0

The Berries are washed in a colander.

I chose to use 3 types of berries for my puree: Blueberry,Raspberry & Blackberry. I thought it would add subtle layers of flavor.

Juice and finely mashed fruit collect in the bowl.

Once the berries were rinsed thoroughly in cold water, I placed a fine sieve over a small bowl. I used a soup ladle to push the berries into the sieve, thus separating the juice and fruit from the seeds.

These are the left over seeds.

I then discarded the seeds ( did this at least 4 times) and added the fruit to my food processor.
I blended until almost smooth [do not over blend or the puree will be to thin] Added a small amount of sugar. Set aside.

This was added to my buttercream & used as a syrup brushed onto the sheet cake layers. It gives the cake flavor and also helps keep the cake moist.

After I was done the house was perfumed with berries, quite honestly it reminded me of summer.

07 January 2005

Poetry: Lost In The '90's 0

DSCF4350 By mattbuck4950
I seem to always find
the oddest things at
garage sales...

Treasured lava lamps,
and the velvet pictures...
Orange Naugahyde chairs
with cigarette burns...,

old vinyl records,
cracked of course!

How 'bout that avocado colored Formica ?

I seem to know
disco beats...Those retro fads---
crimped hair; Afros;

don't forget Charlie's Angels ®
Queen Farrah
Oh that stupid Fawcett!

The pipes froze with degrees in the '80's...

But that hustle
of platform heels
surfaced again --
In 1990.

along with that vinyl craze;
For after "you spin me 'round, 'round Baby"
We're still left dizzy!

FLASHBACK! to the '60's

The Fashion Forecaster
calls for more nostalgia...
dropping to the lower '50's...

We wear confusion like a trend in these late 1990's

---Jan. 1999 Amber © All rights Reserved.

ESBN 33737-060223-254509-40

06 January 2005

People love a chick in uniform! 1

If someone asked me : Have checkered pants, a white bakers shirt/coat and white shoes changed my image to the world???

fulton street, 2004 by joe holmes
I might have to respond with a resounding yes! Everywhere I go now I am talked to or talked at. It has been 4 days of Seinfeld-esque banter. Normally when I am walking somewhere - nothing. I was the George Costanza of my world, wondering and stressing over too little interaction. Now I feel like Kramer - getting noticed. And I don't know how I feel about this.

Round-up: WTF Street Moments ,in Chef Whites, from the week
Here are some of the best excerpts that came up in conversation, from total strangers in various times during the week.

Conversation #1
"hey..I need to ask you something. IT isn't bad. Can you get pregnant after having your tubes tied??I have been eating like a horse. I have felt movement down in "that" area..." 
I was on the bus going downtown, this woman leans across the isle whispering. O.k what is she doing telling me about "that area" ?WTF I am a total stranger.

Conversation #2
"...I bet you even have white socks on under that white uniform huh!..I would never where so much white"

Oh, sorry I guess I look, hmm, like a baker or something? I guess having a career is not a person's knowledge but their clothing.

Conversation #3
"... after work I get wild and dance on tables"

Wow, that's great, I guess?

Conversation #4
"Oh what a stupid hat...No really I love it"

Very cute -- I hope all your little friends had a great laugh.

Conversation #5
street photography By Kreative Eye - Dean McCoy
"...damn car...I spent money on a new battery, sucked the juice right out of it..Spent $150 dollars on a brand new alternator, the damn car shorted it out. That's my Merry Christmas"
This guy was nice, but for some reason he told me his car saga for like 10-15 minutes. I couldn't leave because I waiting for the bus.

Conversation #6
"...Is your name Lisa? You look like someone I know"
I get mistaken for someone at least once a day. It must be the face.

Conversation #7
" I don't cook for a living anymore, from my experience it is one big assembly line - especially if you work for The Hilton...This pays better"
O.k well I am not going to cook, I am going to bake. I actually like what I am doing, it isn't for the money.

Conversation #8
"...god I have been craving a corn dog all day - your uniform makes me even hungrier...Mexicans and Russians make tons of kids and live in a 2 bedroom apt..Asians are made for breeding."

This is the most IGNORANT thing I have heard in a while. I am so tired of people with no tact, or compassion. Poor folks are poor folks. This is 2005 and there we go with perpetuating of stereo types. Maybe you should maybe, I don't know learn a different culture?

Conversation #9
Bus Stop By Maurizio Costanzo - mavik2007
" ..please say this [a Russian woman hands me a Russian to English electronic translator, I speak several words and simplify them]...say "Babooska" - you "young girl", I am old babooska. In Russian "heavy" is lighter...[she laughs a throaty laugh]"
This woman was very kind. She was trying to better her English, and since I helped her she wanted to share her Language with me. Very cool.

Conversation  #10 (I say this loosely as I wasn't a participant)
As angry as I get by Erika Hall
" I had Hep C and thyroid problems --- but JESUS healed them, he saved my LIFE!!!"

Holy S*** , I am walking a side street, and about to cross the street, when a women driving some big '80's boat, comes half way out the window - looking at me and yelling, while the car is still moving.

She kept screaming this over & over.

O.k Jesus is great --- but guess what, Jesus might not want you to run over someone, or get into a car accident. What Would Jesus do? Pull over and  STOP THE CAR! Before exclaiming divine measures have taken place.

(Image on right is not actual picture of person, used for demonstration purposes)

05 January 2005

Poetry : Senior Citizen 0

This poem was written in response to the ever growing problem our elderly are facing. So many elderly are left to wither in apartments, houses or  senior citizen homes - they lack human contact and are ignored by the younger society. Volunteer your time - affect someone who is lonely or who has no family.

Senior Citizens by nicubunu.photo

He is old -
As if life itself was creaking,
Like one big porch swing.

So many years -
Like the rusty links of a chain
needing to be oiled,
From so much wear as time jolts
taking it's tole.

His bones lay -
weathered and splintering
like old boards.

His skin, missing the radiant glow
Of it's youthful shellac,
Now wrinkled, grayed
And aging.

If not left in corner somewhere
under a layer of dust;

If well oiled with respect-
He will glide,
Carrying you on many adventures.

Last Journey by  izahorsky

Memories will flow
like a welcomed breeze on a humid,
Summer night.

And he will bask in "usefulness"

Not ill and forgotten
in the darkened storage of loneliness.

Waiting 3 by sheilaz413

--- Amber© All rights reserved. Dec.12, 1995

04 January 2005

Poetry : To the Survivors 0

This poem was written in response to the Dec 26 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Memorial by wvs

Chimes call out
in remembrance...

Time, with it's out stretched hands,
wraps a chilly embrace
on a moments' passing.

As if frost bit.

The past takes on a eerie, bluish hue.

To those ---
once alive and joyful.
Now earthly bodies blackened .

To those ---
The survivors...
Whose eyes are
Veiled with tears.

-- Amber ©All Rights Reserved , 2005

ESBN 62383-060223-540962-33

03 January 2005

Back in the saddle or in this case ...apron again! 0

First day, originally uploaded by abstract2concrete. 

I was so nervous all night...I couldn't even sleep, I fell asleep around 1 a.m.

Just knowing that I would soon be in a production bakery setting again was very exciting and at the same time nerve raking.

----- the night before ---

Last night I got really stressed about not having my uniform together, the whites I'd ordered through the department weren't in yet. I wasn't able to get the whites or coat due to funding issues, and my aide check wasn't available until today. No stores were open that had uniforms anyway, So I went on a thrift store hunt --- at 5 p.m on a holiday weekend, on a Sunday!

I found a white short sleeve shirt that worked, but no white pants , I checked both men's and women's.

At one store I found 4 brand new chefs coats, and I thought "score!" but that was a let down ---all were size 4XX .Much too big. At the same store I found some "Skid Buster" culinary clogs and sneakers (brands that go for $50.00 online) -- brand new in boxes, after sifting through the size 15 men's I found size 7 in men's white sneakers. I tried them on and they fit good. They were $12.00 ! So I did score a good deal. Who cares if they were guys shoes.

----Arrival -----

Frost was on the ground all day, so it was quite cold. I ended up buying my culinary whites at the college bookstore. So I walked past my class 2 times. Then I thought, "oh, crap - I should suite up". So I hurried to the restroom to put on my new white pants.

I was still so jittery. But eventually I calmed down and breathed a little easier. The 2nd year students went off to their various stations,while me and the other new, 1st year, students went through orientation.

As we rounded the orientation out by touring the bakery and kitchen, I felt like screaming: " it is truly bliss to realize what path you want, and are taking in life!", and I felt very at home with the smells of the kitchen, and the kindred spirits around me.

02 January 2005

baking 101 0

baking 101
Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

So now I am alive with pure joy, knowing I will be pursuing a degree I love.
And I have always thought that there was such a realness to all the people I have met in the Culinary industry.

I remember classes from 5 years ago {for my chef certification}I was 18 years old. - on one such occasion in the hot summer, all the windows open and the oven going.

Fellow students - Chad and someone else were making flat breads or was it rolls? Hmm.

Well on with the story. They were teasing me about being a "newbie" in the culinary class. Chad at one point exclaimed "You have much to learn, grasshopper" with a snicker.

Eventually I was taken into the normal routines of kitchen life, and I earned the respected role of old timer, to other new culinary students.

Well now I feel as though I am a grasshopper again. Today was rather laid back. Not much was expected of me -- being a new student. When I wasn't observing, I scaled out 2 croissant master recipes for tomorrow morning. Later my peers and I watched the ingredients for the dough forming and congealing as it was whisked back and forth with the dough hook, in the Hobart. I love the smell of bread dough.

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