Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day One - At The Kitchen Table with Julie Gale

This is Day One of my Practicum
To read the Introduction to my Practicum click here.

    I arrived at Julie Gale’s house, after following her by car from school, nervous but intrigued.  First of all Julie lives on a beautiful country road, with very little traffic, that is the perfect mix between the convenience of a paved road with the beauty of nature.  Her house is a sage green and pastel yellow, and is perfectly situated on the lot, which has been recently tilled and will soon be covered in grass.  Lastly she drives two gorgeous cars that some day will be sitting in my driveway. 
    As I get out of the car I am greeted by Julie’s small bulldog named Sadie, who comes awkwardly waddling up to me, huffing and puffing.  We walk down to the second building next to the house, which I guessed to be her teaching kitchen, followed by Sadie. 
    Inside I am slapped with the care put into this kitchen.  The walls are a hazelnut brown, while the peaked ceiling is covered by a green metal, that has been pressed with designs.  Natural light shines in from the two walls of windows, that overlook the new pond, and sky lights.  Baby plants are nestled in the corner under the supervision of a dim light.  Antique carts and a black antique shopping cart, are filled with cooking tools and machines.  The speckled concrete island sits in the middle of the small but cozy space, with a built in sink.  The grand stainless steel, two oven, six burner range sits in the corner.  Behind it that wall is covered in tin siding, also imprinted with designs, which protects the wall behind it from splatters.  The small freezer and microwave and checkerboard butcher block all sit next to the range.  It was perfect.
    We began the morning by making, Fresh Mayo with organic eggs, Pannacotta with strawberries, fresh black pepper and balsamic vinegar and lastly Pain de Mie, a dense French bread. 
    The fresh mayo took a lot of time even though it was fairly simple ingredient wise.  It took a lot of patience to slowly, I mean slowly, add the olive oil to the eggs and wait for the two to emulsify.
    The Pannacotta was amazing once finished.  Pannacotta is made with cream, yogurt and a thickener like gelatin.  We let this cool in muffin tins, in the fridge, overnight.  The next morning we made the topping which consisted of strawberries, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  We soon realized that the pannacotta did not set up properly and was more of a custard consistency but with the strawberry marinade topping it was just out of this world. 
    Lastly the Pain de Mie, which is a French bread that is allowed to rise three times before being put into a pan.  Special pans are used when making Pain de Mie, to suppress the dough from rising while baking to make a dense bread.  Since we did not have these specialty pans we used a baking sheet over the pan, weighted down with a wok.  Once it was finished we both decided that it had a good texture and a somewhat neutral taste for a sandwich but may not be worth the work to make it.

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