Friday, November 25, 2011

Finally, time to breathe- Kayla

     As I'm sure you've noticed, it's been a considerably long time since I've posted.  This is due to the 12 hour days and ungodly pressure of being an actual, real-life adult.  Yes, things have been CRAZY busy, and to all of you who I have neglected to call in the past month or so, I'm sorry!  So, here I am, sitting in bed with the wonderful microfiber sheets that my mom so thoughtfully got for us (thank you, momma).  I think that this is the first time in two months that I've had time just to sit at home and completely veg out.  There is laundry going, and there are dishes to be done, but for the most part, I am a vegetable.
     School has been going well.  I really enjoyed my last class, which was an intro to pastry class.  I've taken a TON of pictures, so I'll sort through the best ones and put them on here for your viewing pleasure.

 Madeleine cookies

 Strausburger cookies with raspberry filling and chocolate deco.

 Practicing piping :)

 Pretty good for my first time writing in chocolate, no?

 Blueberry pie with lattice crust

 The BEST blueberry muffins I've ever had in my life.  Seriously, Berry Crocker is no comparison

 Chocolate eclairs

 Cream puffs with caramel halos

 The infamous creme brulee.  SO good.

Creme caramel, more commonly known as flan.  Not so good.

I've recently started a breads class, which is fun, but as much as I love bread, it has gotten a little repetitive.  Seriously, bread is pretty much all the same, with different frills (cinnamon, raisins, pumpkin).  It gets pretty old.  We are going to start laminated dough, though; puff pastry for croissants and danishes and the like, so that is going to be a good time.  We've made some really beautiful bread, but I lost my camera, so no more pictures :(  Although I love school, and I am learning a lot, I am very excited for the three week break I have coming around the bend.  
     On the job front, I am still employed, but looking for another job.  My current one has turned out to be less than ideal.  I suppose the job in itself isn't so bad, but it's not what was advertised to me.  I do not get to bake; if I do, it is very seldom and with no regularity.  Mostly because my boss can't seem to drag himself out of bed, or plan correctly, to get there so I can bake while he runs the counter.  He tells me that I will bake Thursdays and Friday, that he will be there by 10, so I can bake 10-1, but then comes strolling in at 12:30.  Keep in mind, I have to leave at 1 and there is no way I can run the counter, cook food, barista, AND bake all at the same time; I MUST have someone else there to run things while I do some baking.  It's a very long story involving the fact that Ross comes into work high, or not at all, or leaves early, or doesn't order things; this all culminates in the simple truth that I am far more responsible than my boss, which is unacceptable to me.  The chef I stage for has told me many times that she would hire me in a heart beat, but she doesn't have enough business to justify it, or afford it.  I love being there and the work is great, but there is a slight problem in that I don't get paid for being there.  Needness to say, my stage there is probably coming to an end as well.  At least I have a paying job, though, so I can't complain too much.  
     Nick pretty much summed up Thanksgiving, so no need to elaborate there.  I feel like we will have a little more free time to come.  I have weekends off now, and we don't have anyone coming into town for a while, so things should be a little less hectic.  We miss you all!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, Part 2 - Nick

Mmmmm turkey.  Well that's what I was thinking a few hours back.  Now I'm pretty sure that I will not be eating again for about 2 weeks.  Kayla made a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and I'm now thoroughly full.  She certainly didn't hold back or skimp at all on her first Thanksgiving feast, as you can see below. Not pictured in this is the sourdough dinner rolls that she made from scratch as well.

It's not fancy but it's our kitchen :-)

And plates are empty.  Note the nice new salt shaker and pepper grinder I got Kayla for her birthday.

We have yet to eat the pie yet.  We're so full and it takes hours to cool down so we'll be having it before bed.  It's my favorite, French Silk!

So overall thoughts on Thanksgiving in Chicago are as follows:  It was a lot of fun, but I miss spending it with my family.  The parade was great and a really fun experience and I really enjoyed making our own Thanksgiving dinner, but it's not the same as being at the Betsher's with everybody that I love.  Hopefully next year, wherever my job might carry me, I'll be able to make it home.  Believe me, I wouldn't been there if I could, but given the choice between Thanksgiving or Christmas, I opted for the latter.  Hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving and ate more food than their stomachs could comfortably hold!

Thanksgiving, Part 1 - Nick

This post is going to primarily consist of pictures of the parade.  So without further delay.

The parade came to a halt for a few minutes at one point.  We got a nice show from this drumline and a good view of Big Bird.

Big Bird was easily the biggest balloon in the entire thing.  

Kayla very much wants to be one of these women.

See if you can find the funny part of this float.

Thanksgiving themed?  No.  Awesome? Yes

The tricky part of having a parade in Chicago is getting the balloons under the L tracks.  Elmo almost didn't make it on account of his fishbowl

And for the final picture.  The beginning of a our Thanksgiving dinner.  The turkey is ready to go and is currently in the oven.  Kayla's getting the stuffing and other things going to.  I know, you may be thinking to yourselves "Hey Nick, get off the computer and help her cook."  Well, first off, I helped with the turkey.  I did most of the dirty work on it.  Secondly, Kayla doesn't really let me help much.  She knows what she's doing and I just sort of get in her way and distract her.  So as soon as I finish this I'm going to go clean the apartment while she cooks so that we have a nice clean place for our Thanksgiving.  We'll probably post more later =)