Friday, April 18, 2008


Oh my, what a exhausting week! My business trip yesterday was rather non-productive and totally wore me out. Guess I'm getting too old for these 20 hour days. To top it all off, the crazy man on the plane next to me dropped his rolling suitcase on my toe. Didn't hurt too bad at the time (by then my feet were so sore from walking and standing all day they just hurt all over), but this morning I woke up to find my little toe is huge and turning rather unattractive shades of purple and black. I don't believe my luck most of the time.

The Princess did very well in the competition considering the chaos. She came in 6th place from about 40 people in her division. Not too shabby considering it wasn't even the skills she practiced or knew anything about for that matter. None of the students who were chosen for the cooking and baking competitions even came close to the top ten finishers. Her teacher is now groveling what a huge mistake she made by not putting Princess in the cooking portion like they had discussed. Especially when they were allowed to taste all of the students dishes from her school and Princess was able to tell them all what they had done wrong and right with the recipes before the teacher even had a chance to do it. Makes me so proud! She is even now considering a college degree for culinary from this experience. Pretty funny from the girl who turned up her nose at me last week for serving my best friends birthday dinner of hot dogs (hey, that's what the gal wanted-go figure) on my fine china with candles and the whole nine yards!

I also arrived home late to find two smashed boxes that said, "Live perishable plants enclosed" on my step. I had ordered peonies and roses (among other things) from QVC, and they were sitting on the porch. Now, they need to be planted and of course the weather this weekend is doomed to wind and cold. I seriously need spring here now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Competition continues

Well, the Princess is off to the official day of skills competition. Instead of competing for all the things we actually practiced, they have now placed her in the food and beverage service contest. All our slicing, dicing, recipe creating, blood, sweat, and tears was for nothing!!! Now she has to be judged on serving a formal dinner to a group including table set up, proper utensils, serving, plate clearing, order taking, proper wine glass selections, and menu memorization. This should be interesting to say the least. This kid counts Dixie cups and paper plates as her friends as they don't require her to wash them! Oh, and did I mention fancy napkin folding too?
Yesterday she was "forced" (meaning the teacher was counting on her and she didn't WANT to do it) participate in the Quiz Bowl competition. Basically glorified "Who wants to be a millionaire" deal with a group of students competing against another group. Whoever buzzed in with the right answer first won the point. Well, apparently her team was winning until two kids on her team buzzed in with wrong answers to two questions so they came in last. Ironically the two questions were concerning geometry and spelling which are not even close to the top of her mastery of subjects. Anyone know what a direct line through the center of a circle is? The other was spell "chronological". One she got that not a single other person even attempted was What is the top selling cosmetic product purchased by teenage girls?
So, should be another interesting story to hear about the day today. Tomorrow is the award ceremony, but unfortunately I have to fly out of town on business so I won't be able to attend. Sometimes being the adult here really sucks!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Exciting week

Wow, what a jam packed week our house is going to have. Princess is entered in a state wide cooking competition that begins tomorrow and goes thru Thursday. We have been slicing, dicing, tourning, sauting, braising, deboning, baking, saucing, and otherwise wrecking my tiny kitchen for the last week in preparation. Unfortunately, this competition is geared toward students with several years experience in high school cooking classes. Princess is only half way thru her second semester and is going to go against kids ready to head to Chef school! Some days I would give anything to turn public education in America on its damn head. Her food class hasn't even cooked a complete meal, and here she goes to not only demonstrate skill, but be required to tweak a recipe to make "comfort food" ready for a table at a fine dining establishment. Good grief!
Lucky for her I raised her with a no fear attitude to go out and try anything. Let's just hope she comes home with her dignity and 10 fingers still intact. The girl can cook, but when it comes to gourmet meals, deboning a chicken, or fancy shaped veggies, look out.
We ain't in Kansas anymore Toto, we have done arrived in the Land of Oz! If that isn't bad enough, the damn teacher made her an alternate for the food service comp and the baking one too! How much more pressure can a girl take I ask you!? She has only baked one cake in her life, and has great difficulty frosting a Christmas cookie let alone a cake. Her brother and I took a cake decorating class many years ago, but she was too young and never did care to learn. They ask her to create a butter cream rose she may just have a royal fit!
Now, to make matters even worse, I won't be there to offer moral support in the audience. For the first time in her 18 years, she is going to have to go it alone. Gotta work and support this whole mess and can't take 3 days off to sit and hold my breath for this deal. So, what does the Princess do? Plays the guilt card, the big guilt card. So, I officially suck this week. Not only did I not teach her from birth how to create gourmet cuisine, I won't even go to watch the biggest competition of her life. That's right. I suck. Just go for the jugular with the damn Chef knife already and get it over with will ya?
Off to eat the second pan of apple bread pudding with cream anglaise..............good eats!