I’m sitting upright in my cozy bed in my very cozy apartment in Vancouver, computer on my lap, staring out the window in awe that Mother Nature has decided to make it sunny here today – well, at least partly cloudy. I’ll take it!!
I took a magical trip yesterday! I went to the Vancouver Public Library. Wow, I forgot how much I love libraries. All those books, all that information, all that knowledge just waiting to be learned – it’s so inspiring (reading has always been something that exhilarates me and renews me in a way I cannot quite explain)! Before I knew it, I was traipsing through the 6 floor building, arms piled with 12 books (and as a first time borrower, I was limited to 10 – darn). It wasn’t long before I found myself sitting on the floor in front of the books about yoga, legs appropriately crossed as I read through the different titles, backpack and pile of books on either side of me.
I left the library after an hour and a half, armed with 10 books: 5 on cooking and gluten free baking (including the story of Ace of Cakes and Duff Goldman, who I met Thursday night at an apron signing – so fun!), 2 on yoga and its origins, 1 on travel (To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey Through West Africa, a book by a spirited Canadian author named Rick Antonson, who I had the pleasure of meeting last Friday), and 2 on business to help me plan Delectable You’s first bakery. I also left having been able to use the internet (something I am not equipped with in this cozy apartment – a flaw or a blessing?), where I learned of an intensive, 8 week pastry program in France – the country known to be the best in show for all things food and pastry. I’m 90% convinced I will be adding this education to my roster in 2011, and promise to keep you informed!
I also experimented with making crème caramel for the first time in my life yesterday. As the Christmas tunes belted out of my little clock radio, I warmed up sugar and realized as the red spatula started melting into the now brown caramel, leaving a trail of red plastic, that sugar gets really really hot. Oops. I managed to get caramel that was now hardening, all over my pants, shirt, Charm City Cakes apron (thanks, Duff), and floor. True to my blonde roots, and clearly not thinking, I threw the spatula contaminated batch of hot caramel into the garbage so I could start again. As you guessed (and as anyone with half a brain would have guessed), the caramel burned through the thin plastic garbage bag. Oops again. I watched it happen, realizing as I poured it that it would, and laughed at myself (I often find I’m laughing at myself – I have a lot of good material!). Oh Lauren. Hey – I’m nothing if not interesting!
In the end, the custard itself ended up tasting great, but I still need to work on the caramel and the presentation. Work in progress – just like me! Stay tuned for an update.
Finally, in adventures with Lauren for the week, I went to the other most magical place on earth: The all you can eat chocolate buffet at The Sutton Place Hotel. Yes, friends, such a place exists, and I found it. I came, I saw, I conquered, and now I’ve banned myself from chocolate until January 30, 2011. That should give my system enough time to recover :)
I leave you now with some food for thought: a quote from To Timbuktu for a Haircut:
For each of us there are two destinies. One is the destiny you pursue. The other is the destiny that pursues you.”
Have a glorious day, friends!