Monday, February 23, 2009

On learning

I just realized that this is my 101st post since the inception of my humble little blog in January 2007. It has served to document varying topics from the mundane to the intensely personal, with the new world of pastry viewed through an atypical lens acting as a backdrop to what I try to present through my writing and photography. Much of my blog focusses on my own creative output which has emerged from my home kitchen as a means of forcing myself to grow beyond what I have learned from pastry school or at work.

an Arabesque macaron, filled with a dollop of apricot jelly and white chocolate pistachio ganache

Before entering pastry school, my personal goal had been to gain enough fundamental knowledge to be able to understand the inner workings of any recipe well enough so that I would be able to modify, adapt, and troubleshoot with confidence and skill. There is nothing I hate more than doing something simply by rote and this is reflected in how I learn and study any subject, be it ophthalmology or pastry. In fact, I possess a surprisingly horrible memory for someone who can claim 14 years of university-based training. Instead, I have always relied on understanding something inside and out before having any hope of owning that knowledge.

What Eric actually wanted for Valentine's day, Arabesque macarons and pistachio ice cream
Has this goal been fulfilled? Yes, partially. Three years ago I would not have been able to pay homage to Pierre Hermé's Arabesque macaron (Eric's favourite) and successfully play with pistachio paste. I hadn't even heard of Pierre Hermé! Yet, there is so much more to learn and explore and I am not quite sure how and where to find the knowledge I seek. My insatiable appetite for learning has never ceased. I wish there was a pastry equivalent to weekly grand rounds or continuing medical education at a non-existent world-class pastry institution nearby. You would find me in the front row, notebook in hand, with coloured pens ready for action, guaranteed.

Pistachio ice cream

12 comments:

Bria said...

Your macarons are the most perfect looking ones I have ever seen! Pierre Herme included.

Olga said...

What a great accomplishment! The macarons look amazing. I keep on saying I'm going to make them...but so far haven't even attempted to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bria's comment about your macarons! I love the pink color so much I think if I have one of these macarons in hands, I'd more than likely have my fingers just slightly touch them...as if caressing the jewel!!!

Brilynn said...

I still find macarons daunting, but I'm working on it! Yours are gorgeous.

cindy* said...

wow...these are gorgeous macarons!

BuzzKillKatie said...

That ice is actually making my mouth water! Half the enjoyment of learning comes with knowing that there is an infinite amount to find out, or never find out, and that there is always so much more to learn.

Harp said...

Congratulations on 3 years of creativity, passion and learning and on your 101st blog entry! :) Pastry grand rounds - hmmm - would pastry enjoyers & observers be able to attend, I wonder? maybe not the M&M days. Looking forward to another 101!

Aran said...

but those look absolutely perfect!

ana said...

Those are incredibly beautiful! I think I might have to have my first try at macarons tomorrow. Too many gorgeous ones popping up everywhere and I can't stand being left out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, al yor desserts look so very good:-) Im impressed with the fact that u changed your professions! Im in the process of doing just that. Im an electronics engineer however Im dont like technical stuff n I love baking so Im planning to join a pastry school. Im 25 n I baked cakes maybe just a few times. Do u think I can start from scratch now and learn baking ? I also love creative arts so I want to get good at baking and then be able to create prtty tasty things. please throw some light for me on the baking profession:-)

purplesque said...

Stunning pictures. Your blog is an inspiration.

Aracelli said...

Great work! Beautiful colors and textures. Keep it up! :)