The sun came out yesterday and made the whole world look like it had been dipped in Lucite. It is blindingly bright and beautiful--even mundane maple seeds look incredible when encased in ice. The more poetic among you might have thought glass, or crystal, but having been raised in the 70s when Lucite was cool, that's what comes to my mind. For those of you who can't get enough of the beauty of the ice, there are a ton of images on Flickr that capture the magic: I like this one, and this one, and this one in particular.
What to do when your world is encased in ice? Well it helps to hunker down in a comfortable chair with a cup of spicy hot chocolate and grade a pile of these babies:
and then when your brain starts to fog over, why not read a chapter or two of this?
This semester I'm taking a Sanitation and Hygiene class out at WCC. The point of this class is to teach you not to poison anyone for whom you plan to cook. Do I all of a sudden have a great interest in bacteria and food poisoning? Nope. But I really want to take some of the cooking classes offered at WCC and this is the prerequisite. Last fall I received an e-mail from Zingerman's Bakehouse about the classes they are now offering which sounded like a lot of fun. I looked into it, passed out from the price (average class is $100 for 4 hours, though some cost more, some less), and realized it was out of my budget. Then someone on the Annarborfood yahoo e-mail group to which I belong tipped me off to the best deal around when it comes to cooking classes. The former manager of the Bakehouse, Carol Deinzer, is now a Professor in the Culinary Arts department at WCC. Her 3 credit hour Baking I or Pastry I classes meet for 10 hour per week for seven and a half weeks (half a semester). That's 75 hours of instruction for $213 (plus textbook costs). Now that is a good deal (and within my budget).
So this semester I'm back in the classroom one evening a week learning how disgusting my kitchen is since I am nowhere near keeping my facilities at a "food safe" level of operation!