Back to (cooking) School

second heirloom tomato tart of the season, shot with the iPhone on portrait mode

With most everyone engaged in some sort of remote or online learning, I too took the plunge and enrolled in The French Pastry Course, one of the latest offerings from my go-to learn how to cook sites Rouxbe

mise en place, these tomatoes are from Amish farm share
partially baked tart crust with foil and pie weights
husband and I had tart and local green beans with a glass of Syrah for dinner last night, outdoors, it was delightful

I’ve completed the Professional Cook Certification course with a grade of 95% and have enrolled in the the Professional Plant-Based Certification currently having a grade of 52% (yikes! final submissions and three- hour final exam heavily weighted) and having completed 91% of the course work. Not sure why I haven’t pushed through and finished, maybe it’s just that plant-based eating requires so much more planning and discipline than I can currently muster up for myself and when cooking for my family. Sure, we eat plants and I try and include them in every meal, even breakfast at times, just not sure why I just can’t finish the curriculum. 

I’ve also been making lots of quick sauce with tomatoes and basil from the garden
simply add garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, a bay leaf, and some salt and simmer away…
I did not de-seed these…

No matter, I’ve now got pastry, and bread making, and confection decorating activities to master! Bring on the butter, eggs, and sugar please. 

tart I made in August, also shown olive oil zucchini bread, cut flowers and green tomatoes from my garden
country breakfast with my collegiate daughters, you can see her pretty hand in the background, miss them so much

Yesterday for one of the first required submissions I put together the New York Times Heirloom Tomato tart, it was really quite good. I had made this in August when my college girls were home, they absolutely adored it, I miss them so much. Their colleges have taken different approaches this fall, Peanut started out with remote and some in-person classes and is now completely remote, and Lizzie still having some in-person classes and even play practice with her other classes also being remote. 

I’ve been doing online learning for years; they have had to adjust. Peanut tells me it’s just not the same as being in a live classroom with your peers and a professor, she loves that environment, and I get it. Lizzie has made tremendous adjustments and even sacrifices, having to give up her hard-earned London based and senior year research thesis project. 

setting the table for outside dining with oldest daughter Caroline and her new baby Peyton in my arms

With another potential lock-down always looming around, and not really knowing what the fall or holiday season holds for us all, I’ll take comfort in my kitchen with my laptop and stand mixer because for sure I’ll be missing those two while they work through their respective junior and senior college years, probably in their bedrooms with their laptops. Maybe I’ll just have to send sweets to them somehow via contactless delivery. 

What a world…simply keeping on and being positive. 

convinced my dear friend Jackie to do French Pastry class as well, she’s a good egg, she could probably teach it
Here you see us making a mess while decorating that cake for last post about wedding shower for fourteen, lots of iced coffee going down
Ethan’s girlfriend Lindsey enrolled too, we’ll have lots to share

Every day dress, back to school.

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  1. Love this! Miss you! Keep Inspiring!! XOXO

    • Awe, thank you so very much! Xoxo

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