Saturday, January 2, 2010

The beginning of an extreme baking adventure....

So I totally know this is a ripoff of Julie and Julia (which is one of my favorite books, btw...), but I'm doing it anyway. If you don't know me, my name is Jill, and my ultimate dream job is to own my own bakery. I'm 25 years old, and I know I have the rest of my life to do things like that, but for right now, I have to have "real" jobs. Plus, I didn't go to college for baking and pastry, and quite frankly, I don't have the $80,000 it costs just for tuition at the Culinary Institute of America. I've taken a couple of Wilton cake decorating classes, and have kind of started an amateur bakery out of my house- selling pies, cakes, cookies, and such- to friends and people from work. I've done okay, but I want to be a REAL pastry chef.

So, for Christmas, I asked for the Culinary Institute of America's Mastering the Art of Baking & Pastry book. I got it from my Aunt Peggy, and for one of my New Year's resolutions (other than the usual: lose weight, save money, be a nicer person, blah blah blah), I decided to bake my way through the book and become a self-taught pastry chef. Thankfully, I have friends and family who like to eat (especially baked goods) so they can be my guinea pigs and I won't end up looking even more like Blimpy the Whale than I already do (thanks to all the Christmas treats I've inhaled for the past month..).

This book is used for a textbook in the actual Baking and Pastry program at CIA, so it's pretty technical. The first few chapters describe all sorts of ingredients, tools you need (most of which I don't have because I'm doing this at home, not in a test kitchen, unfortunately), scientific techniques and some crazy mathematical formulas (which I kind of just skipped over...).

So, tonight my adventure starts. I'm hoping that by the end of this, I will be a much better baker, and that much closer to opening up my own bakery. Hopefully my KitchenAid mixer and my oven can handle it. :)


  1. Jill, you go girl! I really enjoyed your post. It was very articulate and informative. I am looking forward to being your ginny pig. Love, Dawn P.S. I am proud of you!

  2. Hi Jilliebean, I am a friend of Dawns from way back. I can tell by the way you write that you are passionate about this. So with that, you will be successful. A person will be successful in whatever they do if they are persistent. And, for the cost of education, I am a member of Organizing for America. We are a group that is politically active and we are putting together ideas for President Obama's working agenda. One of the HIGH ITEM agenda items was the cost of education. It was seconded from me about the price of the books themselves and how it just so happens that every single year a new edition has to be released so you have to buy new books and not used books. A SCAM. Math has always been math, physics - physics etc. And for my daughters books to cost me over 1,300 dollars.....INSANE - something needs to be done and I am sure something will be done.

    For you - keep doing what you are doing. Sounds like you love it, and from what I can see, I could taste that bread. Good Luck and have the best New year of 2010

  3. All I can say is I'm hanging on! Here we go again! Ever since I fell in love with a beautiful, brown eyed little, smartypants,(diapers), it has been one funny, scary, trip.
    We both got in trouble for the bellybutton ring.
    I buy you a teaching book and you call me to explain. Whats wrong with this picture??? I know, you want me to feel needed. Thank goodness I can remember my mother putting a pan of hot water in her oven to let the bread rise.
    Baking hasn't changed. Warm bread out of the oven isn't anymore delicouse because I understand the chemical reation between the ingredients. Don't roll your eyes/// I've earned the right to make ststements like that.
    As always I love you for who and what you are. I'm ready for whatever you come up with next.
    At my age it's kinda fun to hang out with you and get in trouble, I know your mom is watching us too, and laughing.
    Aunt Peggy