Chefette is relieved to report that she passed her Practical Exam from last Tuesday. Hoorah! A real weight off my mind, since Chefette can admit that things did not go brilliantly on the day. To whit: (a) my first pastry attempt was rubbish (very streaky, butter not rubbed in nearly enough), and so I had to remake it, thus losing half an hour of time; (b) I didn't really get to cook my stew for long enough; and (c) with having to remake the pastry, I barely managed to get everything done in time for service. At one point I truly thought I wasn't going to be able to make it, but somehow I managed to scrape 15 minutes together at the end to correct the seasoning and consistency of my gravy for the stew, cook my carrot batons, and finish assembling and garnishing my vichyssoise.
Tuesday was one of those days when I felt like I should never have gotten out of bed. Not only was it exam nerves. The bad luck continued after the exam was over, when I managed to scald my thumb with boiling water from a hot kettle. Ironically, I didn't burn myself in the kitchen during the exam. I managed to do it after the exam, when I was making a cup of tea in the dem room. Go figure!
And of course this happened on a day when there was a burst water main outside the school, so there was no water from about 3 hours into the exam. No way to go to the toilet, let alone douse cold water onto a kettle burn. (Fortunately the school's first aider managed to get an ice pack on my hand, so the burn is already starting to heal.)
On the positive side, it wasn't only me who was having difficulties on the day, and it was a relief (and also quite funny) to hear some of the other students horror stories from their exams. One classmate managed to burn her stew. Another had to remake her pastry because she forgot to put the baking beans into it before baking it blind (it collapsed on itself in the oven). One lady accidently put her oven 100 degrees centigrade hotter than it should have been. And another poor girl forgetting entirely to prepare and serve her carrot batons. And still another girl forgot half her uniform, and had to borrow someone else's trousers who was at least 2 sizes too small for her. The list goes on ...
As for the Theory Exam from last Monday, the powers that be are still marking it, but I'm pretty confident that I did enough to pass that one (touch wood... ). Should get something in the post in the next 1-2 weeks.
Before I sign off, I'll try to add a wee photo of my Christmas cake. It has taken some damage from being brought home on the Tube in a soft-sided container, so try to imagine the finish looking a little sleeker.