Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rock Climbing and Apple Pie

I'd say its about time for a quality blog update....the last few weeks have been non-stop busy, but I love it all!

Last night was a very interesting evening.... I was trying to make an apple pie, because today I'm going to a potluck where I'm going to meet all the other "Food Valley Ambassador" students (people who have the same scholarship that I do). We're supposed to bring food from our respective countries, so apple pie was really all I could think of! Of course, I don't have an oven in my kitchen. And you also can't buy those nice totoally pre-made pie crusts here. Or the typical pans that we Americans use for pies (they only have ones with vertical sides). So the evening began with me going to Cecile's place after class so that she could help me make a dough from scratch. While I was there, she also had to pick up a couch that she had bought second hand on the internet. It was only located about a fifteen minute walk away and of course we don't have a car, so we walked there to pick it up. Luckily, there were two wheels on it, since it rolled out to a bed, because we ended up dragging/rolling it all the way back to her house. Along the road. We got quite a few stares....but eventually we made it and she now has a nice sofabed!

So, I've got dough and also helped carry a couch across town and I have to go to my friend Anneke's place to make the rest of the pie (Cecile also doesn't have an oven). I hop on my bike with my 2ish kg of dough, 3 kg of apples and a kg of sugar and head to Anneke's where we spend about 3 hours cutting apples and rolling dough and cooking 2 pies! I made my first American apple pies from scratch in the Netherlands! Success! Anne, Cecile and I ate some of one of pies and the second I'll bring to the Food Valley students this afternoon! (I wrote "FV" on the top crust, hehe.)

In other news, I had my introweekend for the climbing club this past weekend! We traveled to Ith, Germany where we camped, climbed high rocks and peed in telephone booths. (The guy at the campsite converted old telephone booths from the 60's into port-o-potties). It was a blast, I met lots of great people and we had the best doner kebabs in the region on the way home! (the owner of the place only uses local lambs for the meat and butchers it himself!)

Classes are still going well (though I'm quite tired all the time because I have lab from 8:30 to 12:15 every morning and then either another lab or lectures in the afternoon). The lab in the morning is quite like the chemistry labs, but I don't mind too much since I have a nice group and I like the subject! (Our project has to do with carageenans and galactomannans - gelling agents in foods) My afternoon course, gastronomy, has a practical involving fancy cooking, so on Tuesday I made entrecote (kind of steak) using "souv-vide", hollandaise sauce and an estragon gel. It was delicious! Though in competition with the other groups, our dish came in 4th out of 5 groups when the head chef tasted them. Luckily I'm not going into cooking, but into food product development.

Tonight I'll be going to the Food Valley potluck with my pie, then the climbing gym in Arnhem! Then this weekend it's back to Germany for a food product conference in Cologne!

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