Soaking up the valley

Since my time in the valley is coming to an end soon, I’m out braving the cold to see as much of it as I can. Still no snow but plenty of ice……. burr!…after awhile your face gets numb…seriously you can’t feel it. Here are some shots from my four mile stroll yesterday, it was 36 and brilliantly sunny.This is the view from our favorite camp site, yes that is the iced over Merced River……its cold.No snow…. but thin layers of ice on everything.This is over on the Curry Village side of the valley, the sun shines for about 20 minutes in the mid morning and that’s it for the whole day. It is so much colder over there. Check the shadow ice from the fence… cool.

This tree fell in the recent wind event we had, now it’s part of the river shore.Baby forest growing up to be tall someday.Look its me!! FREEZING…have I mentioned that its COLD.

Ok now for some food pornBon Bon’s with painted white chocolate garnishTartsTarts againTarts for days!

It’s been nice being here during the Holiday season, it’s so calm here…no malls…no traffic. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday to all my fellow December babies out there, it’s the best month to be born! …….. Julie K, Julie P, Claudia and her brand new baby boy, Chris O, Kris & Ash, Addie aka Ernie, Stella & Nico and their Nana…..kisses and hugs to you all.

A shift in the journey……

As the holidays scream upon us here in the Valley, the mood is concern. There is no snow at all. It has been slow and COLD, not many visitors. This should change soon with school being out…hopefully….but still no snow.

The work has been pretty much the same for me, lots of pancake flipping, waffle making and muffin baking. I have been allowed to work the occasional event, which by far has been my best time in the kitchen. Watching the kitchen staff plate 250 dishes in 5-6 minutes for 4 to 5 courses is very cool, precise team work at it’s best. I worked the line on a couple of courses and it was cool to be a part of it…… very cool.

Here are few pics of the last couple weeksChocolate Spice Cake topped with Fromage Blanc custard and caramel sauce. White chocolate lemon curd, citrus segments w/citrus sauce & a black and white sesame tuile. This was a dessert for a vintners dinner.Maple Leaf Tuiles….. I made 200 of these last nightand here is how they were used. This is the steamed pudding dessert for the Bracebridge dinner. Here is a shot of the line, plating a course for BracebridgeHere is a shot of the servers waiting for their cue to enter the dinning room, see the guy in the red coat and tails…hand up meant silence….I’ve never heard a kitchen so quite. It was interesting to see this well choreographed event go down. This year was the 84th time it’s be done.

I tried to get more pictures of the other courses, but it all went so fast and I’m rarely let out of my little pastry corner of the kitchen 😦

I’ve decided to go after some work opportunities back home. I am invigorated and motivated to keep learning. I will be home by the end of the year, can’t wait to start the year with new experiences.

My time here has given me courage, strength and made me so thankful for my education, my family, my home and my friends. The support you all have given me while I’ve been on this journey has been my lifeline. All of you that were my sounding boards while I moaned about being homesick, whined about the cold and sent me all the snail mail… you totally rock. I bet the post man is going to miss my silly squeals….. I love all you madly!

Chilly in the Valley

The last couple of weeks have been full of craziness. My 5 year old laptop hard drive died, first Apple product in 25 years to fail on me. This required a trip to Fresno to visit the Apple store. I was thrilled by the people in this store, they took care of me same day and it didn’t cost me more then $180, new hard drive, new keyboard, pretty much did the full tune up and all in 90 minutes. I thank the stars for Steve Jobs…. you will be missed- just finished his biography….read it.

Another interesting adventure has been trying to get wifi in my room. ATT is the provider and as with everything up here they move just as slow. Hopefully before I leave it will be up and running.

and now for your viewing pleasure………It’s been COLD in the valley, very dry and cold. The falls are freezing, this is Bridalveil Falls.This is part of the Merced River down by El Capitan about   7am and 26….burrrThis is a great spot in the summer for swimmingAnother shot in the early AM, frozen Yosemite FallsWe got some crazy wind last week, almost had to be evacuated. This is the courtyard for my dorm buildings, after the wind it left a carpet of pine needles and branches. The trees were swaying and singing for daysHere is my cute little post office, this is where I shriek with delight at all the mail I’ve been getting….the postman thinks I’m bit nutty….Thanks so much to all that have sent me stuff, it truly makes my day!!
 a natural spring…not hot though, very cold.Christmas is starting to show up the valley, this is the entrance to the AhwahneeAhwahnee Tree

Hope you’re all doing well, I miss EVERYBODY!! Still homesick, hoping for a big snow storm or something……