Days Seventy-Five & Seventy Six

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Today was a fun day; some of my class and I took an optional field trip to Nielsen-Massey Vanilla !  Their facility is about an hour bus ride from Chicago.  We (quickly) toured the factory (No pictures allowed), and got to see a presentation by celebrity Chef, Eric Lanlard AKA Cake Boy.  Chef Lanlard is huge in Europe; he has appeared on many cooking shows, baked for celebrities, and has his own shop and school. 

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He prepared a salmon, crème fraiche, and dill tart, and a chocolate, bourbon, pecan tart made with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla. 

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There were delicious samples, of course.

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We received a signed copy of Chef Eric’s new cookbook, Tart It Up!

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…and Nielsen-Massey vanilla paste and vanilla extract.  I was so excited.  It’s the best vanilla in the world!

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Ladies (and me!) from my class. 

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As far as the last two days of class, well, don’t get me started.  I don’t want to talk about it.  We’ve been working on gum paste flowers and I’m so frustrated with myself.  I’m having a hard time with it… it definitely doesn’t come naturally for me.  I really want to be good at making flowers – I’m trying so hard.   I’m just trying to complete everything we need to make.  If I focus on trying to make everything look perfect, then it slows me way down.  I’m far from perfect. 

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Buds, stamens, and wires. 

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Gum paste tools.

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Lily petals, egg white, and shortening.  I’ll explain more tomorrow. 

I hope you have a Happy Halloween!  I baked some gingerdead men for Eric’s work party-thing.  I think they’re cute.  And spooky.

Speaking of Ericcakes, happy 4th Halloversary!  I love you!

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16 comments:

  1. Those cookies are adorable. Very clever.

    How good does it smell in a vanilla factory?

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    1. I forgot to mention that. It smelled great! Like vanilla. :)

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  2. Those cookies are awesome, and I love the tile back splash in that kitchen.

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  3. That is so awesome you got to go there! And you got samples, which is even better since that stuff isn't exactly cheap :)

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    1. Hey if you ever need any...
      Are you going to enter the brownie thing?

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    2. I can't decide...are you? It's far away again! I think tomorrow is the last day to enter, so I'll let you know what I decide.

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  4. We used to live about 5 minutes from there, but we never went. We did call to see if they had a retail shop there too but they said no. That would have been awesome! I found a great deal on a giant 32 oz bottle though. I love that vanilla!

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    1. You did?? Online? Oh I know! I love that vanilla too!

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  5. Your class rocks! Keep trying your best and I know you'll get the hang of making the flowers in no time. You always rise to the top!

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  6. Love the Gingerdead men. Did you decorate them free-hand?

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  7. omg Eric Lanlard!! He's well-known here in the UK. I'm jealous...
    I have a gingerdead man cutter too, I love it ;)

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Sup?

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