Chocolate Exhaustion

wow! I am completely, totally and absolutely exhausted right now. In a good way! 🙂

I walked in, totally unsure about myself and everything around noon today. Luckily I saw the executive chef right off the bat, who is a family friend (hence why I got this “job”) and he immediately gave me a hug and made me feel more welcome. He walked me back to the kitchen and introduced me to the head pastry chef, who was also very nice and welcoming. I put my tools and water bottle down and immediately set to work (good thing I ate such a filling, healthy lunch!).

My first task was to temper dark chocolate. I haven’t had my chocolate class yet at school so I was a little unsure at first but Adam, the pastry chef, was more than considerate and patient with me. He helped me temper the chocolate (heating it up in the microwave then letting it cool to a “temper” state where you can pipe out designs) and I actually piped out little chocolate designs that he was going to use on plated desserts later tonight! And, um yeah..ate one too many chocolate chips while I was at it!

After playing with chocolate, I made parfaits for dessert tonight. I made a thick key lime custard over a double boiler on the stove and chopped fresh fruit to make Key Lime Parfaits. Adam whipped cream and I topped put all the parfaits together—finishing them off with a chocolate design I had made previously. What fun!


To accompany the parfaits, Adam had me make almond macaroons!!!! They turned out great and looked so cute next to the parfait. I must have made about 8 dozen…I forget how different it is working in an industrial kitchen rather than my kitchen at home or even at school.


After I had done all that, it was about 3:00 and Adam figured by then (I guess!) that I was good enough to go by myself. He gave me some recipes and told me to have at it! I whipped up some dark chocolate grand marnier truffles and white chocolate champagne truffles, which I don’t have a picture of yet because they have to cool overnight and then tomorrow afternoon I will actually form them. And again….a couple more chocolate chips made it into my mouth! I did at this point, however, snack on my cherry pie larabar I had brought along in my toolbox. A girl needs more than chocolate alone to fuel her! 😉

Quail Valley makes all of its bread in house, which is pretty darn amazing because most places just get it in frozen. Adam specializes in bread and creates new bread every single week for guests. How excited was I to hear this?! He told me some of the different types he makes and asked me to choose which one to make today! Of course I opted for his “secret” sweet potato foccacia bread!!! We also made Challah in such a mass quantity I almost fell over while scaling out all the pounds of flour. The bread is to be baked off tomorrow so you (and I!) will have to wait to get a glimpse of that sweet potato foccacia. I can’t wait!

Let’s see…if you think I didn’t do enough today here’s some more! I also finished some carrot cake rolls Adam had started earlier, baked creme brulee and finished off some peanut butter chocolate mousse for service later. When Adam said I was free to go at 6:30 I was so tired I couldn’t even see straight! In that period of 6 1/2 hours, the only time I took a break was to go to the bathroom once….hard work but I learned so much!


I asked if I could make a salad and take home some of the freshly baked multigrain bread Adam had made right before I got there this morning. On my salad I put greens, dried cranberries, onion, cucumbers and tomatoes and topped it with the house specialty: white balsamic. When I got back to my suite, I heated up a bowl of chili, poured a glass of red wine and took it, along with my salad outside on the patio to eat and relax.  Now, of course this would be so much better I had someone to share this wonderful suite, food and room with……but I’m secretly sort of just relishing this alone time because how often is it that I can just sit back and relax?! I’m about to take a really long shower, get in my pjs and read a book I found on the bookshelf here. My book I checked out from the library is soo not good (what a total disappointment!!) and luckily I found something here. I’m going to read “Sula” by Toni Morrison, one of my favorite authors. I read Beloved and it sort of changed my life. If you haven’t read it….read it. No excuses.


Mmmm and just had to end this day by having 2 super charge me cookies for dessert 🙂


Tomorrow I am going to wake up, eat breakfast then go on a run. My dad is actually going to be in town tomorrow (my grandparents and uncle live here) and I think we are getting lunch. Then, I’ll be hitting the kitchen for round 2 tomorrow afternoon!

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  • Becky
    March 30, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I read Sula for my Lit Class! It starts off slow and gets better, and in true Toni Morrison fashion, each character is complex and very interesting!

    Everything you baked looks TO DIE FOR!! I would kill for your job!

  • ChocolateCoveredVegan
    March 30, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Ooh playing with chocolate? Sounds like MY kind of job! The pics look great.

  • AshleyP
    March 30, 2008 at 12:44 am

    The bread sounds AMAZING!!!! I get really excited when I find places where bread is made in house. It really sounds like you’re having a great experience!

    Also, a big thank you for mentioning the library. You have reminded me to check out my local branch! I used to volunteer for library programs in high school, and read so many wonderful things I would have otherwise overlooked if I had to buy. I live less than 2 miles from a Barnes and Noble so I spend way too much money (and time) there! It will be much better to take advantage of what’s free. Plus, less stuff to move in a few months!

  • Romina
    March 30, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Wow!! You’ve been very busy Jenna. Great work. You should be very proud. Adam sounds like he was a lot of help, and definitely knows he’s working with someone who has great skills. =)

  • Amy C.
    March 30, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Wow! You did so much today and everything you photographed looks wonderful! Carrot cake is a favorite of mine so that carrot cake roll made my mouth water! I can’t wait to see what the bread looks like. 🙂

    I remember that I liked Sula when I read it. I hope you do too! It’s such a letdown when you start a book and realize it’s just not good. Speaking of which, I have to get back to my not very good book that I’m reading for school. 😛 I hope you get nice and rested up this evening!

  • Eliza
    March 30, 2008 at 12:55 am

    jenna i read beloved in my religion class..it was amazing, i totally agree

    thanks so much for all you put into the blog! youre such a doll 🙂

    p.s your situation right now is pretty envious..busy but making desserts and staying in such a beautiful location. you are one lucky girl!!

  • Ellie
    March 30, 2008 at 1:01 am

    It sounds like you had a great day filled with lots of baking and good food 🙂

  • ibex hk
    March 30, 2008 at 1:04 am

    wow, what a busy day!! Sounds awesome, your baking looks incredible! I’m jealous of fresh bread, what a yummy treat. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, sounds and looks like a great time and great learning experience. I need to get my butt to the library too, I keep opting for bookstores when the library really makes so much more sense for me right now, duh! hope day 2 is just as fun as day 1 🙂

  • Em
    March 30, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Jenna, thank you so much for filling us in on your day! It was so neat to hear about all of your experiences and all the different yummies you made! Thanks so much for taking the time to give us great pictures too! I’m even more excited to hear about the next couple days! The sweet potato foccacia sounds divine!

    Your day sounds exhausting though- good thing you had planned an easy supper! It looks wonderful- the food and the scenery! I wish I had a patio!

  • caitlin (in FL)
    March 30, 2008 at 1:14 am

    wow fun day!! cant wait to see the pictures tomorrow!

    hey i went to the winter park farmers market and loooooooooooved it.

  • CR
    March 30, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Jenna – Beloved sort of changed my life, too! I mentioned this in a comment yesterday, but Toni Morrison is amazing. And I agree, everyone should read Beloved.

  • Kelly T.
    March 30, 2008 at 1:21 am

    that sounds like so much fun! Its great you are making a career out of what you love, not many people can say that! I really like when my work days are nonstop like that, I feel like i got so much accomplished and even though i am tired, its in a good way. it makes relaxing so much more enjoyable when you are done.

    Cant wait to see the pics

  • Mel H
    March 30, 2008 at 1:26 am

    aww yeah Jenna! your day looks so fun and exhausting!! I read Sula in Junior women’s lit and from what I remember it was pretty good and really interesting! Is ryan going to get to come visit you at all during your break or are you working all day everyday? enjoy yourself!! You are adorable!

  • bikergurl
    March 30, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Wow, I love seeing all the amazing treats you make! That sounds like an amazing learning opportunity too!

  • Laura
    March 30, 2008 at 2:23 am

    id love to know how to make carrot cake rolls! yum!

  • ana
    March 30, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Guess what?? I got so excited when my dad came home today with his marathon goody bag (he runs, not me^_^) and there was a miniature Larabar in there! The thing was TINY but SOOOO cute (and 120 calories! but like I said, YUMMY!). Marathon runners really do get the coolest goodie bags! almost tempts me to run one…

    I loved Beloved (we had to read it for my AP English class). The great thing about the book, and what really helped me grasp all the symbolism in it (and MAN does this book have symbolism!), was our class discussion. I’m a senior, and many of my peers were not too fond of the book (which is graffic about the lives of slaves and what they went through.) I had read several books similar to this and was prepared, but I was shocked at how many of my classmates really had no idea just how awful slavery was! When the mother started killing her kids, my classmates couldn’t understand the pure FEAR that drove her to do that ghastly deed. I can understand how it would seem drastic, but she was desperate. To her, death was better than a life of imprisonment for her children. I actually admire the courage she had to do that. Like I said, it is a very controversial book; an excellent eye-opener and read! ^_^

    Have you read The Bluest Eye by her? Another astounding book (about a black girl who wants to caucasion-blue eyed- b/c she believes that is true beauty). It made me weep.

  • VeggieGirl
    March 30, 2008 at 2:37 am

    what. a. day. oh my goodness, Jenna, it sounds like you’re having an amazing time – the exhaustion is worth it!! :0)

    I agree – ‘Beloved’ is a very moving book. Toni Morrison has a way with words, in all of her writings. Have you read ‘The Bluest Eye’? I HIGHLY recommend that book of hers, as well.

    Happy Saturday!! Get a good night’s sleep!!

  • ana
    March 30, 2008 at 2:38 am

    *wants to BE caucasion (sorry about the mess-up!)

  • Jill
    March 30, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Oi, your cooking puts my cooking to shame! I wish I could make them as beautiful as you!

    I was so over-whelmed with Beloved and The Bluest Eye, it was so… whoa…

  • Lindsay
    March 30, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    WOW! The carrot cake roll looks so yummy; however your meal looked even better with the colorful & fresh salad, red wine, and cookies! Enjoy your trip!

  • Eat, Live, Run » On the Up
    July 8, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    […] position today. My Greenwise interview isn’t until Sunday, but I got a call from the yacht club that I did some pastry work at last spring last week and they offered me a position working with the head pastry chef there for 3 months. […]

  • Eat, Live, Run » On the Up
    July 8, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    […] position today. My Greenwise interview isn’t until Sunday, but I got a call from the yacht club that I did some pastry work at last spring last week and they offered me a position working with the head pastry chef there for 3 months. […]