Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chef Madeleine

With all the recent excitement about Katie's achievements in her senior year of high school, her graduation and the drama of her going off to college, my younger daughter Madeleine has been sadly missing from Pam's Perspective. Well, today I'm going to remedy that.

Madeleine, a HS sophomore, is a genuinely talented and brilliant young lady. Like her sister, she is involved in a lot of clubs - and has recently added two more to her ever-growing list. One of the clubs she is involved in is French Club. Last week was French week at the HS and Madeleine used that opportunity to put her love of baking to good use. First, she baked a lovely walnut cake to share with her class. Each student was asked to bring in a food item from a different region of France. Walnut cake is from Aquitaine. She did a great job and aside from the last minute realization that she needed walnut oil, it all went off without a hitch. And luckily, we were able to get some walnut oil at a small local market. Phew! Disaster averted.

Later that week, was the big culminating event of French Week - the live cooking demonstration on the school's morning news show, The Sunrise Show, which is broadcast into all the morning classes. For the past several years, Chef Bob, the owner of a local French restaurant and father of two HS students, has hosted this 8 minute segment. Unfortunately, Chef Bob's girls have all graduated and the French Club was in desperate need of a new French Chef. And who do you think volunteered for this position? Yup! Madeleine. She decided that she would prepare croissant for her segment.

Oh my! If you've been following my blog for a while, you can imagine the terror this inspired in me. Me, the woman who hates to cook. The woman who pondered Me? A French Chef, after seeing Julie and Julia with her husband and deciding (quite illogically) to go out and immediately buy Julia Child's cookbook thinking she and her hubby would bond over cooking Julia's recipes. And who upon opening said cookbook and actually reading one of those recipes, promptly closed it and ordered take out! Yeah, that woman's daughter just volunteered to bake a complicated French pastry during an 8 MINUTE segment on national school TV.

Thank goodness Madeleine is incredibly independent and never requires any help from us when it comes to her school projects. She worked incredibly hard on this project. She spent the better part of a week gathering all the "props" she would need, making dough and croissants and preparing her segment. She presented it much like you would see a cooking segment on The Today Show. She had all the ingredients pre-measured and mixed them together on air. Then she whipped out a bowl of dough,which had already risen the requisite 4 hours, she then rolled it out, showed some pre-cut and the finished project. It was all very well done. We even got her a chef's coat and hat to wear (at the last minute she was too embarrassed to wear the hat). We were so impressed with how seriously she took this assignment and what a good job she did. The experience even gave her the idea that maybe she will do her senior project around some aspect of baking! In typical Madeleine fashion, she is always thinking ahead!

She that she does get from me! As a matter of fact, I just had a great idea about what I can do with that Julia Child Cookbook. I can wrap it up and give it to my little French Chef for Christmas. See what I meant about thinking ahead?


Gail said...

Congratulations Madeleine! She looked great. It was funny to hear them introduce her as "Maddie" since I have NEVER heard her called that.

Debbie said...

How cute she is! You are obviously quite proud of her.

Sue Jackson said...

How wonderful! What a talented, confident daughter you have!

The school Tv program sounds like so much fun!


bettyl said...

I know you are truly proud of her. And she looks so good in that chef's outfit!

Terra said...

as long as she doesn't read your blog or her surprise will be ruined! What a wonderful experience for her though - and WOW, I didn't have the guts - nor do I now!

Sandy said...

I saw the segment and I thought Madeleine did a fabulous job! She was very natural and kept her poise throughout even though some of the 'props' didn't quite cooperate. I was very impressed by the whole thing.

LindyLouMac said...

Well done Madeleine. I think the proposed gift for her is a perfect idea.


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