Category Archives: Culinary School

Hey 2016!

It’s been a minute, but I’m still here. Juggling work, life and culinary school turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. I finished up last semester and thoroughly enjoyed my 6 week break. The day job got uber crazy around October and is still demanding way too much of my time and energy. The new semester started at the end of January and I’m digging it so far.

I’m enrolled in Cooking II and Advanced Baking. Last week in Cooking class we fabricated fish. All I can say is get to know and love your fish monger! I feel like I smelled like fish guts for two days! I like to think I’m pretty good with a knife based on being a life long crafter, but creating attractive fillets was a challenge. I’ll definitely start purchasing whole fish to get in more practice.

Advanced Baking wasn’t my first choice of a class to take. I actually already have that credit and skill set but needed a class to replace completing an internship. I haven’t been able to locate an entry level job in Frederick that aligns with my food philosophy and schedule. (NOTE: I’m still looking!) It’s been over 10 years since I’ve taking a baking class so I’m really blowing cobwebs off those skills. The class is only 9 students and is supposed to provide students the opportunity to venture into their own interests while addressing the fundamentals being taught. I was VERY excited about this concept until the first day when my instructor made it very clear of his tolerance, or lack there of, of plant-based ingredients in the kitchen when not medically necessitated. We will touch on fat-free and gluten-free baking so there is that. I haven’t decided on if or how much I will challenge him on this in class but do plan to create plant-based versions of whatever we bake in class over the course of the week while at home. Stay tuned.

My personal health and fitness is still a struggle. I’m doing my best to listen to the health coach advice in my head and get back on track. First up is to get rid of as many of the processed convenience foods as I possibly can. To help with that this week I finally purchased a new waffle maker. I’ve been without one for about 2 years. Space is really short in my current kitchen and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that will only get used once or twice a month. I decided on the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Waffle Maker which I got on sale at Macy’s for around $22. It worked exactly as described and held up well for my multi-grain waffles recipe. I enjoyed one this morning with some turkey bacon. The brown sugar in these waffles produces a nice crip outside and eliminates the need for syrup for me. Continue reading

Hello world: the reboot!

Welcome to theblackradish.com! It’s been over 2 years since I originally had the idea to start a separate blog for all of my food/health/wellness related musings. As you can see a mere 5 posts down that original idea never really got off the ground. I’m still working on some technical issues with WordPress, but hey, I’m here!

Over that period of time there has just been life. At 43 I decided to run away from home for the first time. I sold my kitchen house and moved to Frederick, Maryland for a new job in clinical research. Healthy habits that were found were lost and I’ve gained over 30 pounds. But here we are. Heading into the end of 2015 I finally feel a bit more settled than I have over the past 2 years. I’ve begun to embrace a minimalistic approach to life and focus on what I feel is important. I’m still on what may be a life-long journey to discover what makes my soul sing and that’s where the reboot of this space comes into the story.

Those who know me know I always describe myself as “figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.” I’ve never been that type of person who knows, I mean really knows in their soul, what they are good at and what they can bring to the world. One thing however has been fairly constant in my life – food. The cultivation, preparation, medicinal use, and cultural significance of food have all been close to the surface throughout my life. My familial ties with cake coupled with my technical training in chemistry fueled my love of baking, and that love has gotten me through some tough days. My recent “come to fitness” journey has sparked a sincere interest in food justice, plant-based nutrition and how best to help people re-discover real food that fits into our 21st century lifestyle. I’m not 100% sure what this love of food will look like on the other side of this journey, but it is the road I’m taking now. I’m going to use this blog space to help find my (food) voice and I hope you will come along for the ride!I’m not 100% sure what this love of food will look like on the other side of this journey, but… Click To Tweet

So, where are we on this journey? I’m glad you asked!

1.) I’m currently studying to become a certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. When you lose weight and better your health people always want to know what you did and how they can do it too. I’ve gotten lots of questions over the past few years and thought it was time to add some legitimacy to information that I can provide. The program with Dr. Sears really speaks to what I hope to further define as my philosophy: it focuses on meeting people wherever they are in their own health journey and helping them find optimal health through a balanced approach to life. I’ll be studying for certification through September so look for more information soon!

2.) I’m still very interested in completing an academic program to become a Registered Dietician (RD), but unfortunately right now this is on hold. I can’t find a post-baccalaureate program in Maryland equivalent to what I was studying in Virginia and I’m still not convinced a Master’s program is the way I want to go. The closest thing I’ve found is a second Bachelor’s program at Morgan State University. This is an hour away from Frederick and, more importantly, it would also require that I re-take some upper-level chemistry classes since they were used for credit toward my first degree. That, my friends, is a DEAL BREAKER. I have a degree in Chemistry, have been a grad level teaching assistant, and have worked in the industry. What I’m not gon’ do is retake Organic. I’ll have to think long and hard on this one. I’m open to suggestions.

3.) Starting August 24th I’m going all in and starting Culinary School! I’ve toyed with the idea over many years, taking many classes, volunteering in many places and I’ll be starting at Frederick Community College (FCC) in the fall. FCC has a very work focused approach to the scheduling of classes having many classes in the evenings and also on 7 week schedule. The price is right as well as they offer an additional discount to county residents. I’ve also been being my wonderful self at my day gig and have convinced my employer to allow me to have an alternate work schedule to accommodate classes. I don’t know if this many things will fall into place ever again so I’m going for it.

I know, I know. At first glance it may seem like a LOT going on but if you know me, you know that’s how I do things. All in. Go big or go home. #FAILBig. Like the name implies, I like to keep things spicy around here. Dare to take a bite?!