(This entry was started on Sunday, 2 November… and never got completed till now … even now seems to be forever…
I wrote the above on Wed, 5 November, and now is already 8th … This is the longest stretch I have not updated my journal entry, I have 2 other updates but let me finish my wedding cake first – it is due next Tuesday.)
2 November 2008, 10pm
BK called to say he had just arrived into the hotel in Boston, he would be in Boston for the next 2 weeks. And he would be back for my graduation in 3 weeks time.
How time flies … We had a chat while he was driving yesterday – even though I miss the familiarity of home and having him around, I already miss the familiar warmth and faces of the many people I met at the culinary institute whenever I thought of leaving Houston in a couple of weeks time. The strange feeling is that for the many people I got to know in last 17 weeks, we may never meet again. For a few others, there is always a probability our path will cross again. I feel sad whenever this thought comes about…
30 October 2008, 8.30pm, at the Culinary Institute
BK flew into Houston to join me on Thursday 30 October. When he arrived late afternoon, he spent some time working on an online test which was due by midnight for his product training the following week, he was to score at least 85 points??!! That evening, he drove me to the culinary institute and I just had to introduce him to my Chefs – both Chef Philippe and Chef Sebastien. I guess both Chefs have huge influence on me and my work during my learning at the culinary institute. BK remembered the 2 Chefs by sight from his last visit in July when we first arrived in Houston.
Earlier in the morning, Chef Philippe asked if I would be attending class the following day. Yes. That question never crossed my mind. That evening, Chef Philippe again told me (us) that if I were to miss class the next day, I could make up the class the following Tuesday with Jill who would miss Friday Chocolate Final with her trip home to Colorado. I would be in class on Friday, and I was darn sure about it. BK knew and understood I took my objectives too seriously to miss a single day of learning, and he wasn’t expecting me to take time off either – he had wanted to sleep in at the apartment as it was barely 48 hours after his return from his 2 weeks of reservist training in Australia that he boarded the flight to Houston, with his work objectives to accomplish as well. That night, I fell asleep while waiting for him to fulfill at least 85 points for his online test by midnight. He scored 81 and was too tired to try again.
31 October 2008, 2pm, at the Culinary Institute
Sarah asked if BK would be joining for lunch, and if they would get to meet him. I would like him to meet my classmates too – friends I made and spent the last couple of weeks with at the culinary institute. Indeed, he came, joined us at the lunch room, they met, we chatted and now he got to put a face to things I shared with him ~ and they were surprised I had only shared good things about each of them … but of course – somehow I view many things positively coz I strongly believe things happened for some good reasons. BK was wondering who Krystine was – our youngest Bébé in class – and soon she popped into the Pastry Lab with a big smile.
It was BK’s 38th Birthday … and it was Chef Philippe’s 36th Birthday. They wished each other a Happy Birthday!
31 October 2008, after class
Of course, we have got to go Swirl for yogurt. Asked Jennie and Rafaella to join, both couldn’t come along – Rafa had pedi-mani appointment, and Jennie said she was too full from lunch?? I don’t like ice cream but I love the taste of the refreshing yogurt (not the tart and fruit range though, except for lemon), topped with a load of palm seed and some pecan nuts … and the relaxing environment… I just have to bring him there. Then he went with me to Sur La Table to replace my thermometer… then back to the apartment for an afternoon nap. BK has severe sleep debt from last 2 weeks of reservist training. We finally got up at 8.15pm, oops!… our dinner reservation at Rudi Lechner’s was at 8pm. Nevermind, we were easy and arrived at 9pm.
Dinner at Rudi Lechner’s was pleasant and comfy, accompanied by live country music. It is a wonder that the restaurant has been in operation for 33 years and still get good crowds in the evenings. We had a chat with Chef-owner Rudi – he came out to meet us after we inquired about his tableside dessert. He asked about my background, and recommended me a book to read for inspiration ~ Bread Alone. We decided that the next time we visit Rudi Lechner’s, we would only savour desserts, no room for main course. Tableside dessert will be done by Chef Rudi himself ~ at the tableside! Order must be place 24hr in advance so that he can plan the slots. This time, we ate too much of the main (and it was a platter for one?), and had no room for dessert.
After dinner, at the exit, we met Susy, Barry and their son Alex – they were passionate about food and recommended us a Mexican restaurant Teotihuacan and a Mexican Bakery Cafe Rustika. They told us that even though Chef Rudi came from Austria and serves German food, his restaurant has since adapted his food to American-German since it first opened. Hmm… the full name of the restaurant is Rudi Lechner’s German American Restaurant? We planned to keep in contact, as 17 year old Alex may pursue his graduate course in Singapore in the future.
1 November 2008, 10am
We had just celebrated BK’s birthday with a home-made cake, yup 1 day late since I fell asleep the night earlier. We planned to go to Matt Family Orchard, only persimmons were in season. It was about an hour drive to Tomball. We picked a total of 33 persimmons, and I only contributed a precious 1;p The tool used was a long bamboo with an attached metal basket at the top end. We were supposed to push upwards, not downwards to prevent injury to the tree It looked easy but I left all the picking to BK after a tedious one… and a ripened fell as well and splashed me with its pulp … ha! The weather was warm compared to the week earlier, so I wouldn’t say it was exactly comfortable picking the fruits. But it was a great feeling picking fresh fruits.
Once done, we had intended a trip to Spring, but I could see that BK was tired and sleepy at the wheel, so we decided to return to Houston to enjoy Coco’s Crepes @ Gray Street. We had savory crepes this time, and sat al fresco. Nice. We love to nua (laze about, do nothing) at pastry cafes … rather it started that I love to do that, and he got influenced by me (I guess he chose to join me and soon grew to like the feel … and the company as well ;p) and we enjoy cafes with casual atmosphere where we can empty our mind and get inspired ;p Back at the apartment, it was own time own target. We skipped dinner … not really, we replaced a cooked meal with “junk food” – Tostitos tortilla chips + Spicy Mango habenero sauce, recommended and given by Krystine… Yum! BK said the the “junk food” recommended by Krystine was yummy!
2 November 2008, 9am
BK left for his flight to Boston at about 3pm. That morning, he joined me at Rustika Cafe, a Mexican Bakery Cafe. With him around, I could try more things. He liked stronger tasting and richer food and he had a Mexican seafood lunch – the red snapper with the sauce tasted really good, the mexican rice was not the usual I like with tomato base. I ordered mushroom tacos, it came with a nice salad. I also tried spinach empanada – the crust was just so so. Usually on my own, I could only try one thing and I reserve that for pastry. I read while he was supposed to be reading his notes for his product training … but he was surfing the net for F1 updates instead :~ It is quiet time for us as usual in pastry cafe. It is nice to have him around, the only side effect is I eat and munch too much! The few days he was here, I deviated from my dinner of veggies for Texan cheesesteak, German meat platter etc … I told him I will cook the next time he is here, ok … at least once or twice … it is difficult for me to digest the type and portion of food when we eat out. But it was enjoyable … I tend to munch more too!
Before he left, he tasted the sweetness of his labour – persimmons. Hmm, they were sweet surprisingly, just like the orchard owner Matt told us … I never liked the fruit coz I thought they have a bitter taste…
A week has passed since he left, I was too pre-occupied with finals. See him soon in a week’s time … which also mean my graduation week … the feeling is so mixed – it is indeed possible to be happy and sad.