This week the kitchen went up a notch! The students covered a ton of information and are having a great time doing so!
They learned that for the cinnamon rolls full flavor, you want to infuse the butter with the sugar. They also learned that how you handle the ingredients is really important for how the final product ends up- for example, not over-mixing flour into the product because the more you work it the stronger the gluten network becomes and the tougher the product.
They got to experience making the tea cookies, which are fantastic buttery, melt in your mouth morsels. These little guys take a lot of muscle to make- Reggie said the process is hard but it's fun squeezing out the cookies.
The importance of teamwork in the kitchen has shown itself! You have to keep stuff clean as you work, be accountable for your area, and the more hands the easier for getting everything done. With more than one person on a task, it's important to keep a ledger of what ingredients have already gone in, as well as making sure the lot numbers and dates for food safety purposes.
Reggie says he is enjoying the kitchen so far. He likes learning in the class first and then the transition into the kitchen really ties together what was learned, plus the actual skills to make something so good.
As far as the classroom, tests are coming! The students need to study study study. Reggie says his goal is to ace Monday's Supervision test (although that should always be the goal, right?!)
I also did a brief interview with Chris- he took our program last summer, went on to Madison College working towards a marketing degree, and still comes in a couple days a week to keep working with us! He says college is going great- he's currently learning a lot about mobile marketing and other technology based information which is fascinating. He said that JB helped prepare him- a lot of things that were covered here were also brought up in the college and then gone in depth on such as SMART goals, SWOT analysis, and a lot of Cost. His advice for people is that if you are incarcerated, the college side is really hard. It's hard to find the time for homework, especially since a lot of it is on computers now. He also recommends staying on top of everything because if you get behind it is really hard to catch back up. I asked if he's learning anything new here and he said the new way in the kitchen is different- we are approved for the Wisconsin Baker's Certificate so we made some changes to our kitchen training to better prepare students for that!
Mark your calendars! The next Information Session is coming up Thursday, April 25th at 12:00 pm! Stop in and learn about what we can do for you and see if we are a good fit! 1708 Thierer Rd Madison WI 53704!