Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy busy busy

The holidays went by as quickly as it came. It was a much needed break and I enjoyed most of it, though I was starting to crave being busy again.

I started the first week of my holidays by spending most of it at uni preparing for the competition. I actually was glad about it and the competition went well (as you may have read in the previous post). The remainder of the holidays I spent mainly chilling out with friends. I had some over for dinner and really had a blast. Some of those invited I hadn't had to opportunity to spend time with before and it truly was a blessed time together.

But the highlight of the holidays was that I had my first experience black water rafting. It was a blast!!! Thanx to Joanne and Josh for the invite and thanx to Olivia for the company too...I would do it again in a heart beat!

Mostly the holidays was spent house sitting as my parents were away and really, so was my brother; I hardly saw him! I really appreciated the time by myself and the space, too. I managed to catch up on a lot of sleep and hopefully made a small dent in the rather significant sleep debt I have accumulated over the past 6 months. All in all, it was holidays that I welcomed.

Yesterday was back to uni...I was looking forward to going back and am still glad to be back. However, ask me about the workload and you may get a very different answer. I'm most certainly right back into the busy mode-I was on the go the minute I got out of bed at 5.30am til I went to bed at 11pm. And today will not be any different! Oh, the joys...

At the present moment, the prospect if me finishing this course and not going back to AUT next year is a scary thought. So what is it that is giving me shivers down my spine?

• The workload involved between now and the end of the year. I always knew that this last semester would be beyond insane but it still scares me and I am always wondering how I am ever going to be able to get through.
• The thought that I will no longer have the safety and comfort of being allowed to make mistakes. I don’t handle making mistakes well and it is especially stressful doing so when you are out in the industry as mistakes=loss of profit. And you end up with the boss riding your rear end… :S
• The fear of the unknown. It just means I’m closer to heading back into the world of uncertainty. What will I do? Where will I work? How long will I work for someone before I start my own place, if I ever start my own place? Will I remain in NZ or will I head back to Melb? Will I end up in Melb at all? Do I move out of home or do I continue to reap the benefits of living at home?

Questions, questions, questions… I guess I’ve had the security of knowing what the last 2 years involved when I enrolled for this course and that was a definite comfort. But now…

I think most of all, I really want to be happy with what God's plans are for me. I know I may not have always been contented with what is but rather questioned why it hasn't worked out the way I wanted it to. Yet, I have been proven to that He knows best time and time again. I guess it was very timely that at home group last nite we talked about waiting on God and prayers answered/unanswered on His time.

Now, more than ever before I sense God's desire for me to just be contented with the path He is currently paving for me.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Auckland Reginals Junior Culinary Fare

Another year of Regionals competition is done and dusted again...

And I'm pleased to say that I didn't do too bad a job this year. My marks are still in the land of the unknown, which is why I'm still not as ecstatic as I probably should be, but I did get a gold. But before you get all excited, it does not mean that I came first...

With competitions like this, everyone is marked out of 100 and points are then taken away as they critic your dish. So in any given category, there can be as many or as few golds, silvers and bronzes awarded. Effectively, you are competing against yourself.

The stress, frustration and sleepless nites have been worthwile and I would definitely do it again in a heart beat! But for now, it is time to enjoy the holidays because the minute I'm back at uni in a couple of weeks, it is straight back into competition mode...

So here, enjoy these photos:

Chocolate Mille Feuille, Passionfruit Gel, Pistachio Coulis, Sauteed Pineapple

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Life as it is...

...at the moment I'm on holiday and for the most part, I am enjoying it.

Despite being rather hectic, the last few weeks of uni went well. After my manic few weeks of uni & work, it's calmed down quite a bit in terms of having to run around like a headless chook and I've been able to get more sleep. However, the stress of assignments, assessments and competition paper has still plagued me.

The last assessment of the semester went extremely well and I am savouring that 'perfect' and am still on cloud nine. :) This was the first assessment that we had to come up with our own flavour combination, recipe, plating etc. And for the first time ever, I managed to get a 'perfect' out of my tutor and it's something I'll keep aiming for... Here's some pictures of my assessment.

Cold dessert: Buttermilk Pannacotta, Lavender Raspberry Soup, Honey Snaps, Honey Foam

Hot dessert: Apple Rosemary Tart, Poached Rhubarb, Rhubarb Ice Cream, Apple Rhubarb Gel

This weekend is the Auckland Regionals Competition. And yes, I am competing. It was at this competition 3 yrs ago that I competed for the very first time and hated it. And this weekend is the first time I'm competing in this exact same competition since then and the process leading up to the competition this time round has been a much more pleasant journey, but it hasn't been without it's frustrations and sleepless nites. I am nervous but yet looking forward to it. Once it is over, I will endeavour to put up photos.

Since being on holiday, it's been interesting. This week, I have had the house to myself-my parents are back in KL and Ian has been away with friends. It's been nice to have a quiet house but at the same time it can get pretty lonely. But I have been out and spending time with friends; on Wed, Kate and I spent the day making engagement invites with Becs and then came back to my place and I made hamburgers for dinner over dvd. Sara joined us for that too so it was a nice girls nite. The today, we took the kids of the parents for the morning and went to the zoo. The weather held up really nicely too. Awesome day all in all.

So it's competition stuff that will keep me busy for the weekend before I start prep-ing for dinner next week. I'm having some friends over for dinner. I'm looking forward to it. It's just something I do when I have the house to myself. Then it's work on Sat evening followed by a busy Sunday before mom gets back on the Mon.

I am on holidays but I am still keeping occupied...Sheer bliss. Aaahhhh.....