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Wendy DeBord

eG Foodblog: Wendy DeBord - Dessert, the most important meal.

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If I wasn't a chef I'd definitely be into cooking. Well I used to be into cooking......and I'm actually not a bad cook but it just doesn't fit into my life style anymore. I suppose that sounds weird so I better explain myself. I spend all day everyday preparing food for other people that when it comes to thinking about what I'm going to eat and preparing my meals, I'm totally spent. So I've fallen into the habit of eating whatever requires the least effort to aquire.

So I'm guessing most of you would think, "o.k. so she eats alot of easy meals, like sliced fruits and vegetables, quality cheeses and breads, simple pasta dishes etc...." but you would be wrong! That type of eating requires effort, typically more effort then I attempt on working days. I'm a Pastry Chef and well what's effortless around me to eat, is: pastries.

I feel like I need to post this. Warning: I apologize to all of you in advance, because this blog will probably scare you. The following eating has been done by a professional and shouldn't be attempted by non-professionals. I'm not writing that as a cute ploy (cause it's not cute, it seems pretty stupid right now) but it's true. I have a feeling I might been seen as the poster person for horrible eating habits. My eating habits are extreme and so I'm highly embarrassed to expose this to you all. But my love for all things pastry and desire to share override my embarrassment.

My days off of work are Sunday and Monday. That's when I do eat more normal/healthy meals. Although, I've been panicking and thinking I better actually prepare "meals" during this week......so I won't be embarrassed.........well, we'll see.... that depends upon what's happening at work and how much time I have after work.

I do sort of start my day off like everyone else, so I'll start my blog off like others too. Bear witness to this, my daily breakfast:

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Technically the container it comes from says it's "Gourmet Cappuccino, French Vanilla".........but I don't know of any real cappuccino drinkers that would let this mixture pass thru their lips.

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O.k. soooooo it's sort of like a hot chocolate/coffee mix and nothing like a real cappuccino. I used to drink real coffee, but my system can't take it anymore and it definitely can not be consumed by me when my stomach is empty. I tried to very hard to switch to becoming a tea drinker, but it just didn't take.

I never prepare breakfast at home. If I'm starving I might grab a couple cookies or whatever is fully prepared laying around and instantly ready to eat. When my husband is home we do always eat breakfast, he can't live with-out it (that means he gets really cranky with-out it). But then it's rarely prepared in our kitchen but sometimes he likes to cook. We normally go out for breakfast every weekend. This weekend we were busy gardening so we ate what was available 'instantly' at home.......because I actually had something at home to eat. Here's what our breakfast this past Sunday consisted of: (I hope it's o.k. to talk about past meals too?)

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I took the photo of the rolls that were left and then I proceeded to finish them off while typing.

I had made too many of these at work for a brunch party we had. They didn't all fit on the serving platter so I snook the extras home for my hubby. He really likes these! As we ate, he talked about how we should open a store selling only pecan sticky buns, blah, blah, blah. Of course he's thought up the easy to imagine name of the company and what our sales literature would look like. "Let's call it, Sticky Bunns and have a photo of two buns looking like a "back" shot." That's cleaver..........I teased him. Knowing full well we'd never actually start another business.....but we had a little chuckle over the whole concept.

I have to leave for work and I'm not certain when I will return online. So I'm going to pack in as much info. as possible so you can barely get thru these opening posts before I return. This is me, exactly like how I work, when I'm at work (I'm preparing these posts in advance, on Monday and I've got my photos all loaded and ready to go in advance). I hate getting caught short so I ALWAYS work as much in advance as humanly possible..........and I always seem to go over board!!

I'm shaking my legs as I type unconsciously (until now)......that's me too, always got to be in motion, ready, ready, ready.

Wait, I suppose I should get this out of the way. I wouldn't want to break tradition and not post a animal member of my family right off the bat (I think thats the 'hook' to these blogs. We're are more then mear foodies, we are also a bunch of animal lovers.).

It's very rare that I sit at the computer by myself. Just like everyone else I too have a cat that is certain he must accompany me at all times when I'm on the computer. That's his job and he does it to excess just like me...well he is just like me, too much. He's certain I'm his sole mate (cause he treats me like another cat not a human) and he's always at my side when I'm home. When I sleep he checks me all night to make sure I'm still alive (he drives me crazy! and sometimes he bites me).

This is Hawkeye:

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He isn't a cute cat, his legs are far too short for his long body with his front two legs being shorter then his back two. Nor is he sweet, we often refer to him as "the devil cat" and our other cats definitely agree. He was the last kitten of his litter sold at the animal shelter....well the last kitten from all of their adoptive cat litters. We're certain there was a reason for that (but, I love him dearly anyway).

I believe what our whole family eats is fair game for blogs so I thought I'd mention Hawkie only eats to survive. Sometimes when he's laying in front of me at my computer I hear his stomach growling. He forgets there is always food out to eat or he just hasn't linked the feeling of an empty stomach can be solved by eating. I have two other cats who live to eat and if I can't think of anything else to write about I'll drag them into this blog too.

Hum.........what else. Oh I remember, I was going to show you where I work, the kitchen, my ingredients etc... in my intro. to welcome you into my work life. I took photos already (just to be prepared) so I'll post a whole bunch of them so you can get the lay out.

If things go slow at work I'd be happy to make anything pastry wise anyone wants to watch me eat. Most of my eating takes place at work, heck I eat all day long at work so I believe that makes most of my work fair topic to post about according to the blogging rules. I was sort of hoping to focus on my work as a pastry chef throughout this blog.

I'm open for requests. Any requests, like: do you want to see my actual work/pastries (which I do eat, all day everyday) and what items: petite fours, breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes, wedding cakes, novelty cakes sweet tables, candys, anything about the savory side at my work (I eat their food too), photos of what I've made previously (I certainly tasted all of that), photos of what my day consists of as a pc (I eat constantly thru that), requests for recipes or techniques I can show (before I eat it)?????

...............Oh, maybe I should mention that I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from Chicago in the Northwest suburbs. I could take you on a tour eating my way across Chicago-land bakeries on my day off, if that interests anyone (besides me)?

Wait, while I was typing the other two cats desided they needed to be included.

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I promise no more photos of pets........maybe a cutie kid photo thrown in later....... if you all begin to fall asleep.

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OOOh another great blog coming!

I'd love to see photos of techniques, as well as finished products.

However the best sticky buns in the world are Fitzbillies Chelsea bins http://www.fitzbillies.com/. Somehow they are not your usually doughy bins, but thin light gooey layers...

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I work at a private country club. They hadn't planned on hiring a pastry chef when they designed the kitchen so my work space is an after thought. My Chef generously gave up half of his prep room to accommodate me. This is the most work space I've ever had at any job. In fact I have more area then anyone else!!

This hallway leads to my work area:

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Here's my room, thru the magic plastic curtain:

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Now a look around it:

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If you are observant you might notice that theres a couple things very important to my job that's not in my room. Like an oven and refridgerators.........

I'm off to check out the P & B Forum before I get in the shower. See you after work today with photos of everything I ate.

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Good morning Wendy! Oh!!! Pastries!!! This will be such a cool blog!!! As for the orientation of this blog...hey! It's pastries, so it's perfect... Techniques, road trips of bakeries, your work station and work habits, your favorites baking tricks and tools...we want it all!

BTW, cute cute felines!

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This looks like fun. Maybe I can stay on my diet, well maybe I should start my diet, and just look at all the yummy baked things.

Hawkeye just looks like trouble...in a fun sort of way.

I would love to see what you do at work, it sounds very interesting.

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I :wub: your blog already! What are your working hours like? Too long, I know.

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Wendy, I'm really looking forward to your blog. While I'm not a PC, I spend a lot of time baking at work - so I'm interested in seeing what you do at work.

Also being in the food industry, I completely understand the lack of energy to cook for yourself after cooking for others all day long.. .. so if that means you eat pastry all day long, so be it. As it has said on every menu we've produced for the last 10-15 years "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!"

I also worked at a private golf course (thankfully, only for one season). Does the weather have a large impact on how busy you are or do member come and hang out and eat even if it's rained for a month?

Thanks for blogging!

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I'm open for requests. Any requests, like: do you want to see my actual work/pastries (which I do eat, all day everyday) and what items: petite fours, breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes, wedding cakes, novelty cakes sweet tables, candys, anything about the savory side at my work (I eat their food too), photos of what I've made previously (I certainly tasted all of that), photos of what my day consists of as a pc (I eat constantly thru that), requests for recipes or techniques I can show (before I eat it)?????

...............Oh, maybe I should mention that I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from Chicago in the Northwest suburbs. I could take you on a tour eating my way across Chicago-land bakeries on my day off, if that interests anyone (besides me)?

Yes, I want to see the items you bake.

Yes, I want to see what your day is like as a pastry chef.

Yes, I want to see your techniques.

And yes, I'd love to see your area bakeries!

I'm looking forward to this, Wendy.

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(I hope it's o.k. to talk about past meals too?)

If things go slow at work I'd be happy to make anything pastry wise anyone wants to watch me eat. Most of my eating takes place at work, heck I eat all day long at work so I believe that makes most of my work fair topic to post about according to the blogging rules. I was sort of hoping to focus on my work as a pastry chef throughout this blog.

Yes, of course. :biggrin:

Soba

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I'm glad you're doing this, Wendy. Its so much fun having a peek into your life.

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I work at a private country club. They hadn't planned on hiring a pastry chef when they designed the kitchen so my work space is an after thought. My Chef generously gave up half of his prep room to accommodate me. This is the most work space I've ever had at any job. In fact I have more area then anyone else!!

I've noticed this with alot of American kitchens. Lack of space for Pastry chefs or make- shift space. Yes, I was wondering about the absence of a refrigerator and oven in your work area. I suppose you have to do what I've seen other pastry chefs do, haul/cart things back and forth.

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Yes, this is great Wendy! I want to see it all-- your work area and produced items, and yes! Include area bakeries! I just love to see that kind of stuff from all over the country. It's especially gratifying to see evidence that the entire country hasn't succumbed to fast food places and mass produced blahness, even if I never get there. It soothes my soul. Oh, and don't forget to include more kitty pictures!

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I shrieked, "OMIGOD! IT'S A DESSERT BLOG!" as soon as I logged onto Egullet this morning. I love, love, LOVE desserts, and I'm so looking forward to seeing everything you eat! (I'm one of those people who eat desserts as a meal, too :wink: )


Edited by Ling (log)

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And here I was just thinking this week would be more productive because I would cut back on my eG addiction. Oh well...... Who's got the strap?

Wendy, this is so mah-valous! So excited to see your workspace, and everything else. I feel we are soul sisters long distance, so your blog makes it all the closer! thank you!

I'm all for a ROAD TRIP on your day off, definitely! I can't imagine anyone not wanting to peek into some of your local bakeries.

My only complaint:

Your kitchen. Whoa!!!!!!! Too big. Waaaaaaay too big.

NOT FAIR! :angry: (she types as she stomps her feet! )

REALLY NOT FAIR. Harumph!

(But I guess that's the diff between us restaurant pc's and you countryclubbers!)

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Cute kitties. That Hawkeye, he's sure is lucky he landed you, isn't he.

OK, sticky buns. Will we see their preparation? Plus everything else!

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Another incredible food-blog... thanks for your efforts, Wendy!

As a "cook" rather than a "baker", I would love to see your favorite recipes for baking-challenged eGulleters - any favorites with big impact that don't require fancy equipment, long rising times, decorating skills extraordinaire?

Any ideas for using frozen puff pastry or filo?

And yes, I would love more kitty pictures - they all have such expressive faces and body language!

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What are the desserts that you really enjoy making? What is your favorite to eat? Always wanted to ask a pastry chef these two things. Oh, and what is the dessert you keep making only because people like it so much, despite how boring/annoying it is for you to prepare?

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I have a question too--what is the one item you've produced that you're most proud of? (And do you have a picture?) :smile: I remember seeing your posts with the pictures about the Easter-themed table you did at the club last year--so impressive!

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Hawkeye sounds a whole lot like my last cat. Jimmy Dean, the Rebel Without A Clue was always underfoot, always attacking me, always behaving just plain weird, and I loved the little bastard. His more misbehaved self earned him many nicknames, the only G-rated one being "Beastie Boy." He was getting a little too old for long-distance moves, so he now bedevils the life of a friend of mine back in Seattle.

Blog on, o Pastry Maven! Be fearless in exposing your non-standard eating habits, secure in the knowledge that at least one of your readers does no better (and probably does a helluva lot worse... :laugh: )

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Oh a pastry blog!

I am so excited and I want to see everything!

As for the eating habits- I sympathize. It is especially hard when you have an unusual schedule to get in proper meals and vegetables. I went through a period where because of my hours/job I was living off constant nibbles of sweets, etc. So don't be afraid to share, we've been there. Along those lines, here's my question:

What is the one item you make that you most look forward to tasting?

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Dessert, kitties and kiddies... how much better does it get!

The Vancouver forum has a fair number of dessert lovers, me being one of them. I'm looking forward to visuals and verbals on your sweet treats. You won't get any objections from me on your pastry-eating prowess!

Fuelled by thoughts of your blog, I bought a brownie with Ghiradelli chocolate chunks to go with my cappuccino on the way home from lunch. :rolleyes:

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Cool! A pastry blog!! I'm scared of baking and especially of pretty delicate buttery tastey things. I'd love to see some techniques. I'm also wondering what you think the most difficult thing is too make, what scares you???

kick ass name by the way! :wink:

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´

If things go slow at work I'd be happy to make anything pastry wise anyone wants to watch me eat.

This is quite possibly the most eGullet sentence anyone has ever written.

I am excited to see a pastry chef in action. So is it true you guys are very precise?

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oh-oh! Can you show us how to make ....Bear Claws and Napoleons?

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