Parsnip Parsimony- A vegan baking and science blog.

“You’re crazy, Susie!”

I SO do not have time to blog right now.

Posted by Susie on November 5, 2007

BUT, its Veganmofo, and I have no choice but to study for the calculus test later and blog now.

It has been a very very homework-y week. I just took my online chemistry test (and messed up a few more questions than I would have liked), I have a calculus test tomorrow I need to make a note-sheet for (AND learn a bunch of math for..) , and this last week I had a bunch of random stuff due. Much more than normal.

So for today’s vegan mofo entry, I am going to tell you a couple of anecdotes about me, schoolwork, and vegan food. They will be short, because I really should get on this calculus.

When I was in baking school, I was obsessed with getting 100’s on all of my baking theory tests. There really isn’t normally any reason that someone would really benefit from getting a 100/100 instead of a 92/100. I went for the 100s though because it was a fun game. Baking theory class itself was hugely interesting to me, because it was kind of my introduction to food science, and I was fascinated. Both teachers I had while I was in baking school that taught baking theory were knowledgeable, and I found the contents of their lectures really cool, and because of this, paid attention to what they said. The things that were on their tests, however, were not on the things they talked about in class that were so fascinating. The test questions were mostly multiple choice, and were taken right out of sentences in the textbook- factoids like “if you are freezing dough, add exactly this percent yeast to the dough” (in reality, although it is important to know that some increase of yeast will probably be necessary for a successful frozen dough, I doubt that there is any truth to a rule governing the exact percent increase required, because freezing conditions just vary…) So it was silly stuff, mostly numbers, that was key to doing well on those tests. By the second quarter of baking school, I had established a strategy: pay attention to the real knowledge during the class lecture, then, the night before the test, read the whole section in the text that the test was to be on, and pay attention to all the numbers in order to recognize the answers to the ridiculous questions the next day. So I got 100s on those tests AND I never missed out on the authentic information that my teachers had, because I never distracted myself taking notes, unless I felt like I really wanted to remember some random fact. It really pissed off my classmates, who complained that I never took notes, and yet got scores of 100. When they gave me a hard time and said that there was no way I should have been able to do that, I just smiled and said, matter-of-factly, “Oh. Yeah. Thats because I’m vegan.”

It was the ONLY time I think I EVER implied during ALL of baking school that veganism was better than non-veganism. (Like I said before, I don’t like an arguing aproach to veganism promotion, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

Now. If only Calculus tests could be as easy as bakery theory tests.

4 Responses to “I SO do not have time to blog right now.”

  1. trina said

    Hey, good luck with the Calculus and the blog you Vegan Mo Fo. I am so excited to read more about food science. (I was talking about through your blog, but actually, is there a good baking science book you’d recommend? Sherry Yard’s baking cookbook has some good general info, but I’ve been looking for something more in depth.)

  2. kittee said

    susie, i have never used calculus in my life, but i have had the need for a good vegan blog. i think your priorities are skewed.


  3. susie1764 said

    Baking science: It all kind of depends on how technical you want to get.

    There are “Bakery science” textbooks out there. (The outdated ones from the 70’s are the cheapest!), but the reading can be kind of dry. I have a pretty good collection of vintage bakery science books. (OOH! IDEA!! I should make a blog entry about them!) The quality is variable- it really depends on how willing you are to slog through the dry reading in order to make a better cupcake.

    One notch down are the plain old baking textbooks. There are not so many charts and graphs in these, and the information can get too general sometimes (especially if you are trying to decipher EXACTLY what those eggs do so that you can figure out what else can do it too) but mostly they do an okay job of outlining ingredient functionality, mixing processes, and baking processes. I would start here- with a good, quality, up to date baking text book.

    I have 2 books in this catagory:

    A collection (not really a book) of American institute of Baking modules that cover all the traditional bakery products, their ingredients, their production, and other bakery subjects such as store displays and sanitation. These were the “textbook” for the above mentioned bakery theory class.

    I also have “Professional Baking” by Wayne Gisslen (I have both a recent and an ancient edition. Get a recent edition!) It is not as “sciencey” and a good deal of the book is devoted to the “art” aspects of baking, but it still contains accurate (albeit general) bakery science information.

    If you are interested in food and science, you really can’t go wrong by going out and getting a copy of “On Food and Cooking” by Harold Mcgee. It is a “general information” book of sorts, but the nice thing is it has “general information” on just about everything you would want to know. If I don’t know where to start looking for an answer to a food science question, I look in this book for an idea.

  4. trina said


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