Thursday, October 06, 2005

If the Shoe Fits

For some reason, my brain decided that 2:15 am was a good time to wake up today. I finally got out of bed around 3:15, I think, but, yes, right now I'm exhausted. I may even try taking a little nap before heading out for handball.

Meanwhile, I've been having problems with my left foot--my heel hurts, hurts, hurts (I think it's plantar fascitis), especially when I do things like play handball three days (soon to be four days) in a row, two of them without heel inserts, and especially when I don't practice yoga, which I haven't done for a week and a half now. I can dull or even, sometimes, eliminate the pain with anti-inflammatories, which I've been doing, but the surest solution is . . . put on my chef shoes. Really. I suspect the elimination of the pain has more to do with the fit of the shoes than with any cosmic significance, but, hey, you take your cosmic significance where (if/when) you find it.

What, you ask, have we been doing? Making a sugar showpiece, which, it turns out, I love way more than I expected to love. We've learned to blow sugar, and pull sugar, and cast sugar, and it requires infinite patience, and I still pretty much suck at it, but I really love it. I'll try to bring the camera tomorrow for pictures. What I love about the sugar showpieces is their immediacy and, for all of the elaborateness possible, their simplicity: They're sugar, water, maybe a little color. That's it. And sugar doesn't require the fussy shit that chocolate necessitates--no tempering, no special molds.

What sugar does require, however, as noted, is patience, which isn't always my specialty, but there's this incredible feeling when you take this lump of molten sugar and turn it into an apple, or a pear, or a banana, or a fish, or a rose. Chocolate you don't really mold by hand; you have to cast everything, which is a little easier with chocolate (e.g., you can make a mold quickly out of gelatin if need be). With sugar, though, it's you and the sugar, and some heat and air.

Okay, I really want to try to take a little nap, so I'll quit the rhapsodizing, but did I mention that I've really been enjoying the sugar?