Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Test Session

Several times a year, the skating club holds test sessions, which allow skaters to demonstrate their proficiency with skills that they learn in lessons. I think some of the skaters test because they want to compete (and level of testing determines what category you can compete in), and some test because they like the challenge of preparation, of learning new things.

Anyway, when we hold a test session, four or five judges attend to do the assessments. Because the judges do this service for free, it's tradition to provide them with a nice lunch. Since I am currently hospitality chairperson for the skating club, I get to do the food.

Last weekend, we held a test session. For lunch, I made split-pea soup with tarragon and lemon, and a fruit salad (honeydew, grapes, and kiwi with mint). Of course, I also baked: bacon-cheddar-chive scones, orange poppyseed pound cake, red-velvet cupcakes, and the aforementioned chocolate stout Bundt cake. (The orange poppyseed pound cake is a Nicole Rees recipe from Fine Cooking and was featured in the same article as the stout cake.)

OK, it was dessert-heavy, but it was nice to have extra to share with the skaters. The judges seemed pretty happy with the food, especially the scones. I neglected to take a photo of them before the test session, and by the time the session was over, they were gone! Instead of making eight large scones, as the recipe directs, I divided the dough in half and make 16 small scones.

I don't know what prompted me to make the cupcakes. I've been reluctant to make red-velvet cakes because -- cripes! -- a bottle of red food coloring? I've got to say, though, that this cupcake recipe is amazing. I am planning to tinker with it to see how they turn out with a bit of additional liquid in place of the red food coloring. I think they'd make an excellent vanilla cupcake.

Our next test session is in May. I think it goes without saying that I will have to make another batch of the scones. While that will not be a problem, I will be sure to stash one away for myself for after the test session.

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