For my final reflection of this year, I will be posting reflections of my projects, and all of the things I have completed over this year. To start, I will begin with Project 1: Recipe Development.
My original goal was to have all of my recipes developed. The way I went about this was by: researching about the effects of ingredients and their purpose, gathering base recipes to alter, altering those recipes and having my peers try them, and then sifting through my data collected to fully form my recipes. I know it seems like a lot, and it most definitely was. I had a major problem about halfway through, my ovens broke. Since this entire portion was baking, there really was nothing that I could do, so I had to shift this section of the project. Along with the recipes I had already finalized, I built and published my entire website, as well as starting a blog (as part of the website). This ended up being a really good thing to come out of a very bad situation. On some of the recipes I developed, I also added little blurbs about that recipe, and how it relates to me in one way or another, which will later be used in the cookbook.
Use of Kaplan Objectives
Primarily, I want to go over what Kaplan Objectives are. The overall goal of using Kaplan Objectives are reaching depth and complexity, which is possibly one of the most important factors of this class. There are 11 specific "prompts," of which we had to choose two for each project. The objectives are as follows: big idea, essential details, language of discipline, rules, patterns, ethics, change over time, multiple perspectives, unanswered questions, across disciplines, and trends.
Patterns- Patterns are everywhere in baking. Whether it is flavor combinations that work really well together, or similar cook times and temperatures. Some patterns that I caught onto that really helped speed up some of the dirty work was the continuity of time and temperature between loaves and muffins of all varieties. I found that all large loaves cook for about 1 hour, the small loaves take about 50 minutes, and the muffins take around 25. Having this as my standard, I was able to utilize the time I would be taking to be constantly checking on the treats in the oven to do something more productive. There were not many patterns that I observed when it came to choice of ingredient and result.
Details- I found that details in this case really had to do with textures and tastes. One thing I learned by looking at the details was that there are a lot of things that I see in my baking that others see as well, but don't necessarily know how to put into words. Using their feedback, I was able to better all of my recipes. I also found it very interesting common trends among age groups. There was an unusual amount of people in this class who were testers that had a hatred for oysters. While this really had nothing to do with the outcome of my project, I found it very interesting that there was this commonality. I also took notice that a lot of the time, the women tend to enjoy these treats more than the men do. Taking that information, I can know who this book needs to be geared to, specifically aesthetically.
During this portion I ran into one of my biggest challenges I faced during my project, which was my ovens breaking. I have to say it is really hard to bake with out ovens. That meant I had to adapt, so I switched over to building this website. Previously, I had a website from when I was about 10, that featured none of my work, no contact form, and look as what I can only describe as a unicorn who threw up. My aunt was in possession of it, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. That is where this website and blog come from. I looked at a few other bakeries in my area who I know do very well, and took inspiration for layout and design. I collected some of my pictures, and put together this thing. That is also where I decided to create a blog for this project (seen in The Start). I have to say that the ovens breaking worked out very well in my favor, as it gave me initiative to build this thing. It was a lot of work, but most definitely worth it in the end (you should see peoples' faces when I tell them I have a website I built).
As I created recipes, I would bring them into my class to try. As a statistics student, I know that it was not a proper experiment, but I got some amazing feedback. I would give out free samples, and in turn they would fill out a form and give their thoughts. The questions were set up in 2 different sections, those about the person sampling the food, and then what they thought about the food. They were asked questions as follows
Age Range (10-12, 13-15, 16-19, 20-25, 26-35, 35-50, 50-75, 76<)
Sweet or Savory
3 Favorite Foods
3 Least Favorite Foods
What Recipe they tried
How much [they] enjoyed eating recipe (1-5)
Did [they] like the texture (1-10)
How was the sweetness (1-10)
What there anything that stood out, good or bad
Would [they] eat again (yes, yes with revisions, maybe, no)
If [they] said yes with revisions, what would they change
Would [they] make it [them]self
I used all of the data I collected from this form and these questions to edit my recipes, and have and have someone other than my own couscous telling me how the food was perceived. Peer input is critical in pretty much anything you do. I am supposed to show what I made out of this project. Obviously I will not be giving out all of my recipes, but I will be posting some that I made during this time, along with the little blurbs that I worked on as well. You can look on my page for those!
I was going to say this was the most tiring point of my life, but as finals and APs are happening, I am reevaluating that statement. However, I can say with confidence this was much of a challenge, and required certain thinking skills I don't often get to use. I had to problem solve, get creative, and really play into my senses. I also had to learn to take criticism, as a huge part of this project was giving the recipes to my peers in my class to taste and review. As a perfectionist, hearing feedback is really hard, but I know that it is the reason these recipes are able the be as loved as they are. Overall this project brought out the best and worst of me, but pushed me to be the best I can be.