““We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
Friends If I have been reminded of anything lately it is the importance of hope, not only having it but ruthlessly pursuing it. I want this blog to inspire you in your own passions but also to prepare you because as I have come to realise there will be some days. Days when the best you can do is wake up and stay in your pyjamas because whats outside or in front of you is too difficult to face in that moment. Days when you forget to hope and you forget how you even believed to begin with. For the last month all I’ve had is a series of these days.
Right after my final year exams I was accepted into Le Cordon Bleu (my dream school) to do an intense Patisserie diploma. I was elated! I had planned my next blog post to let you all know that my dream was finally coming true. That after securing my degree I was finally on my passion journey but little did I know it would not be so easy. As I am a Nigerian I needed a visa so I returned home for 3 weeks to get my visa done, it was granted but I wasn’t given enough time to complete the course, already in London I panicked. After hours of phone calls to the home office and with the unwavering support of my family we began to fight, even got an immigration lawyer because I had stated my dates but they had made a mistake. After 3 weeks of limbo and increasing pressure from Cordon Bleu the only thing I could do was come back to Nigeria to re-apply and hopefully get my visa with just a week left in time for the start date. I had to fly home to Lagos then take the first flight to Abuja before returning home to Lagos again that same night all the while I was thinking God what the hell is going on? If I don’t make my deadline then what will all this trouble be for? What is the lesson here? I honestly was exhausted but my parents God bless them soldiered on, telling me it was all going to be ok.
I realised that sometimes you do all you can, all you are supposed to do but it still does not turn out your way. I am always looking for the lesson but honestly I still don’t know why all this had to happen perhaps to make me want it more? Perhaps to make me dig deep down and find the fight I never knew I had. Every time we thought there would be a solution we would be knocked back again. There was even a day all I did was cry that my sister came back home from work just to be with me. All I can decipher is that sometimes you have to wade in the water, you have to hang on when everything is telling you to give up because it sharpens your determination. In the though times you find your fight and you find that a backbone comes from the people you have around you that carry you through. When your dream is being threatened you have to soldier up! It’s nobody else’s responsibility but yours.
Finally with one day left to get my visa I said a prayer, one so simple because honestly I couldn’t muster anything more elegant. “Dear Lord, help me give up the right to know the ending of my book, let me live in the chapters of today” and I left it. Often we get the picture that surrender is relief and its a weight taken from you but my surrender didn’t feel good, it just felt final. With no other option but to wait I did what I knew how to do, I kept baking to remind myself why I started this journey to begin with. I made the first recipe I ever found from Le Cordon Bleu because if I wasn’t going to learn to make it there I would do the best I could on my own, then on Wednesday I got the call at 9:09am just as I was resigning myself to staying in Lagos, my visa had been processed and I could pick it up.
So friends, I just want to encourage you its honestly not over till its over, I learnt to be stronger through this and I know this is just the beginning. There will be worse days but what joy when a good day comes along, lets live in those moments because thats what makes life so full. I start Le Cordon Bleu tomorrow!!!. Six months of intense study and I get to do what I love to do, my prayer for everyone is that you get to do what you love too. Stick with the fight, it has never mattered more than today.
I look forward with sharing with you all I make!! Below is the summer tart from Le Cordon Bleu with a hazelnut crust, almod cream, fresh mint and lemon cream then topped with fresh berries and caramelized pistachios. The other tart is a comfort tart I made on a particularly hard day consisting of almond frangipane and treacle.
Hazelnut crust with almond cream
Prep for the lemon & mint cream
Straining through a cheese cloth
Caramelizing some pistachios
Gold dust for a little shimmer
Prep for the almond treacle tart
Making some almond tuile
The house smelt amazing when this came out
I am FINALLY on my journey to becoming a Pastry chef!
Lots of love,