Positive Reinforcement in the Kitchen

I’m a laughable cook, but a pretty proficient baker. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have sizable lapses in my knowledge. This morning, I engaged in a Twitter conversation with MJ, a representative at King Arthur Flour. Here was my takeaway:

Not only did MJ provide fabulous customer service, our conversation also mirrors what I hope a writing / math / literacy conference looks like in my class.

Walk with me through our exchange. I’ve bolded critical moments that we both took as student and as teacher.

First, I took a risk. I started with a vanilla scone mix and made the choice to cut up some fresh raspberries. I also ran out of regular milk, so I used almond milk instead. Struck with a lack of confidence, I Tweeted:

Often my Twitter appeals are made to the ether, but I received this:

It was a timely response from MJ, which offers a suggestion with “as long as the dough is not too wet,” as well as encouragement, “nice and tender and light.” Both comments are immediately practical and specific.

I recognized my error, but I persevered and shared my results:

And bam:

There’s the positive reinforcement. MJ recognized my effort with a specific compliment, “I love the pink color,” and she also nudged me further and gave me next steps with “just a little cream on the side.”

Then, she gave me this Lucy-Calkins-esque “off you go” statement:

Finally, as I was typing this post up, surprised that just three tweets could have such a huge impact on my baking experience, I realized the last key to this effective conference was that MJ kept it brief.

Here are my scones!

Where do you find conferring moments in your extracurricular activities?

Treat Tuesday 5/28/13

treatbadgeThanks to Niki for hosting Treat Tuesday!

Now that my National Boards are turned in, it feels sooooooooo nice to be back on this site again. Time for a huge sigh of relief.


That I can never rest for long.

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 7.32.36 PM

When I posted this image to Twitter as a preview for tonight’s blog post, I received this:

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 7.31.19 PMLornaaaaaaaa! I was GOING to just share that I’m reading A Tangle of Knots and although I’m not snacking on it today, I just UNLEASHED my sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour. But then I asked my sickly husband if he wanted fresh baked goods and he did, so I hoofed it down to the library and to our friendly neighborhood QFC.

And now I’m making Marigold’s Lime Pound Cake. Theoretically, it will look like this:

Image from Lisa Graff’s website.

Back to the kitchen. <3