You know that old saying, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?" Well I was challenged by the #TryDry campaign to put Dove's new dry spray deodorant to the test and see if it could help me stand the heat of the kitchen for three hours. So I attended a baking class entitled "Tarts Gone Wild" at La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina. I'd eaten there once or twice before, so I was pretty excited to get a behind-the-scenes look at their kitchen and how some of their pastries are made, as well as bake there myself. But before we get to how the challenge went, let me first give you a little background info about myself.
I can get pretty sweaty. I don't use clinical-strength antiperspirants, but in anticipation of sweating, I don't often wear lighter colors or thinner fabrics either. That means I mostly wear white T-shirts in the summer, and black or fabrics that won't divulge pit-stains when I leave the house. And there are many things that can make me sweat. Two of such are nervousness and moving around in temperatures over 75 degrees. Going to this baking class would trigger both of these things for me.
Even though I first applied the deodorant about five hours before I needed to leave to go to the class (and was still smelling fresh at this point), the anxiety of arriving on time and interacting with strangers had me a little sweaty. So I quickly reapplied before walking out the door. While the deodorant felt dry on my underarms when I applied it, when I touched it with my fingers, I could tell that it was a little wet. However, because it is clear and dries down pretty quickly, I didn't have to worry about deodorant residue appearing on my shirt.
Once everyone who was taking the class had arrived at La Farm, the 15 of us were ushered into the kitchen. We crowded around the three tables that had been pushed together to serve as our student prep-station, and awaited directions from our instructor, Chef Lionel Vatinet. With only three hours and a number of items on our menu for the night, we quickly jumped in to making our first, joint pastry: an apple tarte Tatin. After this was put into the oven, it was time to get a little more hands-on.
Over the course of the evening, we each rolled out three pieces of dough to make two rustic tarts and one tart shell. Although we did all of the prep work for each of our tarts, we the students did not actually do any of the baking. That is, after we had finished stuffing and forming our tarts, they were whisked away by Chef Lionel's apprentice to be put into the oven. We did not see our creations again until it was time to pack them up and take them home at the end of the night. But even though the kitchen was never really hot, the amount of prep work that we did was still enough to work up a bit of a sweat; especially when it came to kneading flour to make dough.
I had never made dough before, but the process is actually a bit of an arm-workout. It involves a lot of squeezing and rubbing cold butter into a mixture of flour and sugar before folding in an egg. As I was kneading, I could tell that my underarms were beginning to perspire. But even though I had that slightly moist feeling, I did not actually sweat enough to affect my clothes. So although my underarms did not feel entirely dry by the end of the class, at least my clothes still were.
A few hours after returning home, I remembered to ask my boyfriend (who so kindly came to the class with me and took pictures) to smell my armpits. He didn't think twice before leaning into my underarm and taking a whiff. "Smells fresh," was all he said. I'll take it. After 12 hours (and one reapplication) of working and baking, it's good to still smell fresh.
Images: Miki Hayes