Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pie Date pt. 2 (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the yeast)

Some people seem to be under the impression that, in order to submit a story to Food Chains, it has to be a nice food story. Not true. We'll take anything. To prove my point, I am going to tell you a tale of food tragedy. A baking nightmare, if you will. But to truly feel the pain and agony of my story, we have to start with our protagonist (moi) and how I even became a baker...
After coming back from Indo, my trusted gang of skaters and punk rockers secured me a fabulous job as a dishwasher at the Metropol Bakery in Eugene. Those boys were all baking bread there and it wasn't long before I found myself back behind the cash register. We had a lot of fun during that time--like the time Tom threw up a little bit on the bread table because we'd over done it the night before. However, customer service was wearing thin on me. I was slipping. In one of my finer moments, I told one customer, "don't pay, shut up and get the fuck out. I don't just can't stand listening to you whine." The last straw was the day a tiny old witch threw $100 bill in my face to pay for her baguette. That was it. I started staying late and having people teach me how to bake.

Soon thereafter, I picked up and moved to Seattle. I got myself a job in the front of the house at Pacific Desserts but it wasn't long before I weaseled my way into the back, and was getting paid to learn the ropes. During those couple of years, I got the basics down--cakes, pies, frostings, fillings, caramels. It turned out I was pretty good at it. It helped that I had Swiss there-- a born natural and seasoned professional at 21.

Pacific Desserts got sold to some business types and pretty soon we were doing baking production work. We were getting buff lifting 50 pound bags of four, chocolate and sugar, 30 pound blocks of butter and 30 pound--wait for it--buckets of eggs. Yes. You read it right. BUCKETS. OF EGGS. Would you like a bucket of yolks, whites or whole eggs? It was as just as soul sucking as it sounds.

okay, here's the deal. Guy & I are getting ready to head down to Mexico for a few days and my computers are not playing nice. I've got the work computer that won't let me in to post AT ALL and the home computer that won't let me insert pictures. So I am going to back away slowly before I throw either or both out the freaking window. I need a holiday. I know you're all on pins and needles to hear the rest of this tragic tale. but I'm going to have to lame-out this week. sorry! To be continued...

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