What? How can it possibly be that over 6 months has passed by since starting this little, not so little baking adventure? Things already go by in a blink, but I am telling you these past nearly 7 months have been a whirlwind!
I have learned so, so much in these past few months. I have never in my life put my multi-tasking, project management and organizational skills through so much testing. Want to up your multi-tasking game? Just begin to bake a dozen or more things on a given day and hit a specific time to end so you can get everything cooled, packaged and sent off to amazing customers. I am telling you - I hear timers in my dreams, ring, ring, ring, ding, ding, ding. I hear Alexa in my dreams telling me "your sourdough timer is done" - at least she uses the verbiage correctly, "cookies are done, people are finished." There also is a high amount of energy expelled moving in 50 directions at once, usually with sticky, dough encrusted hands and this dear friends is an art onto its own to figure out. How to operate without getting flour and sticky dough all over every, single square inch of your kitchen, is a master class in creativity most days.
Beyond this moving about the kitchen in all directions, avoiding slathering my kitchen in flour, trying to track which dough is which and what timer is for what, there is the bake schedule. The bake schedule! Some Sunday evenings this can send a cold, chill of fear down my spine! I agreed to what? Why in the world would I agree to bake: sourdough, sandwich loaf, buns, bagels, biscuits, scones, crackers, 4 different cookies, granola, pizza dough, muffins and brownies all on the same day and all before 3:00? Well, believe it or not, and I am certain and living proof, that task can be completed with the help of a pot of Lapsang souchong tea from The Jasmine Pearl, polka dotted compression socks from Vim and Vigor, super cushy slippers on your feet, a positive and shiny attitude that nothing and absolutely nothing will go wrong that day, the right tunes for the occasion - this is imperative to getting the yeasties to not be beasties - they all like different types of music, so you gotta be in tune with those little suckers or things will go awry and I mean throw in the trashcan, cry your eyeballs out awry. Less than a year ago baking one loaf of regular bread, not even sourdough, was a whole "this is my task for the day" experiment, so I feel pretty accomplished when I pull those big, whopping bake days off and everything has gone well. Whew!
There have also been new ventures, things I had never in my life made before and decided "what the heck" let's get going on that as well. Macarons anyone? Hadn't made a one since trying them in February. I was so enamored with the little, glorious pillow filled tasties that I added them to my Valentine's Day Menu - and well, after that initial batch I just dove in with making another 275 of them. Gasp - those little cookies are the DIVAS of the cookie world! Not even kidding on this one, I am pretty sure I could write a whole post on how those little cookies can be the devil or an angel. They are not an easy cookie to get right, not so many ingredients and no so many steps, but they are super particular about what you say to them or how you look at them - super moody! Raining? Forget it, open the trashcan! Drop of humid air? Open the trashcan! Didn't do the macronage stage correctly, open the trashcan! Didn't tell them they were all beautiful and wonderful, open the trashcan! You get the point...difficult, but oh, oh so delightful. They were cute all packaged in their little, heart boxes, and polka dot ribbons, I mean worth it in the end, but we are taking a break in our relationship for sure.
Now, I know that all of this sounds like I may not be having fun, but let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth! I am having a blast, even when the days are 12-15 hours long and my feet and back ache beyond belief I still have the best days. I spend most of the time by myself, in my kitchen, talking to dough, singing songs, talking to myself, maybe talking to Walter and occasionally a human wanders in and I have words with someone who can actually speak back. I am figuring out the rhythm, the flow of making this all work. Now I understand what my desired max output is, efficiencies have been produced, knowledge has been gained, science has worked (Hello Gluten Free Bread - You Rock!), creativity has been ignited - what's not to love about all of that? And there is more...connection...A connection to you, a connection to all of you has been felt and appreciated. I have reconnected with friends that I have not seen in years, I have been able to chat with people during a time when seeing friends and socializing has been a black void. I have been graced with meeting new people that friends have referred and brought to my doorstep. Sometimes I fear for my customers coming to pick up their orders, I can unassumingly pounce on them for a conversation all about bread, cookies and scones. But please, do not fear me - I only wield measuring spoons and a thermometer in my apron pockets.
Friends, I am finding my groove, I have so many ideas whirling and swirling in my mind, some are constant and some ebb and flow with the feeling and mood of the day, but there are fun things a rising. Cookie decorating workshops! Dry mixes! DIY Friday Night Dinner Nights! Vlog How Tos! Tips & Tricks!
Until next time, and I promise sooner than 6 months!
Rise & Be Kind,