7-31-12, Day 43 – Internship

Today was a great way to end my week, because tomorrow is the beginning of my weekend off, and even more exciting is that tomorrow is August 1st!  That means only 17 more days now until I get to see Dale.  I haven’t seen him since June 4th, so pretty excited!!

I was able to get some pictures before I left work today.  This is at about 12:45 pm, and many of our breads are out in the bakery/cafe area by 8-8:30 am at the latest, but we’re still shaping a few more boules at that time and making pizzas.  Today we shaped approximately 250 baguettes, 48 batards, and I’m not even sure of the numbers on all the other breads.  I’m just focus on the shaping, not the numbers:)  So much bread is sold by the time I leave work.  I really wish I had the opportunity to take a picture before the bread leaves the bakery out to the cafe area, but I’m happy with what I can show you for now.  I did get a few pictures of the coolers out by the bakery/cafe.  There are to go sandwiches, par-baked pizzas, pizza dough, cookie dough, and so much more!  The one picture shows the middle seating area before you get up to the bakery/cafe area.  I’ll try to get some better pictures tomorrow or Thursday.

It was really nice this morning, as the Head Baker worked on the bench with us and he showed me another way to shape baguettes.  So just as I’m starting to get comfortable way with the ‘sewing machine’ method as we call it, now it’s learning another method that produces a tighter baguette.  He also asked if I had scored any of the baguettes yet, and I said no!  He said not everyone gets to score baguettes before they leave their internship and I feel that you good enough!  I was just so honored to receive that compliment from him and it meant the world to me:)  Kind of nervous though, but some of the bakers were talking about their first time scoring baguettes – it was funny and we had a few laughs!

Hope all is well with everyone back home and again, I so appreciate each of you that take the time to read my blog and/or comment!  It’s great, and keeps my heart close to home:)

Well, I have some chores to do this afternoon, so I want to get that out of the way before my day off tomorrow:)


7-30-12, Day 42 – Internship

Well, a much better day today after some much-needed rest yesterday.  Emotions just all came at once; being away from family, our family reunion yesterday (I think I’ve only missed two, including yesterday).  This morning we shaped approximately 220 baguettes, along with all the other types of bread that we shape.  Tomorrow is my last day of work before my weekend off, so I’ll try really hard to get a few pictures before I leave for the day of the bread that I help make.  After tomorrow, I can finally turn the calendar and it will be August.  I’m very excited about that, and then it’s only days until Dale is out here:)

The weather is really nice here today.  I guess we’re supposed to have a few days of rain this week.  So far I don’t have too much planned for my weekend off, other than getting my hair cut and colored, going to see the new Batman movie and if it’s not raining Wednesday, stopping at the Hanover Farmer’s Market.

Will check back tomorrow:)  Have a good day everyone!

7-29-12, Day 41 – Internship

Not much new to share with you.  Typical busy day on the bread side.  Feeling a little sad today, as I’m missing my annual family reunion.  There have just been a couple of days during my internship, where for a moment, you second guess yourself, wondering if you have what it takes to make it in the baking industry?  I know I do, but just feeling out of sorts today.  Always hard when your older, of course, I don’t consider myself old yet, but compared to all the young ones in the same industry as me, you always have to work twice as hard to prove yourself.  I know I’m probably just being hard on myself as usual, but the last couple of days have been ok.  Think I just need to get some good rest today!

Hope all is well with all of you and sounds like you’re having some decent temps and a little break from the humidity back home.  I’ll check back in tomorrow!

7-28-12, Day 40 – Internship

This morning we shaped some 320 baguettes, and that’s not including all the other breads we shaped, in addition to pizza dough!  I still and probably will not master the art of throwing the pizza dough up in the air.  That’s just a disaster waiting to happen:)

Only 3 more days to go before we turn the calendar to August – whoohooo!  I will be so glad to get home, but at the same time, will miss everyone at KA, as this has been the best experience for an internship.  Everyone that I work with lets me take the time to focus on my techniques and guiding continuously offering suggestions and encouragement.

It’s raining here, and hopefully we’ll get more of that back home.  Kind of tired, so going to keep this post short for tonight.  Have a good evening everyone!

7-27-12, Day 39 – Internship

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it is difficult to get pictures while I’m on the bread side.  We’re so busy shaping dough, and lots of it!  Maybe I’ll see if I can grab a loaf of bread tomorrow to take home and take a picture:  I promise, though, when I’m off this Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll get pictures posted of the bakery/cafe area.  Not really much to tell you, other than I now have no issue with braiding 4-strand Challah and getting lots of hands-on experience shaping dough:)

7-26-12, Day 38 – Day Off

Today has been a pretty quiet day and that’s okay by me after the long day I had yesterday:)  I did get a workout in this morning and them came back to the house to practice braiding 4 strand challah.  It’s different from how we braided 4 strand in school, so had to completely learn the new way.  I think I finally got a handle on it . . . we’ll see, as tomorrow we braid challah!

It’s actually kind of cool here, almost feels like fall, and I know back home you really don’t want to hear that.  I did see on Facebook that you got some more rain, so that’s good:)  Not really too much else happening today.  Just reviewing some notes I made from bread last week.  I’ve only been on that side a week, so it’s hard to remember some of the things, but I know it will all make sense in a few weeks, and then it will be time for me to head back home – yeah!  I’m ready to go home now!  But, I’ll keep focused on my internship, knowing that there are only four more days left of July and then the real countdown begins as of August 1st and can’t wait until August 17th when I pick Dale up at the airport:)

Have a good night everyone and a good Friday tomorrow, which is the beginning of my work week, and another day closer to coming home:)

7-25-12, Day 37 – Day Off and to Burlington I Go!

Well I’m trying something new here as I stumble upon learning more things about WordPress.  Finally figured out I could insert an entire gallery of pictures instead of one picture at a time.  I think from the view of pictures, you will be able to identify what I’m referring to in my post.  It just saves me alot of time, otherwise, I’m at my computer screen forever!

It’s a beautiful day today . . . the skies are blue and temps are cool, probably not what you want to hear back home!  I started out my day at 6:30 am this morning and first thing on my mind was to get some breakfast and coffee!  My first stop was at the Red Hen Baking Company, http://www.redhenbaking.com/, located in Middlesex, VT.  What a neat place and kind of reminded my of Cafe Wren in Luck, WI when Dale and I took our drive up to the Apostle Islands.  My heart was set on having one of their scones, and although their website mentions they have almond/orange, they didn’t have any this morning, so I went for the lemon/currant scone wtih a light glaze of icing.  It was wonderful and their coffee was amazing!  One thing that can make or break a good meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, is the coffee!  Red Hen also has a small retail area filled with local cheeses, wines, crafts by local artists, and the best part of my visit there, seeing an old dutchess divider on my way out the door – how cool is that!

My next destination was supposed to be Shelbourne Farms, but I remembered that there was a Culinary/Baking & Pastry Arts school in Montpelier, VT.  So a little off course, but so worth it!  The New England Culinary Institute (NECI), www.neci.edu, has located downtown and their learning space of their bakery has windows so you can see in to watch what they’re doing.  You can see in the one picture, a student is mixing by hand in a large metal bowl which is on a stand.  I gathered she was making scones and intrigued by what she was doing, I knocked on the door and had the opportunity to talk briefly to one of the instructors.  That’s exactly what she was making.  Students mix scones by hand so they know the feel of the product, and then they go to the mixers.   They also have a full service bakery/cafe where they sell their products, La Brioche.  I did purchase an almond croissant, which I forgot to get a picture of before I ate it – sorry!  It was very good and lots of almond filling, which made it spectacular!  On the culinary side, NECI also had a full-service restaurant, Chef’s Table, but that is now out of business.  They did have some really neat flower boxes on the outside deck that had all types of herbs and tomato plants.

Back on track now and heading to Shelburne Farms, http://www.shelburnefarms.org/.  It was a neat place and they had a very nice store at the entrance.  There were samples of some of their cheeses and the smoked cheddar was excellent!  Otherwise, the usual tourist stuff and some items were made by local artists, which was nice to see.  To get to the Farm and other sites to see at Shelburne, you could take one of the 1 1/2 hour tours, where a covered wagon is pulled by either a truck or tractor.  There was also the option of walking the gravel trails, which I decided to do the later.  My main focus of  going to Shelburne Farms, was to see OBread.  Sarah (my landlord) asked for one thing if I made it to Shelburne Farms, and that was to purchase a loaf of olive bread, and I did.  I visited the rest of the building and could have gone on to see the other parts of Shelburne Farms, but I think I was getting ansy to see downtown Burlington.  So before I started back on the trail, I was a bit hungry and they have a small farm cart that has soups, sandwiches and salads, with most of the product being grown right on the farm.  I decided to try the chilled melon, cucumber and buttermilk soup, which was excellent and had a bit of a kick to it from the jalapeno pepper in it.

It’s now 1:30 pm and I decided I had plenty of time to visit the Church Street Marketplace, downtown Burlington.  Today was also the beginning of their annual sidewalk sale, pretty similar to our Maxwell Street Days in Madison.  I loved it in Burlington, and it made me feel a bit more at home.  I decided to find a place to eat a late lunch and the two places that were both recommended to me closed at 2:30 pm, so I just missed the lunch.  They didn’t reopen again until 5:00 pm.  A local resident suggested that I go to Leunig’s Bistro,   http://www.leunigsbistro.com/.  It was a bit more pricey than I would normally spend for lunch, but it was a nice change from my outings to the nearby chinese buffet close to where I’m renting.  I decided to go with one of the more inexpensive items on the menu, which was duck tacos.  They were really good and different, and I had such a nice waiter, plus I got a window seat and could watch the sidewalk sale.  I didn’t realize until I had been sitting there for about five minutes, that there was no window by my table and that made it even more cool, as they did have outdoor seating as well.  I then started towards the dock by Lake Champlain and there was an ice cream shanty selling creamees, which again is what they call soft serve here.  I usually go with my straight up vanilla, but thought since I’m in Vermont, I better try the maple creamee at least once, and I did.  It was super good and I enjoyed it all the way down to the docks and sat for awhile.  Decided before it got too late that I better head back, but wanted to make one more stop in town.  I heard there was another bakery a couple blocks over called August First Bakery, http://augustfirst.typepad.com/augustfirst/all-about-us.html.  This bakery is so cool, and I love how they deliver their baked goods in town by bicycle with a cart pulled behind – awesome!  I figured I had enough goodies for the day, so I bought myself a shirt.  Since the bakery is called August First, ‘August’ is a pretty special month for me, as it’s when I got married and it’s the month of my birthday!  As I walked towards the parking ramp, I came upon a hostel, which is the first one I’ve seen since I’ve been out here.

Well, that’s it for todays travels.  Finally drove in the driveway back where I rent at 7:00 pm, so it’s been a long day!

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