8-13-12, Day 56 – Internship

AUGUST 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21!  I can’t believe it!  The week is here that Dale will be arriving!!!!!!  Trying so hard to keep my concentration on my internship with only 6 work days to go, but yet so excited to see Dale this Friday . . . stay focused, Pam!

This morning I started out on the bread side, but was then pulled to the pastry side later, as we were short-staffed.  It was kind of nice, as it gave me an opportunity to jump right in to help, as I already knew the drill on the pastry side.

I took a few pics of the new bread display that I mentioned in an earlier post.  All of our bread is not out in this display, as there are speed racks of bread over to the side to replenish.  Then we also have the display of breads as you walk in the front door (I posted that picture in an earlier post).  The other picture is of the new mural we.  What’s really neat about it, is that it’s large magnetic pieces which they can interchange throughout the year!

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately.  When I first made the decision two years ago to leave my HR career behind, and best decision ever!  Then thinking I may want to open a small certified bakery in the basement of our home.  After graduating from the Baking & Pastry Arts program, and my ‘soon to be completed’ internship, you meet many people along the way in the baking industry.  Many of them have owned their own business at one time or another.  A few of them may decide down the road to try it again, and some may not.  Most say it’s rewarding, but a hard life at the same time, pulling many hours per week, sometimes 60-70 hrs/week.  You’re certainly not going to get rich being a baker, but you will be rich and fulfilled as an artisan, watching customers smile as they take that first bite of that croissant, danish, sourdough bread, whatever their baked delight may be!  Or, watching the little children peer through the windows at King Arthur Flour with complete amazement, and then so excited when you look up at them and wave!  Who knows . . . we may have inspired them in their young life to be a professional baker one day because of that one brief moment!

And, here I am thinking in the beginning that all I want to do is bake bread.  But when it really comes down to it, I now realize that a ‘good’ baker is one who is well-rounded.  Who steps up to the plate for the good of the bakery.  Maybe you may bake bread or pastry 90% of the time, but you also need to be flexible to help wherever needed, whether it’s doing dishes, sweeping the floor, remembering that it’s all done for the good of the bakery, the customer, and your team!  A good baker is one that brings their determination, organizational skills and their passion to work each and everyday.  Where will I go from here, I don’t know, but as long as I’m in a baking environment, I know I must be doing something right because I am happy and fulfilled each and everyday with flour all over my shoes, pants, shirt, nose and hat!

Have a good day:)

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8-12-12, Day 55 – Internship

AUGUST . . . 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

Busy Sunday, but a bit more low-key than our Fridays and Saturdays.  As I mentioned before, I don’t care for Sundays much, I think it’s because it’s the middle of the work week for me and it’s so quiet around here today, especially with the landlords gone on vacation.

That’s it for today . . . I’ll check back in tomorrow!

8-11-12, Day 54 – Internship

AUGUST 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21!  Six more days now until Dale arrives!!  I have off the 15th and 16th, so I’ll be doing a final cleaning.  I’ve had a couple difficult weekends here and there, but I can do this, and will give 100% through the last day of my internship:)

Busy Saturday as usual.  Shaped approximately 275 baguettes today, then onto shaping batards, and then onto our other breads; King Arthur Whole Wheat, Olive Levain, Flax Seed, Sonnenblumenbrot “sunflower”, Walter Sands White.  Last but not least, pizzas!  By the time everything was said and done, it was about Noon when we started cleaning up, and out the door a little after 12:30 pm.

I’ll check in tomorrow, and hopefully will have some pictures soon, as I know you enjoy them.  Enjoy your day!

8-10-12, Day 53 – Internship

AUGUST 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21!

Another day down – yeah!  Only 7 more days now until Dale arrives.  Everyone will probably get tired of me for the next 7 days mentioning how many days are left, but I’m pretty excited!

Besides all our usual pre-shaping and shaping, I mixed up soakers and pre-ferments, then it was onto cutting mushrooms and shredding cheese for pizzas.

For some reason, today feels like Saturday.  It’s just starting to rain here and we had a lot of lightning last night.  Hoping that we continue to get more rain back home:)

Remember Brother Juniper’s Bread Book by Peter Reinhart that I purchased the other day – it’s an AWESOME read.  I’m almost halfway through the book, and it has some pretty nice recipes in it too for breads, muffins, scones and pizza.  If you’re into baking, I would highly recommend purchasing it.  Brand new, it’s $17, but I purchased it second-hand for $4.99!

That’s it for today . . . I’ll check back in tomorrow and see if I can get some pics after I’m done with work.  We have a brand new bread display behind the bakery/cafe, which is pretty neat.

8-9-12, Day 52 – Day Off

AUGUST . . .9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21!  I thought a visual might help me, as I’m really hoping the next two Fri/Sat/Sun weekends are not a carbon copy of the previous two!

Other than that, a pretty quiet day.  Been working hard on my final paper and have that 98% completed.  Just need to add one more element, then it’s done!   The last piece of criteria for my internship is this blog, which is nice for both myself, and my instructor, as she can read it on an everyday basis, versus having a written journal to read through upon my return.  Then I present everything to my instructor on Monday, August 27th!

That’s it for today.  Time to get ‘siked up’ for tomorrow!

8-8-12, Day 51 – Day Off

Obsession you say!  Yup, I have a problem, and a serious one, it’s my obsession with acquiring cookbooks, or related books about culinary adventures!  I couldn’t just purchase one book today, nope, had to get two!  My latest purchases were from a quaint second-hand bookstore in West Lebanon, and I’ve had one of them on my ‘seek and find’ list for quite sometime now.  That would be Brother Juniper’s Bread Book Slow Rise As Method and Metaphor by Peter Reinhart.  I can’t wait to get reading this tonight!  The other is a book that one of the bakers at work recommended, Kitchen Confidential, Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain.  So you see, it’s not only me with an obsession, but then I have my enablers that tell me about other books!

You think my obsession would stop here, but no!  I have subscriptions to Taste of Home, Bon Appetit and Food Magazine!  Then to top that off, I don’t own any of those teeny recipe boxes, not me!  Give me those big long card boxes that I already have filled to the brim!  Oh, I did forget the two small recipe boxes that I kept from my late Aunt Elsie, with all her original recipes; stained, faded and worn – I love them:)  I came to Vermont with 4 books in tow, and will bringing back a box filled to the brim!  Dale may just have to strap me on top of the car to make room for everything in our little Honda Fit:)  Let me just say, I’m not giving up any of the books, Dale!

So your question might be, do I really use these cookbooks, magazines and recipes cut from magazines?  You betcha ya!  My idea of a vacation is grabbing a spot in the living room on the couch surrounded by a carefully selected stack of cookbooks and a good cup of coffee.  And thank you to my loving husband, who endures and yet supports my obsession and passion for each and everyone one of these books, even if my collection is beginning to take up the bookcases in our home library!  We can always expand the kitchen, Dale!

Have a good evening everyone!

8-7-12, Day 50 – Internship

Today was a really good day on the bread side.  I had the opportunity to do more of the beginning prep work with the dough in the morning, so that helped a bit to understand how many kilos of dough get weighed out and what steps to go to next.  At least I’m starting to remember things, like batards are separated in 20 straps and then the rest shaped into batards.  Just things like these you don’t know right away and it takes time.

The most awesome thing about today was, one of the bakers asked if I had worked the oven yet on the bread side and I have not.  It was really great of her to take the time out of her busy schedule yesterday and I got to load the pizzas into the 5 deck oven and unload with the hug peel with this super long handle.  Really have to be careful when unloading, always looking behind you to be sure you don’t accidentally jab someone.

The next two Tuesdays, I’m going in at 3:15 am to mix bread dough, which I haven’t had the opportunity to do yet.  The same baker that let me work the ovens, offered up the opportunity to come in earlier to mix dough, and I jumped at the opportunity!  The second of the two Tuesdays will be my last day there, so what a great way to end my internship!

Only 9 days now until Dale arrives out here . . . so excited!!

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