Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm back. Sort of. The bakery opening has smashed my usual schedule. Between trying to find cooking implements in an unsettled, working kitchen, getting the actual baking completed and then summoning the energy to attack my design jobs waiting at home, I'm drained by 4 p.m. Thank goodness for free cappuccinos or my office calendar might look like the rest of the house (pretty tousled).

I shared in my last post that the bakery was scheduled to open two weeks ago. But instead of opening on Monday, they opened Friday. So Sunday morning when I came in to get a head start on the bread, a thick layer of dust covered the furniture we'd so carefully unveiled and organized two nights earlier. Luckily, one of the owners was there and told me our opening had been delayed before I got started. Of course, I went home and back to bed. Happily.

The building inspection was last Thursday afternoon, and we passed. So last Friday was my first 3 a.m. wakeup, and the kitchen was in chaos. Aside from the mess and garbage bags covering utensils, our ovens run 100ยบ hotter than set, and the temps continue to rise the longer they're on. I'm used to keeping an eye on things, but it gets ridiculous. And you can imagine how hot the kitchen was before we got the vent running this week. Every morning when I get in, things have been rearranged, shelves added, different ingredients put in generic and opaque food-safe containers, sinkfuls of dishes await, and, often, ladders and hand tools block counterspace.

This morning I spent half an hour searching for the measuring spoons. I knew exactly where they were the rest of the week. I almost drove home and fetched one teaspoon — all I really needed. It would have been faster. Then the pilot lights in the oven were out because they were fixing it yesterday. I am afraid of lighting those. Not only afraid, I couldn't find matches or even where the light lived. I had to wait until a cook came in to show me. (It was embarrassingly simple, once you know where to look. Pushing buttons, no matches.) But after sitting half an hour, my muffins refused to rise in the oven and had to be tossed. The first of many flops, I'm sure, but it couldn't have happened on a worse day. I blew a fuse using the mixer to make foccacia bread, of course after all the ingredients were inside of it. Then I saw the mouse.

Longest story short, I've made it through four of the jobs on my design queue today. But it's 11 a.m., my caffeine buzz has evaporated, and it's time for a nap.

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