Playing a Little Catch Up

Wow, it’s been a crazy, busy week. I’m tired and sore and do not want to look at another cake pan for at least a few days. This new job is waaaay more strenuous than I ever imagined. And this bakery does waaaaay more business than I ever imagined.  Just to give you an idea, here’s what I did my first day:

  • 2 batches of vanilla cream & 1 batch of chocolate
  • 3 pies (they’re frozen, so not a lot of work there)
  • 3 types of bars – think sheet cakes filled and/or frosted & cut into rectangles
  • dozen cheesecakes (they really need to get some new pans – we have to jerry-rig these shut with masking tape!)
  • 80 round cakes & a bunch of sheet cakes, I can’t remember exactly

I was there from 7:45am until about 3:30pm.  We get 20-25 minutes for lunch, but we don’t have to clock out.  We also get free meals, but the menu is somewhat limited – burgers, grilled chicken, salad bar (my main staple), hot dogs, french dip, ham & cheese, turkey & cheese, pork chops, fried pork chops, country fried steak, country fried chicken…you get the idea.  By the time I was done for the day, my feet and back were so sore.  I haven’t felt like this in years.  Even as a waitress I don’t remember feeling like this.  Of course I was about 10 years younger too.

Looks like I’ll be working Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat (I have to be there at 6am on Saturdays!).  That gave me 30 hours this past week.  I told my manager I didn’t want to work full time, but when the holidays roll around, I may not have a choice. Not sure how I’m going to get to Kansas for Thanksgiving this year.  :-\

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On the school front, we got a new instructor. And apparently a new director, who is whipping this CA department into shape.  Which is fine with me, except that instead of 4 hours, the classes next semester will be 5 hours long.  And no ending class early.  But otherwise, I agree with the dress code, knife sets, etc.  Puts everyone on the same level playing field. We’ll also be moving to our new location in October.  The school bought a restaurant for some of the classes to use.  I’m excited.

Chef Paul (my new instructor) was educated at Johnson & Wales and hasn’t taught in a classroom before. He currently works at a game ranch about 20 minutes outside of town.  Miss Carla thought it was such a crazy notion that people killed the game on the ranch, then ate it there.  Such fresh meat.  !!!!! 

We went over the different types of knifes and the different vegetable cuts – it’s a lot of French. Chef Paul gave us a demo on some of the cuts, then we had to practice on potatoes.  It’s not easy making everything even and uniform. 

We also spent about 20-30 minutes at the end of class giving the kitchen a thorough cleaning. Apparently we haven’t been doing a very good job.  We also took the temperature of the refrigerator & freezer at the end of the class.  Chef Paul said it’s good to do as much as possible to show the health inspectors that we’re doing everything we can to insure our food is stored at the proper temperatures.

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Last, but not least…have I been cooking?  Baking???  Anything?  Well, not a whole heckuva lot.  I did make some profiteroles for the first time ever this week.  But, they were a bit of a disaster.  They did not puff up like they were supposed to.  I think my choux was too loose.  So, we had flat discs with ice cream and chocolate ganache. Still tasted good…kinda chewy.

I think I need to get over this general tiredness before I can get back into the swing of things.  I’m also trying to catch up on all the blogs I read.  I tried to blog a few times after work, but I think my mind turns to mush as soon as my body does. Haha.

If you’ve made it through all this, thanks for catching up with me.  If not, I don’t blame you, and well, you aren’t reading this part anyway, so why am I still typing?  

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4 Responses

  1. Your schedule does sound busy. I think it’s so hard after the Summer to get back in the swing of things when school starts again. I am feeling it too. Eventually we’ll all settle into some sort of routine. I look forward to reading more about your culinary school adventures. 🙂

  2. wow. that’s a whole heck of a lot of cakes. i’m surprised you were able to do them in that amount of time–you must be a real whiz! i hope things calm down a bit for you and that you don’t work yourself into the ground–that’d be bad. 🙂

  3. Alexa- yes it’s busy, but I think I do better when I’m busy. Hopefully it doesn’t get too hectic though.

    Grace- I hope not to work myself into the ground either. If the days get too long I’ll be asking for fewer days.

  4. Oh, it sounds like the kind of job that you have to work up stamina to be able to manage. That sounds exhausting, especially hearing all of the things you made. YOur CA classes sound fascinating, though. I’m so envious, even though it sounds like plenty of hard hard labor. I hope you can still manage to get back for Christmas!

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