It's the first sunny Saturday we've had in a while, and I'm hoping spring is really here to stay... Gatsby's got the right idea, taking full advantage of the sunshine. D leaves for Australia today, and with some last minute errands it means that we skipped out on our third pottery class (but we'll go back to make up a class in two weeks). I'll post pics from the last class next time, but as a quick recap we did more coiling and our pots went much better after the instructor showed us how to do it correctly.
I just finished my first week at the bakery-cafe, working the lunch shift from 10-3, and let me tell you, I have a renewed respect for those that work in the service industry and are on their feet ALL DAY LONG. Thank goodness for comfortable shoes. I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying working there -primarily for the social aspect (after 6 weeks of just me and my 75-y.o. boss), but also because I feel the owner is making an effort in accommodating my interests. The deal we made was that I would do counter help, and in turn, he would let me spend more time in the kitchen to observe and help with the cakes and pastries. The first day was much, much busier than I expected (I didn't know this bakery also served a full lunch menu) but I tend to learn faster when the pressure is on, so it was fine. There are many regular customers who come in for breakfast, lunch, or a snack, and they have all been given nicknames by the staff. I got to meet 'the muffin man', an adorable elderly man who comes in daily to buy a single blueberry muffin which he asks you to deposit into his little round tupperware. So cute. It was quiet on my second shift, so I got to hang out in the pastry kitchen and watch the pastry chef and the baking apprentices make napoleans, marzipan covered pastries, croissants, ice cakes, and decorate cookies. I learned how to do a piping bag with waxed paper, and I practiced writing with chocolate for a while. Eventually, I think I may be making signs for the birthday cakes...I don't think they'll let me near the real goods for a while longer.
The bakery is so far a satisfying combination of being fun, interesting, highly social, challenging (but not overwhelming) and fast-paced (but not too fast) and in turn my mood has been great despite the tiring work (...unsurprising basic behavior principles that I really ought to have thought of sooner). Other than that, I'm still at the private practice (thank goodness for flexible hours), so I'm working the equivalent of full time now, which is also nice. Since coming to Ohio I had been resistant to working outside my field; I felt that hobbies couldn't be anything more than hobbies, especially considering I had just turned 30 and had spent most of my adult life getting a graduate degree to develop a very specific skills set. But then I started reading some interesting food-related non-fiction (my current obsession) and happened upon The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman - a journalist-turned-cook. What started as field research for his book turned out to be something incredibly meaningful and personal for him; a life-changing experience. Anyhow, some people would find this book a bit boring and technical, but I was actually very inspired by his story, and it made me excited about the idea of pursuing one's interests simply for interest's sake. It's not to say that I am enrolling myself in culinary or fashion school next month or next year, but I also don't feel like those areas are quite so impossible or off-limits anymore. Oh, the possibilities. :)
That's it for now. Shetland II is almost done, so that's coming up next. Have a good weekend, folks.