Rolling Pin and Flour

Rolling Pin and Flour

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Beginnings

Four days after my successful stage at the Farmhouse, my phone rang.  It was Louie.  My heart leapt and my  hands were shaking when I picked up the phone.

"I wanted to apologize about making you wait so long to hear back about the bread baking position at the Farmhouse.  But I had the last interview this morning and I absolutely want you to come bake bread for me."

If it's possible for a human to experience emotional overload, I'm pretty sure it was me at that moment. Joy, excitement, fear, shock. I think I had them all covered.  And there were so many things I wanted to say.  How could I even begin to thank him for giving me this opportunity?

"That's so awesome, thank you!"  I decided to keep it short and simple.  Hopefully I could show my gratitude by baking some fantastic bread for him.

"If it wouldn't suck too much, do you want to come in Friday night after 5 and I can walk you through the recipe?"

I was in - of course!  Friday nights out on the town were for single people anyway.  It was a rare occasion that my husband and I even went out.  Fridays were typically reserved for Indian takeout and curling up on the couch to watch bad scifi tv shows - too exhausted from the week to move.  My eighteen year-old self would be disgusted to work on a Friday night, but 30-something me was thrilled.  Besides, I had this theory that baking wasn't going to feel like work anyway.

The next two days flew by and before I knew it I was on the train headed to my new second job, full of nerves and ambition.  But when I arrived, Louie was nowhere to be found.  I introduced myself to the kitchen staff.  Alonso and Brian were both working the line again, there was also Pedro, the bus boy, and Javier, another line cook.  Javier took it upon himself to locate Louie.  But after wandering around for a bit, he still couldn't find him.

Pedro told him to go check the dinner theater across the street.

"No, es fria!" he said reluctantly.

Before I knew what I was saying, I agreed, "I know, it is cold!"

He looked at me stunned, "You speak Spanish?"  He sounded impressed.

I shook my head a little embarrassed, "Only a little. Un poco."  I was actually surprised that I remembered anything from my two semesters of Spanish class in high school.

We trudged across the street in a cold March drizzle, but didn't find Louie there either.  Finally, back at the Farmhouse, he emerged from the depths of the rear of the restaurant.  

"Oh, Ceth!  Glad you're here. One of my cooks hurt his neck and I have to work the dinner theater tonight.  I'll be in and out of here for a bit.  Do you mind just hanging out for a while?  You can go fill out your new employee paperwork, and then hopefully I'll be back and we can get started."

A little disappointed, I made my way to the back office.  I really wanted to get my hands on some dough!  But unfortunately, when I returned to the kitchen, there was no Louie to get me started.  I hung back out of everyone's way, a little forlorn.  After a while Brian approached me.

"First night?"

"Yeah.  Louie said he'd be right back to show me around, so I'm just hanging out for now."

"You might as well pull up a chair and get comfortable.  My first night here I waited over an hour."

Ugh.  This was not how I had pictured this night going. 

"Do you have the recipe?"

"I think this is it," I was looking at a stained and crumpled print-out.

"Why don't you give it a shot?  You're here, you might as well do something."

He was right - did I really need Louie to walk me through everything step by step?  I would halve the recipe and follow it as close as I could, making modifications if I couldn't find something.

A few hours and substitutions later, I had a couple decent loaves.  This job was going to be a synch.

Louie asked me to come back the following day before the dinner rush and we'd do the real deal.  I wasn't thrilled about giving up my Saturday afternoon, but I knew going into this that I would have to make a few sacrifices. I knew it would all be worth it some day.  Besides, tonight was simple enough.  How bad could a full batch of bread be?

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