Friday, July 31, 2009

i knew it as soon as i heard his voice

Yesterday was one of the most frustrating days I've ever had in the bakery. I couldn't get anything done. Arturo is on vacation, and like I said we are running out of the inventories he created. I can do his job. I know how to make all the things that he does. I don't have the time to commit to it. Yesterday, I needed to make eclairs. When Arturo does it, he uses five gallons of eggs. It's a pretty big batch. He makes the mix and runs them thru a wire-cut depositor. Forty five-fifty pans of eclairs, five, six minutes. But, of course, there is a lot of prep time, set up time, etc. Yesterday, I tried to make a one gallon of eggs, size batch of eclairs. The way we did it twenty five years ago. Took me all day. I poured the water in thecopper kettle at 7:30am. I added the oil at 8:45. I scaled the flour at 9:20. Lit the stove for the first time at 9:45'ish. Turned it off. Re-lit at 10:20. On and on. Went home, was mean to my wife and daughter. Had a couple beers at dinner. Apologized to my wife and daughter, still don't feel any better. Now I'm stressin' over puttin' faces on a few pans of smiley face cookies.

Next week, Filemon is going on vacation. I'm assuming that week to be better, because so many people understand what he does. There is only two of us, Frankie and myself, that understand what Arturo does. He pretty much keeps to himself. Does what he does and does it well. I've always said, between memorial day and labor day, are the worst weeks of the year. Busy with the farmer's markets, but when these guys start to take time off, things head south quick. These guys been here a long time. When they were younger, they played soccer on Sunday's. They would come in here on Monday morning's, reminded me of a few scenes from "saving private ryan". One would be limping, one would have a black eye, and ya know what young guys do after any game or sporting event. I was really glad when the school year started.

Wednesday, Diego had a big baguette dough on the mixer, preparing baguettes for the Aville market. I asked him "what's that"? He said "baguettes". I said "what an odd color". Diegos' a young guy, Filemon's son. I think he plays a little soccer, now and then himself, if ya know what I mean. Dough felt funny too. But then again, I don't feel the dough everyday anymore. I helped Filemon load the baguettes in the oven. They didn't have the usual spring. Seemed off. I asked Filemon about about it, he shrugged his shoulders. Thursday morning, I came in and some items weren't up to snuff. My eclairs, didn't come out a hundred percent either. Adding more to my frustration. But I thought the fact that it was a six, seven hour process had something to do with it. Then it happened, Patti and I were in the car last night 'round 9:30. My cell phone rang, it was Jeff Yankellow from Phoenix. My bread baking teammate from the baking team. "Jory, still using Harvest King"? My reply "yes". Jeff "havin' any problems"? Me "I'll call you in the morning". I KNEW IT!! I got the same exact phone call last year from Keith Brown, at Olde World Hearth, in Orlando, exactly, word for word. I'm callin' the mill this morning. I bet we are using new crop flour. Every year around the end of July, early August, they switch crops. For the first few days they blend old crop with new. The percentages change as the days pass. First day ten percent old, ninety percent new. Second day, maybe fifteen old, eighty five new, etc. Looking back at the reports I get each month from the mill, we are about ten days earlier than last year. Last year the new crop wasn't in the blender until bags with a mill date of July 31st. This whole flour milling thing amazes me. The flour has to age before it can be milled. It then must age once it is in the bag. Unless, you use bromated flour, which is outlawed in many states. Bromate is a carcinogen. I mentioned before bleached and bromated flour is commonplace in a lot of bakeries. Read your labels before buying your bread. Or buy it here.

I gotta get to work. I got cookies to face, a mill to call and a baker or two to call. Gonna take me all day to face those cookies. Arturo hurry back.

All is forgiven.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home