April 10, 2010

The Ol' Bakery Case

We have hauled around this ol' bakery case since our retail storefront days at 10th & Emerson -- in the 90's. Most of the time, it sits empty, draped with a cloth, just inside the door to our catering kitchen. It reminds me of our beginnings, our loyal customers, and in particular, one of our favorite employees, Betty. Betty renewed her working career with us at age 70, after several health issues. She loved early morning! Her smile would greet customers and she knew what they wanted as they walked in the door. Betty wasn't too shy about telling customers what she didn't like -- the prune & poppy seed danishes. The bakery case also reminds us of life when our daughter was very young and she enjoyed hanging out with Dad & Mom after preschool. Having a warm cinnamon roll or a cherry turnover was a big treat -- one that she still enjoys, but now only when she comes home from college. Ahhhh....

Even though I only bake a large of batch of pastries around the holidays and for the Irvington Farmer's Market (June > October), I still bake smaller batches for our corporate breakfasts, brunches or if someone calls me... I have been known to bake a batch of Cinnamon Rolls for a family reunion (because they have fond memories from the 10th & Emerson days). We also package up large boxes of my Pecan Caramel Rolls at Christmas -- for people to take into the office.

I enjoy the challenge of yeast baking -- the temperature, the humidity and the timing! In a busy kitchen, we often have something in the oven when the dough is perfectly proofed & ready. Perhaps this is why most catering companies do not bake their own breakfast pastries; or breads & cakes, for that matter.

It's been nice reminiscing about the old bakery days.

Wishing you good digestion!

Chef Alan

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