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Everything posted by melmck

  1. duuuude, 2AM blows. I am working towards actually taking .75 of a day off, every Monday,I am excited! wooooo hoooo!! life is good...can't complain about that.
  2. interestingly enough- that's one of their issues- social life. I guess I always viewed paying my bills as more important, (and establishing a career as well) but if you can find a way to have it all, rock on wit yo bad self! Party on. Scheduling our lives/work is one of our daily challenges . Yes there is science behind our body chemistry- my husband, the physics major, will point out fact/fiction/flaws/misconception til the cows come home. "Well, that's not entirely true...blah blah blah.." studies show that studies show that studies show, etc. I'm teasing a little here, he is my fact man and I love it! my solution to all is good coffee, coffee, and more coffee.
  3. here's a topic that is sure to elicit chuckles... bakers who don't want to work early in the morning!! what the hell is up with that?? and they are all in their 20's!!! this should be the prime of their energy, stamina, ability. I have one employee who has real 'issue' with it. and the early shift is only 5AM for crying out loud! not like it's 2 or 3 or 4. sheesh!! I just interviewed someone else who seemed perfect, then said, "oh, I don't want to get up early. I am not into that!" so why be a baker/pastry chef????are you people not aware that that's when we start???? early morning??? unless you work late night factory jobs or dinner-only restaurants, you ain't gonna find it...crikey!!!...
  4. IT SUCKS!!! I did a previous thread on it as well, telling people not to bother. It's wimpy, noisy, the whip breaks every 5 minutes etc.. can't work stiff doughs at all.
  5. there are many people out there who don't want my life and say so, on a regular basis. yes, this was my choice. will it be endless? who knows? all I can do is keep moving forward. Will my body crap out? probably not, it's been doing this for 20 years. Will my brain crap out? probably...insert your own sarcastic comment here:________________________ the whole thing brings me to a point- when you are pastry cheffing, you work your way up, through small places, through hotels, catering, fine dining establishments(hopefully the hip, happening ones) maybe you are lucky enough to travel, have a great education/stages/apprenticeships but unless you do competitions or work for the most famous places in the world, you hit the glass ceiling. Then you decide, OK do I want to keep moving laterally or continue to take pay cuts just because of the way the market is, quit this game, or OPEN MY OWN BAKERY?????
  6. good times, bad times, you know I've had my share... this bakery life is very hard. all you folks out there that think, gee it would be so fun to have my own bakery...think hard on this. I've been in the business 20 years already,am quite used to the daily stuff and am finding it harder and far more stressful than I ever imagined. and to all the peeps that say"you knew what you were getting in to" it is actually impossible to know until you have walked a mile in the proverbial shoes. there is so much illness going around right now, all the employees are getting sick. so far I have eluded the bug, I think my body is always running on adrenaline these days, and say's"oh no you didn't!!" to viruses and germs. I got Christmas day off, which was lovely, and have decided to close on New Years Day. I just don't think it will be worth it and I am going to snatch up the opportunity to rest. So what do I do, to handle all off the stress, etc.? I just keep plugging along, moving forward and try to do my best each day. Make my customers happy. Make the employees happy. Make the ghost happy etc... I go to the hot tubs when I can, and I do believe a massage will soon be in my future..
  7. I was both naughty and nice, but what I got was the new Les Halles cookbook by Anthony Bourdain. and more Iggy Pop and Hedwig & the Angry Inch music to make me work faster!!
  8. my personal preference in orange desserts is to have them fresh and never cooked. pate sucre tart crust, sweetened mascarpone, and segmented tangerines, possibly tossed in a vanilla bean syrup. keeps it bright, clean and heavenly. I do the same with blood orange, and grapefruit segments I also usually do it to order, when I'm preparing them in restaurants. retail bakery is another matter.... also, tangerine sorbet is one of my favorites....
  9. Merry Christmas!!! what an intense, exhausting month. ever since the article ran and the eat.shop.portland guide came out (Kaie Wellman's fabulous book!!!) we have been slammed. finally hitting the numbers and exceeding them, this makes Mel very happy. record numbers leading up to Xmas, with the grand finale of Christmas Eve--- way too many orders, one employee short, 18 hour days 4 hours sleep, and a line behind the cash register, ALL DAY. that's right, all day. stuff was FLYING off the shelves, and I baked more stuff two more times, and it flew out also. I had to stop taking orders on Weds, because I spread all of them out over the big bakery table and screamed" OH MY GOD,WHAT HAVE I DONE ???" then I said, I want my Mommy. lots of new faces and names, and lots of happy customers. one wealthy- looking woman commended me, and said, "Darling, it is all so ...tasteful." great, now tell all your rich friends about me and to bring their wallets!!! So many thanks to all of the nice customers out there who are supporting me. friends, family and my dogs, who are all terribly neglected by me this year. thanks to the employees who worked their butts off! this place just might make it
  10. WOOOO-HOOOOO!!! It's amazing what a little press will do for business. It was more than a blurb, it's 1 1/2 columns, and photo! so we were slammed Fri, Sat, Sun with record sales! it's about time...now I hope it stays that way. Me likey busy bakery... as soon as I get the old man to scan/paste it in here you can read for yourselves. Mel is happy. Tired from 17 hour days, but happy.
  11. I am on the quest for a perfect Stollen. I prefer an almond paste log down the center.I have been using Dutch Regale's recipe from Artisan Baking Across America.
  12. I've been talking to him a lot, and so far he hasn't touched me. I'm waiting for that... yesterday was as busy as a Saturday for us, which makes me very happy. means I can pay bills! wooo-hooo!
  13. I suppose you could take your own medicine and follow the advice you gave me a while back, so you don't get so "wound up", see the forest for the trees,etc, and don't sweat the small stuff. Or, you could do what I do and take ZOLOFT . it makes you not give a @#$% about the small stuff at all. especially in interpersonal relationships. or you could bitch about it here on EG, where we all understand and have been through every bit of it. except Neil who is apparently spoiled rotten!!(kidding, flat sheet pans are like gold) I've worked in places where I've used a wine bottle for a rolling pin, made cake pans out of foil, and not even had a mixer and do everything by hand. duct tape is our friend. sometimes I put it over my mouth to keep from biting people's heads off, and I draw pretty lips w/ a smile on it.
  14. I'm not surprised by the ghost at all. There's a big cemetary right behind us. I had a dream about ghosts here long before I signed the lease, and there were 3 sitting around a computer, working. I said to them "are you guys ghosts?" to which they replies yes, and I said "wow! you're so industrious! I didn't know ghosts used computers" then they said they knew who I was and had been watching me. The other morning, there were 3 chairs moved around a table, meeting style....
  15. melmck

    salt caramels

    Martha Stewart's recipes for caramels are flawless, and they last forever. Probably in her best of or dessert books.I don't have it on me right now. good luck!
  16. the latest news to share is that we have a ghost. it has been moving things around, and since I was last out/first in, it's pretty freaky. turning the water faucets on. I have seen/felt the glimpse of the shape of a man in my cake room. one woman who works here said she felt something touch the back of her neck, and I met the previous tenant and he told me all the same stuff before I even opened my mouth!!! I said to the ghost, "look, I've seen 'The 6th Sense' and I know what to do! Talk to them. so I said to the ghost, go bug the people in the coffee shop, I have a lot of shit to do!!!"
  17. yep, I've got repair guys working on it but I will call Hobart directly. I am leary of eBay, although I do surf occasionally. Buying something that big & expensive is tough to swallow w/o seeing it in action!
  18. right before Thanksgiving my 20 qt Hobart mixer decides to die on me. just great, really convenient....so now I must find a new one. I can't afford a brand new Hobart. I am shopping around town at used equipment places, but am also looking at leasing. My questions to you fine peeps here at EG, anyone have any tips on good leasing companies? any experience with Globe, Berkel, Spar or Thunderbird? all feedback appreciated!! Thanks and happy pie making to all!
  19. FUNNY QUINCE STORY!! I've been working out front the last 2 days, due to Lucy having a stupid eye infection. It's fun, because I get direct feedback from customers and hear all the raves in person. I have quince on the counter for fragrance factor, and this dude comes in- looks pretty hip, and says, eewww are those quince?so I says yeah, and what do you mean eeewwww?? what the hell is your problem? kidding, but said why eeww? he said, I have 3 trees worth rotting all over my yard and I don't know what to do with them. I said, bring them to me and I'll make cool stuff with them. anyway, I tell him about the marvels of quince, and he says, "well, it tastes like ASS!" no, it doesn't, you just don't know what to do with it. I said, stand still and I am going to change your mind-I'm going to get you some slices of poached quince. this guy is skeptical, but when he slipped the slices into his mouth, I swear his pupils got bigger.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm that's awesome. "OK, woman, I believe you" and I said , it doesn't taste like ass, now does it? no... (Inner monologue wants to say crude, rude, totally unacceptable comments at this point...such as, if this is what ass tastes like, we'd all be eating a lot more of it!) as he left he said "I will spread the word about the marvels of quince!!
  20. weds7-7 thurs closed fri , sat 7-7 come on over!
  21. here are some things I've been making that are ever-so-yummy bascially, QUINCE EVERYTHING!! damn I love the stuff. grabbed bagsful from a neighbor's tree. quince danish quince financiers quince & frangipane galettes quince beaumes de venise cakes
  22. oh, "Stacked" is awesome.. wish I'd thought of that. I can tell you I wish I'd named my business something else. It's a long story, but once your legal docs are signed, it's a done deal. a friend of mine here in Portland named her specialty cake business cake all lowercase, simple, and distinct
  23. I guess they just don't make them like they used to! I brought my 12 year old KA 5 qt. in from home, and she tackles small batches of anything just fine. My mom has one that is now 25 years old, still runs like a champ! She also has her original Robot Coupe. Thanks for the tips on the KA 6qt. My 20 Qt. Hobart died this weekend, biiigggg problem for me!!
  24. I just thought I would share my opinion on the latest Viking 7 Qt. mixers. Don't bother spending $500 on this puppy. It is weak and gutless, my whip has broken twice, it's loud as hell, and overheats. I can whip cream faster by hand! I really wish I hadn't bought it and had instead purchased a Kitchenaid 6Qt. D'ohh!
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