I managed to sleep early last night, in bed around 9. I work at 1am to high winds and a storm coming over my home, my bedroom is on the back and my bed is up against the window wall and the bay style windows are wide open. I went outside, naked (yes I sleep naked sometimes) and took down the clothing on the line… about an hour later I fell asleep again.
I was a bit tired getting started in the bakery but today I had the idea of making some more bread. So I mixed up an extra large batch of white and while I was working that i made a batch of whole wheat.
Everything was going great. The white breads baking away and came out and were close to beautiful, even the olive round loafs. I even made a 2kg tin loaf which is beautiful and really looking for a nice home.
Whole wheat is baking away… and I start cleaning up and notice a problem. Sometime during the making of the whole wheat rolls, a tiny chip of the razor blade I use to slice them is now missing. I spent the next ten minutes looking everywhere for this tiny piece of metal. Finally I told sandy and said we cannot sell the bread. So, I pulled all the wheat out of the oven (not fully baked) and let it cool for a home in the trash.
After it cooled I started pulling he bread apart trying to find it (5,5 kg) and of course it is tiny and could be anywhere. I cleaned everything down, and made more whole wheat bread. It’s just finishing now.
The woman next door asked me to make her a whole cheesecake. She said for Monday so it is no problem. Then, while she is staring at me, Sandy asks how much, so i said 15€. I was under pressure and didn’t have time to think. The ingredients are about 12€ because of the quality of what I use. But I told her no one else gets that price, which I think about 34€ is closer to what I should charge.
I didn’t mention but a couple came in the other evening, lovely. The man returned yesterday and then again this morning with black berries from his garden. He asked me to make him croissants with them and asked me to make 15 of them for an event he has tomorrow. Of course I said yes, and in the same breath he asked to a loaf of gluten free bread.
So, the bakery has no sweets right now but the cookies. Why? Well, a woman came in and she tried one of everything. Sandy was very sweet with her … I made the mistake of coming out. “Are you the baker?” Yes I replied. I want to tel you, I have five complaints. So she started with the cookies, she didn’t like the texture. The muffin was only good where the fruit was. The crust of the cheesecake was not crispy enough… and on and on… I did not want her to pay for the food she bought but she had already paid. She also said she wanted a sticky bun but they were gone and she doesn’t like cinnamon. So, I will make a special one for her.
Now I take these few minutes to gather my breath and try to not cry. The woman went on and on about how bad everything was, but she likes Sandra and will come back again, even if only for coffee. I am smart enough to know that one critic does not make for the opinion of everyone, but it hurt very much.
Why am I writing these? Is it therapy? Or away to avoid going back in the kitchen to make something else someone will not like? Being a solo baker is no easy task. My days are structured such that I do breads in the mornings and create desserts in the afternoons… lets see how well this goes today…
I love my wife, I love my life, and I wish you [my] kind of success