“Hey, T-Bear. Want some crack?” I ask tonight as service slows down a bit.
“Uh. Yes!” comes the expected response.
Out comes the six pan of lemon bar edges and such and the moans are heard around the kitchen.
When I say ‘crack,’ I don’t mean literal crack. Just like when I talk about cocaine clouds in my poetry. (which is just powdered sugar clouds from roulade cakes) I literally can blame all of this on Coffeeman. Wednesday I was trimming down the edges of the lemon bars so they were all pretty to plate and so of course I am not going to toss those edges. Into a pan they go and get passed around for anyone with a sweet tooth. (practically the entire kitchen)
Suddenly, an hour or two later, Chef is shoving the pan back at me and saying “get this crack away from me!” Yes, it is that addictive and YES! I know I have done my job when Chef says this. Let me blow on my nail and buff them on my jacket… Preen like a bird. Damn straight.
There are some serious perks to being able to call myself the pastry chef. Mind you, I am not classically trained. At all. Most of my baking has been rather haphazard over the years. The job was shoved at me because the first ‘chef’ decided he needed his wife to not be carting their 4 month old child around the kitchen. Don’t ask. Long story.
So job shoved at me, making boxed everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cakes and such and I am suddenly the pastry chef. But I digress way too far down that rabbithole.
So, perks to being pastry chef.
- Sugar. I mean, come on, everything is sweet. How can you go wrong?
- Sliding sweet things over to your coworkers as you bake. It is seriously fun to be chopping a block of chocolate and shards get passed over to this person or that person.
- Seeing the look of ‘moaning’ delight on anyone’s face when they taste something good.
- Do you know how delightful it is to tell a guy you are the pastry chef and see this insta-perked up look of fascination? Um, yeah, there is serious power in that. I say that to a guy, not to mention pizza chef and whatnot, but serious interest is suddenly there. Why just a week and a half ago as the kitchen was filled with all of us on a off day to prep, here comes a very seriously cute/handsome/adorable new FedEx delivery guy and the look on his face as I went to sign his tablet but had to stop because I was chopping a big ole block of chocolate and had it on my hands. Power. There is serious power in being a pastry chef.
- Sending out good things to friends who come in……
- Handing out spoons for people to sample chocolate mousse, lemon bars, creme brulee, apple pear cranberry crisp (today I treated our hostess to a delightful bit) Ah yes, again it’s power… Good power. The power to create happiness.
- Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Come on, no one can be in a bad mood after desserts.
- Your hair, skin, clothes smell like vanilla and cinnamon and sugar cookie dough, and almond, and yumminess. I have taken showers after baking and the scent that wafts off of me as the hot water hits my hair is literally what I was baking and the essence of whatever was baking in the oven.
- Did I mention power? It’s a really sexy power.
So, yeah, I stress a lot about screwing up desserts. I mean, my lemon bars were too wet this time around, needing to have baked them a hair longer, and that roulade cake through the summer, but there are some amazing perks to this job.