Oh Yeah, I’m Getting Paid to Bake

 

My station.

Forgot to mention…

that towards the end of August, while working in the least glamourous job in the social services as a direct care staff, my new (awesome) roommate Amber tipped me off to a baking position at George’s Cafe where she had interviewed to work. I called the manager of the cafe, left a quick but confident message and resolved not to invest too much time or emotional investment in the opportunity. That is, until the next afternoon, when I was called for an in-person interview >> Holy crap.

After squealing, hyperventilating, calling my mother, and spell checking my resume, I left home for the interview. Once there, rather than worrying about all of the obvious reasons why I might not be hired — little cooking/baking experience in a commercial kitchen, no professional references from working chefs, lack of culinary school degree…I could go on — I focused on why I wanted to work as in a kitchen making baked goods. During my interview, I highlighted the qualities that I could bring to the table if hired, such as a willingness to collaborate and accept criticism to develop the best possible product. And it worked.

And, straight-away, I got to work developing my own recipes to use for the cafe (since they, remarkably, did not have any trusted recipes for baked goods in place). I spent the entire weekend measuring, mixing, scooping, converting measurements from volume to weight, and generally freaking out. On Sunday night I took and inventory of what I’d created: some inedible bran muffins, a dozen so-so cookies, a remarkably delicious pecan coffee cake, and a boatload of dishes. Not every recipe turned out flawlessly. I did not breeze through it with the glowing wakefulness of Giada Delaurentiis. But I baked more than I ever had in my life, and I was not to be deterred.

And now, even though spending forty hours a week in constant motion is exhausting and reproducing the same recipes over and over and over again is less than thrilling, I know I can’t complain. I mean, I’m paying my bills with muffins and scones – what more could a girl ask for?

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