Welcome back Team David followers,
I am doing as fine as a frog’s hair split three ways today. I love this weather we are currently experiencing and I hope it stays this way all week. I have a little extra time today to get out and ride around the scenic countryside to take in the change of seasons as some of the foliages have started to show their autumn colors.
My thoughts and prayers continue to the people of Colorado’s flood area and the victim’s and their families in the Washington D.C. Naval Shipyard carnage. There was a time in American history I actually felt safe to walk around, free as the breeze, without worry or care. I feel I have lost some of my freedoms in order to feel safer. The price of freedom is paid in blood.
My life has been filled with many gratifying and rewarding experiences. I have always held a special fondness to our educators for the role they play in shaping our society. There is a great teacher behind every successful person in life. As an educator myself, I always encouraged students to meet the challenges of success by following my instructions and with hands-on training.
There is an old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed; read the instructions!” Following the instructions and correct procedures is paramount, especially if you are baking bread. One of my other illustrious positions I have held during my life was training culinary students in the art of mass-production baking. I have a few of my former students as Facebook friends who have done quite well and are successful in the field restaurateur.
I was working for the big convention hotel in the commissary as a Baker II, with my specialty being in quick breads and desserts. My average day would consist of preparing dough, batters, and mixes to feed a virtual army of hotel guests and conventioneers. I would not flinch when I looked at my production sheet for the 8 hour shift: 60 dozen bran muffins, 140 dozen blueberry muffins, 150 pecan pies, 50 banana cheesecakes, 200 yellow cakes, and #500 of brownies/blondies.
It has been a valuable learning experience to know in every class rotation of culinary students there will be clowns and this rotation was no exception. I had the unique experience to train two students who should have selected a career other than culinary. The two students would try to rush through the directions without thought as to why they were painstakingly written. After two weeks of watching me in preparations, they were allowed to fly solo against my better judgment. On this particular day, they were to make #500 of brownies. One of the most important steps in working with cocoa is to make sure you sift the chocolate powder to ensure a smoother consistency will occur throughout when baking. If an effort to same time, these two clowns thought to take it upon themselves to use the wire whip to sift the powder.
I went to the Master Baker, Max, with an evil grin beaming widely across my face. I confided with him in what the two students were planning to do as a short cut to the sifting. We both knew what was about to transpire momentarily in the bakery. Max and I quietly watched from a safe distance away from the scene of the crime as the two students dumped the 300 pounds of cocoa into the 500 gallon mixing bowl. They attached the wire whip, set the speed control to maximum speed, and turned the machine on to start beating the lumps out of the cocoa. In case you were wondering, do you know what happens when you dump 300 pounds of cocoa into a 500 gallon mixing bowl with a wire whip at full speed? The 300 pounds of cocoa came flying out of the mixing bowl like an atomic bomb of chocolate powder. Within 30 seconds the entire commissary bakery was covered in a fine mist of powder chocolate. The two clowns were completely covered in the dark powder with only the whites of their eyes and teeth showing. I hope my life lesson in following instructions would ensure they would not continue to look for short-cuts in life. They spent the next two days thoroughly cleaning the bake shop and needless to say, I don’t think I received an invitation to their restaurant grand opening.
Well folks, this is a wrap up for today. I have noticed the squirrels are beginning to gather their nuts for the winter. A couple of my friends are missing and I sincerely hope they are in a safe place.
Go Team David!
Stay positive until tomorrow…
“Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day.”
~ George Allen, Sr.
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