I have spent the entire day cleaning off my desk. Why you ask?
Well, duh.. it’s tax time.. and I don’t know where I put that W2. While digging about, I found a disc labeled “recipes”. I have a million recipes, most of them for breads and pastry. I spent two years at Schenectady County Community College enrolled in the Culinary Arts program… for fun. I took all the baking and pastry classes and a few cooking. But my true love has always been baking..
In those classes, I discovered a real love of bread. It’s chemistry really. The temperature of the dough, the feel of it in your hands, shaping it into firm loaves, nice and tight so that you get a beautiful rise.
When I was laid off from my day job in 2005, I had to find something. I was a mortgage underwriter and the industry dried up for me. No one was hiring underwriters (because of that lovely underwriting software that has now caused the Subprime market to come crashing down around it’s ears… can’t say I didn’t warn them) and no one wanted me as a processor because I was told “former underwriters kill deals”. Ugh.
So I took my newly learned skills and went to work in an artisan bakery.
Yeah, it was rough… and I was treated unfairly… and I was asked to work 10AM to 6PM on one day and the come back at 2AM to bake by myself I might add, until 8AM…
But boy I learned a lot! Here are a few pics of what I can crank out of my little home oven.
Three Berry Pie
Sweet Dough Cookies
Rosemary Roasted Garlic Potato Bread
Anyway, back to my find. The recipe disc couldn’t possibly be anything exciting, right?
It had all the recipes from my baking and pastry classes on it. It has baklava.. it has croissant.. it has danish and tarts.. it has Bananas Tres Leches and Crepes Suzette… Flan and Rivani…. and of course, Tiramisu (including the recipe for hand piped lady fingers and hand whipped pastry cream) and the Famous Italian Rum Cake.
I lost that recipe. I made that cake for a family of Italians for Easter two years ago. They invited Shel and me to Easter dinner in their Italian restaraunt that they closed down for the day. It was a bold move to make what I was told was a classic Italian recipe for a family of “Real” Italians. The patriarch of the family was first generation Italian-American.. I made six rum cakes since there were over 40 people there.
One older gentleman told me that my cake reminded him of his mother and it made him cry with happiness.
That, my friends, is what good food can do.