burning bridges: advanced baking

Actually, I didn't really do any baking at this job, either. But having worked at a bakery before helped me easily land this food service gig shortly after relocating to Berkeley following my one post-high school year in Bend, OR. I worked the opening shift, meaning I got there at the ungodly hour of 5 am or so, but the upside was that it was just a couple of blocks from my apartment. I put out all the baked goods the bakers had been baking for a couple of hours by the time I got in, did some prep such as cleaning and cutting strawberries for the cake gal (every bakery has a cake gal), and finished some products like the black & white and yellow smiley face cookies. By the time the bakery opened, I was already an hour or two into my shift! In addition to getting up super early, relatively low pay, and not the most flexible schedule (eventually I picked up on my community college studies at DVC before transferring to Cal), another downside was being allowed to pick any item to enjoy during my break. It's just not a great idea to eat chocolate eclairs every day, you know?

Anyway, I took my son there one afternoon last week and other than the girl working there at the time (who was probably my daughter's age when I worked there!) and the absence of the fro yo machines I vividly remember in the back left corner, nothing has changed. The cookies they sell by the pound are exactly the same, as are the decorated cookies, pastries, breads, and several of the cakes (mmm, chocolate fudge cake ... I also remember the pink-colored white chocolate flaked "champagne" cake). Having moved around so much in my life, it's a pretty novel (and kinda cool) thing to be able to return to a place that hasn't changed much at all.

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