Sunday, September 16, 2012

First full day - Sept. 11

Needless to say, I totally missed that it was September 11.  I was all wrapped up in making the bus.  According to the bus schedule the 5:23 bus would give me a 14 min. window to make my connection to downtown, but the 5:38 bus would get me to my connection 1 minute late and then I would definitely be late for my first day.  So I left extra time and at 5:17 I was less than a block away from the bus stop and I saw a bus go whizzing by.  Turns out that was the 5:23 bus.  Bummer.  I got lucky and the connecting bus was still waiting when the 5:38 bus arrived and I made it.  I'm the type to be really upset about being late on my first day at a job I'm not being paid for.

It took me the whole day to cut my share of the ganache.  Partly because it took me forever to clean the chocolate off of the plastic bars they use to frame it.  That and I was really afraid of the equipment, the chocolate, and quality control.  I did not even stop to eat.  It was a long day.  The great part, is I learned how to do it, I learned clean up procedures and I got to meet most of the production, post production and retail teams.    Michael of Cocoa Bella was visiting so I got to meet him and Chris at the same time --- very briefly.  I was still full of adrenaline and afraid of the chocolate at that point.

Cutting is also a good job because you are near the cooking area and can learn some about the cooking while cutting.  Robyn pointed out to me a few days later that cutting is the standard "newby" job because it is (a) pretty easy to learn (I did not think so my first day, but now totally agree with her) and (b) really really helpful to have someone do it.  The most time consuming part is placing the little squares just far enough apart so they can cure/dry a bit over night but that you can still fit 4  6 X 10 sets of the squares on the sheet pan you have to work with.  The 6 is easy, but the 10 is not so.  And you don't want to damage them at all and they are a bit delicate.   I found out on my second morning that I did a pretty good job, but had a row that was not even close to square.   By this time I'm also already absorbing information about painting, molds, enrobbing, cooking, cutting, and prepping the ganache. 

The really great news for Tuesday, though, was that Paul (a really nice guy in Southern Kansas City) brought and old blue Schwinn to the place I'm staying for me to ride.  I paid him a little money, of course, but having a bike changed my existence.  Suddenly lots of restaurants and the grocery store were very close and the trip to work no longer relied on a bus service that has not been that reliable (I was abandoned at Trader Joe's yesterday).   If I can figure out how to post a picture, I will post the Schwinn soon.

It was really easy to be asleep by 8:30pm. 

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