The last few weeks, I've been searching for work in a small bakery shop of some sort. I had no idea just how frustrating this part could be. Most bakery owners/pastry chefs who look at my cv basically laugh at me and tell me to get a job in my field. Some just look confused. To say the least, I don't quite have a cv that matches what the average employer is expecting.
On the bright side, a pastry chef that works at a small cake shop in Montreal took my cv and actually saw some "potential" (or at least something that is worth more than a few chuckles and grimaces). I went in a couple days later, super excited, to show that I could assemble a cake (like trimming cake layers, filling and assembling, crumb coating, frosting). Unfortunately, I found myself a little unprepared. Turns out that I also had to decorate the cake I assembled, with piped frosting (I'm far from skilled with a pastry bag, especially when it comes to piped borders!) and fondant flowers (I'd never worked with fondant in my life!)... Needless to say that after a few hours, I think I proved how much of a "home baker" I am, and not that I am ready for a paying position in a cake shop. I kind of wanted to grab my poor little attempt at a decorated layer cake and run with it, but I didn't...
Instead of running away, I returned to the bakery the next morning at 6:30AM to help make cupcakes for the day and show that I can at least put together a cupcake batter from a recipe and frost them too. Once again, I found myself not quite at the level expected. I was much slower than every one else working in the kitchen, and my batter was apparently a little runnier than it should have been (I can measure ingredients, I swear!). Then later, when it came time to decorating, let's just say that I had to remove and re-pipe the frosting THREE times before getting it "sort of" right. OUCH. At that point, I felt like crawling under the bench with my ugly cupcakes and just eating them to hide the evidence.
I can honestly say that I am really proud of myself for trying to find work, an internship, or anything that will help me develop skills and gain experience. I have to admit though that this is super hard on me: it's rough on my ego, it hurts my brain, and it's a daily struggle. I think the worst part of this point in my life is that I
These last weeks have made me realize that I am facing at least a few months of not being good at what I do so that one day I will be great at it. I suppose that is exactly how starting over should be. But when was the last time you experienced the feelings that come from the difficult first weeks of a completely new career? My heart wants this so badly but the process is definitely bruising because my skills just aren't there yet. I feel stupid on an almost hourly basis, but I have to get through it to get where I want to.
For now, I remind myself that I am lucky to have found a pastry chef who is willing to give me a chance and some of her time to teach me a few tricks. It won't always be pretty, but it will get better, right? Cheers to that!
This drink combines two of my favorite liqueurs: Kahlua and amaretto. It's made slightly creamy and thicker by using evaporated milk instead of regular milk, but it works perfectly well with either, honestly. I mix the ingredients in a small shaker and then serve it on ice with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon. Use cinnamon sticks in place of swizzle sticks.
Toasted almond drinkMakes 1 drink
- 2 fluid oz (2 shots) evaporated milk
- 1 fluid oz (1 shot) amaretto
- 1 fluid oz (1 shot) Kahlua
- A dash of ground cinnamon
- One cinnamon stick
- A few ice cubes
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the milk, amaretto, and Kahlua.
- Shake to mix well the ingredients.
- Serve over ice, with a dash of ground cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick.