My Father The Baker
I at a young age would stand near my father watching him work at our bakery; laboring, sweating, sifting, lifting, measuring, folding, cutting, preparing, proofing, staging, baking, and topping. I wanted to be near him. I would do whatever I could to be part of his environment. Later on in life when I was teachable, I learned by standing next to him. I gained more insight by; watching, following him and listening to him. Eventually, I gained more knowledge and understanding by having hands on; measuring, cutting, rolling, feeling, topping, proofing, baking and selling the product. Eventually, my father trained me on how to work with Danish, there were several stages to this; scale it, refrigerate it, roll in the margarine, roll it three-fold, refrigerate it, roll it out, fold it, three-fold, refrigerate it, then roll it out to cut it, twist it, mold it, top it, proof it, bake it all to become a sweet beautiful item to ingest. I remember my father showing me how to cup a small piece of dough in the palm of my hand. We lightly floured the workbench surface. This would keep the dough from sticking to the bench. Applying the right amount of flour, and pressure would prevent the dough from slipping, from under my palm. My father had a knack and a feel for the size you must have in the palm of your hand. I soon learned that was key to the proofing and baking of the item. The workbench we worked on was about 20 feet long (he and I would share one side of the long wood workbench. We needed a long table to roll the dough into long lengths and to stage the next product to be worked. Timing was key when it came to the next steps.
I lived for and thrived for my father’s attention. I was his side kick. We rode motorcycles together, we washed our vehicles together, we worked on cars together, we fished together, we water skied together, we went to car races together and we went camping together as a family at least one time a year.
What Really Matters
I do not recall being without any of what people call the latest and the greatest items and to this day I still do not live that way. Does that mean I had or have everything? I think we must define what everything is. What is everything to you? I truly believe family unity is everything. Money cannot buy you happiness, it only buys you temporary pleasures and once those are acquired, you crave more which sometimes causes undue debts or habits that will eventually kill you or at least put you in some sort of depression.
What does the word nurture mean to you?
Have you been nurtured?
Are you a nurturer? It’s never too late to start!
Nurture is to care and encourage the growth or development of, bring up, care for, take care of look after, tend, rear, raise, support, foster, parent, mother, hand-rear, encourage, promote, stimulate, develop, cultivate, development, cultivation, boost, contribute to, assist, help, abet, strengthen, fuel.
Be unique by trying something different, why hold out for something you truly want to do for the rest of your life.
What would be the advantages and disadvantages? I have shared some of mine.
My father brought me under his wing and started teaching me how to do some of his work. Breads, Danish, cookies and the all time famous beehive.
My father tried teaching me how to make the recipe, but, there was problem with doing the recipes, because, I did not have the muscles to lift the 40 quart bowls and let alone they were full of ingredients.
I had to work with the scaled off sized, which was helping but, it has been a very hard task to fulfill when it comes to baking these days or being able to be called a baker.
You must understand why you are using certain ingredients and the results of the product, like the rising and falling of an item. This is where they say you need to know the science behind it.
I guess I could learn it now, but, what is the point, I am old, what is there to gain from it now? Not true, there is always a need for it, you may need to make your own bread at home or teach someone else how to. We need to learn these basics so we are able to fend for ourselves; by feeding our bodies.