September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
As cars drive down 17/92 reaching another traffic light, drivers look into the reflective glass window of another shop. The flowery logo and big colorful fonts attract passerby to take a peek into an empty bakery. Behind the wooden cabernet comes whisking sounds, clanging of metal measuring spoons, occasional shrieks of laughters and multiple jumps of joy. Much like a family dinner, we share our daily lives and greet each other with a hug.
Check orders for the day and bake away.
Oven timer goes on and off periodically. Coffee machine gently drips hot water into the flask and refilling of ice coffee. Usually, the front of the house would be either be entirely empty and the chefs would go pretty insane trying to cope. Or, now and then, the back of the house can be peacefully crammed with almost too many people to comprehend but things would be done. Unusual, for today, the back was spacious. Only two chefs trying to cope with a string of unfortunate orders to be done asap.
As one, two, three customers come in, voices of casual banters echo away. Someone comes in and taste the samples but never buys the same flavor. Another come in and does the same. “Let’s get this and this and that.” They take about the same amount of time to choose as they pick their shirt for the day. Are we to be blamed? Perhaps. Our flavors are impeccable and known to be as insane as possible. “Sky’s the limit.”
Before you know it, you missed lunch time. Your stomach screams for food and you are sweeten out with sampling almost all the cupcakes you made. It is not greediness but rather “to taste the quality of the product”. I was warned before getting into the industry that I will start disliking pastries. True enough, the sugar level of our bodies reach the boiling point of “no more cupcakes” by noon. Now, it’s almost impossible to consume anything sweet.
Ahn Hong, anyone? Someone shouts out. A stream of orders come. “No tofu please. Four rolls packed in two containers.” We take turns for breaks and our feet thank us for letting them rest.
The dishes pile up. The freezer is completely filled. The arrays of icing in the cooler looks almost like an astrology circle. Mesmerized by the flavors, finding one to match a cupcake and deciding to make more or less. One thing I am amazed is how frequent one uses vanilla extract. It is perhaps the most underrated and overused flavoring in the world. Once, a customer said, “I never knew Vanilla cupcake can taste so amazing.”
Everyone gets exhausted from the manic day. Squirrel Nut Zippers are playing. We start tap dancing, swinging the spatula and twisting our bellies along to the guitar. I think, we all have hidden talents. Whistling like birds, heavy-lifting, tap-dancing, hula hooping, massaging etc. Whatever that makes us laugh, goes on Facebook as a video. The vegan bakery with hyperactive workers due to very organic sugar, I call it (:
Exhausted from being too cheerful and getting rather loopy. Laughing like a maniac while trying hard to squeeze the last bit of icing in the bag. Greeting more people with more hugs and kisses. Ending the shift with messy dishes and stains on the floor.
I never failed to feel enlighten from how working can be enjoyable. Though somedays, you wished cupcakes never existed but other days, you are just a “happy bunny”.