Where the magic happens…

The background behind ‘as the bread burns…’

I have to be honest with you: every single time I say ‘as the bread burns…’, I chuckle.  The phrase never gets old, and I’ve been saying it for a very very long time.  I wish I could remember the first time these words drifted into my head, but unfortunately, I truly have no precise, singular memory of that first time when I whispered these four words to myself.

What I do know is that this phrase was born in the kitchen where the lives of co-workers become intertwined, where personalities either blend well or clash, where tempers flare, deadlines come too quickly, mistakes happen, and sometimes, things burn.  The customer walking into the bakery is (hopefully) overwhelmed with enticing odors, the smell of buttercream, spices or chocolate cake coming out of the oven.  As a business owner, my goal is to always have happy customers and happy bakers.  The customer experience has to be perfect.  Unfortunately, the baker experience is not always guaranteed to be great.  Or even good.  Or, really, even somewhat pleasant.  What lies right behind the door to the kitchen, unbeknownst to the customer, is where the real magic happens.

It’s where the bread burns, where messes are made, where chocolate accidentally gets scorched, a pie waiting to go into the oven gets knocked on the floor, where recipes get lost, or even worse, miscalculated, resulting in a batter looking more like soup and less like..well, you know…how batter should look.  And out of the center of the chaos, there are friends.  The people with whom I’ve worked in a kitchen have always felt like family to me.  And, when I say family, I mean true family…the kind that bitch & moan to your face, you roll your eyes in response while trying not to, and then you hug each other good bye at the end of the long day of work.  Working in a kitchen often feels like being in the middle of a soap opera – the emotions, stress, drama, the close quarters, the stress, and most of all, the collective goal of making exceptional, consistent products and meeting every single deadline.  The kitchen is not for everyone, but for those who can deal with a little hiccup and manage to find the humor, you know what I mean.

So, for all of my co-workers out there, old, older (historically, not age-based) and current, I hope you got your very own chuckle when you saw the name of this blog.  This one is for you!!!

Some of my favorite burning moments to date at Babycakes:

  1. Stocking up on Cranberry Bread for the holidays, 2010
  2. Cocoa Powder…need I say more?
  3. Remembering to start the mixers on speed one, not speed three
  4. Thanksgiving & December…enjoying the togetherness of the holidays with Christmas music in the background
  5. The results of asking a very pretty girl to make a delivery for us
  6. Easter Egg cakes with melting decorations, 2011
  7. Slowly realizing that January will never feel like January again
  8. Inventory
  9. Watching what happens when teenage boys find the chocolate-covered espresso bean stash
  10. Estimating how much rugelach we are going to have to bake in September for the Jewish High Holidays

Have any of your own burning moments that you’d like to share???  Please share the love!

Cartoon by Robert Weber for The New Yorker

You may also like...

Owner, Baker,
& Storyteller

You know that friend who has it all together? Yeah. That’s not me. What I can offer you instead are my experiences, insights, and passions. Pithy observations about making cookies. Wry commentary on running a business. Loving (if slightly sarcastic) parenting advice. And if that doesn’t interest you, I have dogs. Cute ones.

browse by

head to 
the shop