Nothing brightens up these dark winter days so much as the smiles we see everyday when people stumble in out of the wind and cold into our warm and bright bakery with it's amazing smells and colorful array of festive treats. It is one of the times of year we are especially grateful for our job and the satisfaction that it brings. The family of people who have been using our services to round out their celebrations is very loyal, we have been around long enough to become a part of their own family traditions, it is a responsibility we have learned to take very seriously. As in any small town, when things don't go so well, even if folks don't directly call the store to complain, for certain it will come up the next time we are in line at the grocery store! To stem these embarrassing moments, we have become quite good at assessing our limits and working within them at as high a level possible. We count and recount the orders, like Santa checking his list...we must be extra sure we have what we need and then try to make a little extra just in case. That method has seemed to work pretty well in recent years, and as long as I remember to put sugar in the pumpkin pie...we are good to go! Once, about 10 years ago, I had the most amazing homer grown pumpkins for Thanksgiving pies...I roasted them to golden perfection, pulled out the slimy seeds and mixed the golden flesh into a rich spicy filling. the pies were truly beautiful and I sent each and every one of them off with pride. The friday after, I went to work still basking in the glow of a job well done when a man walks in with a bakery box and all but throws it at me across the counter. "This is the worst pie I have ever tasted...you ruined our holiday dinner!" All the blood drained from my face as I'm certain he got the response he was looking for. My head was swimming, what could have gone wrong? I gave him a fast refund with a bewildered, but sincere apology and turned my attention to the pie...the minute it hit my tongue I knew what I had done. In my excitement over the great pumpkin I completely forgot the sugar! It wasn't horrible, like he said...it was spicy and custardy but definitely not sweet. I immediately ran down the list of who had bought those pies and contacted each one apologizing and arranging refunds...I swallowed a huge portion of my pride that day, it took quite a while to digest! Now, I've learned my lesson and I take a little taste of every single thing I make. I think that makes me a better cook, or at least a more consistent one.
Which is very important when your job is spreading joy.
Have a wonderful Holiday!