It has been over half a year since I last updated here on WordPress. As can be expected I have been busy with work, home life, and grumping about the very wet winter here in Oregon. Luckily the sun is shining today so I feel a desire to fill everyone in on what’s going on, as well as establish my (hopefully) return to regular blogging!
My wife and I are now happily married and moving to Eugene in the next month, which is a nice change of pace for us, both in regards to our outdoor life and careers. I’ve already startedgetting interviews set up at various bakeries in Eugene and will be very glad to get back into the world of yeast and flour!
Things at Marco Polo have gone very well and my baking skills have been honed there and also at home. My pan and hearth breads have improved dramatically over the last year as well as my pastries and cake decorating. I feel that it is a great time to go out of the restaurant and back into the bakery to follow the calling of the oven.
Soon I will be posting a few recipes just to let you all know what I’ve been working on at home. Usually whatever I make gets eaten so quickly that it goes out of my mind and I forget to share it so I’ll work on being better at that. Until then, stay sweet!
It’s been over a month since I moved back to Oregon. There has been a world of transitions both in and out of the kitchen within that time! Home life has been good so far. A lot has been adjusting to a mutual schedule between my partner and me which happens to include a lot of bread baking at home. In a way it has become my therapy on hard days and my joy when the going is easy.
Oregon is and always has been my home since I moved here in 2003. My family came from Idaho and I soon took better to it than I ever did in the high desert. Produce is fresh, local, and incredibly varied! Every city has a farmer’s market or two and I sorely missed blackberry season the last two years I’ve been gone. It’s good to be back!
I’ve recently started work as the baker at Marco Polo Global Restaurant in downtown Salem. When I say baker that means the entire bakery: desserts, cakes, breads, and the ocassional savory that I’ll make for crew lunches. There are two sides to the coin of being the only person who runs baked goods in a place; I am always held responsible for any mistakes made but I’m not responsible for anyone else. It really puts me in control! When I first got here I was only decorating cakes and making mousse and cheesecake. Now I make the cake bases, lunch desserts, and breads as well. I might as well mention that I am the first person to do any bread baking at the restaurant since opening in 2001 so that’s given me a lot of insight on how to start my own bakery someday. I had to test recipes, retardation methods, and a few loaf shapes before we could settle on a functional table bread. It’s been an amazing and irreplacable experience that reminds me of how fortunate I am to have moved here and to have been trained in New Orleans. Who knew such opportunity could be had in Salem, OR after working in one of the biggest service industry cities in the U.S.?
I do miss some of the life in New Orleans though, particularly the few people there that made me smile every day at the bakery and my close friends that are still there. Hopefully I’ll make a short return to the city in November to hit poboy fest and sling sandwiches for oldtime’s sake. Until then, I say welcome home!