Step One: The Preparation
Ten jars of orange marmalade, eight tiny jars of blood orange relish, one container of candied orange peel, and numerous other preserved citrus products have been slowly taking over my pantry and fridge. I’m not preparing for a worldwide shortage of jams and jellies; I’m getting ready for the challenging weekly task of selling cakes, cookies, and truffles at this year’s farmers’ market. Being self-(un)employed gives me the opportunity to prepare for this trial of my baking abilities. Even with five years of baking experience under my belt, the thought of a summer-long frenzy producing fresh, seasonal, handmade sweets shocks me into slight panic.
I make lists that litter the house like dust bunnies. My instructions say things like, “Order bulk chocolate, look into packaging, serve trifle in Mason jars?” I collect ideas and recipes in folders, in binders, in whatever can file and organize. I preserve fruit with an obsessiveness that makes Imelda Marco’s shoes look like a mere hobby. I will try to make my dream a reality at a time when thinking creatively is the way to get ahead. If it doesn’t work, everyone that I know will be receiving marmalade or candied kumquats as gifts this year.
Tue, April 27, 2010