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A very early work day

One of the shifts at work is the opening shift in the kitchen. The opener arrives at 4:30am and bakes off croissants, muffins, scones, danishes, and breads for the case. When I first started working at the bakery, there were three people trained to do this shift. A few months ago though, one of them left us for another job, and a few months after that, another person left us to continue their education. So for the last few weeks we've had one opener who comes in seven days a week, and works an average of 8 hours a day.

I had told my boss that I was interested in learning how to open, not only because it piqued my interest, but also to be able to give the other person a break every once in a while (no one should have to work seven days a week!). My boss had trained me on how to open months ago, when I first started working there. But my memory was a little foggy because I hadn't had to do it since, so last week I was trained again, and this past Monday I worked my very first opening shift- all by myself!

I actually really enjoyed it! Not only is it a much quicker drive to get there that early in the morning, but having the whole kitchen to myself was also incredibly peaceful. I was a little nervous at first (I even had some work-dreams Saturday and Sunday nights) but the usual opener set me up really well the day before, and I had typed up a list of all the procedures, times, temperatures, etc that I needed to know. (Times like these are when the OCD part of my personality really comes in handy!) And lo-and-behold, I really had nothing to worry about because everything ran very smoothly. I had all the pastries out of the oven by 6am (we don't open until 6:30am), breads were done by 6:30am, and the individual quiche were out by 6:45am. And everything looked delicious, if I do say so myself. Take a look and judge for yourself:

The rest of the day was like any other day for me: bake off cookies, cut up strawberries for yogurt parfaits, make some individual tarts for the case, work on whatever recipes need to be made that day, and assemble sandwiches for lunch. I was definitely fairly exhausted by the time 12:30pm rolled around, but it was really refreshing to be able to go home, take a nap, and still wake up before the time when I would normally be getting home from work (3:30/4pm). And since Shawn has Mondays off, it almost felt like we had the whole day off together, despite having actually worked eight hours.

I really hope -and have a feeling that- this won't be my last opening shift at the bakery :)