The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Gilbert, AZ

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Hello from Gilbert, AZ

When working, I loved what I did.  Now retired, I do what I love instead ...... and  it hasn't been easy :-)

Have spent most of my entire life in the food business one way or another, even though an Architect by training and a General Contractor by avocation.  Was born a farmer, raised in the grocery store business and riding motorcycles.  Right after college, I spent 10 years working in Butler Manufaturing's International Division working on all kinds of projects all over the world, many relating to agriculture, food storage or food production.   After Butler, 20 years was spent helping to designing and build fresh, frozen and dry food distribution centers - then getting to operate them as Director of Operations for a large specialty food distribution company.  This company, owned by the Irish Dairy Board (a co-op of Irish dairy farmers) did both food service, retail and also had cash and carrys.  Later, as Director of Real Estate and Construction for another larger food service distributor, we built even bigger FDC's.  Who knew folks have and need  500,000 SF freezers / coolers and million SF dry warehouses?  Blackstone bought that company - and I retired.

After graduation from K-State, I was stunned to find out I didn't know anything worth knowing about buildings or anything else for that matter.  That is the way I feel about this site.  Even though my first sourdough starter was born in 1973 and have been baking all kinds of breads with it since, I still don't know squat about bread.  But folks here do!

Besides making breads and pizza, I also grow my own citrus, herbs and vegetables (in pots), make cheese; yogurt, cured / smoked meats and sausages, jams, chutneys, mustards, olive oil, vinegars, pastries, cookies, ice creams, Limonchello, Aranchello, Minneochello, beer, wine, cakes, pies and just about anything else that isn't too complicated, difficult or illegal.  Cooking and making food of all kinds is my passion - some of it is even edible.  Enjoy making; BBQ, Oriental, Mexican and Indian especially but, will cook and gladly eat anything and enjoy it most always even if most others don't.  My wife says  that since retirement 3 years ago,  have become very sick, on multiple levels and too many ways to mention.  Thankfully, women don't men very well but still, she might be right in some teeny, tiny way. :-)

I just can't tell you how much I have learned these past couple of weeks on TFL.  This site is the bomb!  So much so, my wife is really worried now.  She is the one thing I would never try to make over, redesign, change or improve upon. You just can't beat perfection. Whew, that was close! She's gone now and so am I  :-)  but remember...............................The best things in life cannot be bought - no matter how rich you are and the things you can buy with money - are not worth owning.  Thanks to all of you.

Cyberider's picture
Cyberider

Welcome aboard from Tempe, AZ.  I work in the metal building industry, as I have for the last 35 years, so your mention of Butler Mfg. caught my eye.  Baking is my hobby and I've baked most of my own bread for the last several decades.  This is a very intersting site so I'm sure you'll enjoy your visits.

Happy Baking,

Dave

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

They are located in Tempe too.  Colton was a Butler Builder 25 years ago and may still be a pre engineered builder for on of the manufacturers.  When I came back from Butler's JV, Saudi Building Systems in Jeddah., I went to work for John for 2 years before building a DC addition for Taylor Brother in Mesa which was owned by DPI.  The owner for DPI hired me away.  Thanks for the Welcome!

 

Happy Baking!

Cyberider's picture
Cyberider

Certainly.  Colton was our main competition in my early years with Arizona Building Systems.  Spent 20 years there and the last 16 with Agate Steel.   At work now but will be baking bread this weekend.

breadbakin fool's picture
breadbakin fool

Welcome to TFL from Phoenix. Glad you found this site, it's a great to learn and share what you've learned.  I spend a lot of time here between bakes checking out ideas.  I've also done some experiments with curing olives, and I have a small garden,  but I"ve never actually made olive oil.  That's impressive.  Have fun.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is pretty easy.  Many years ago I helped the owner of DPI get his winery going in Paso Robles and I was scouting around for used winery equipment and found an old press that was missing the motor.  Now to make oil all you have to do is load the stacked filter screens up and press a button.    The hard part is finding some trees, getting permission to strip them and then the work of stripping the fruit.  If you are not having fun doing something it is probably time to stop and do something else!  My wife says I need to stop with my experiments and has limited me to one shelf in teh fridge for my concoctions.  Thanks for the welcome !

kneading's picture
kneading

I'm also very impressed.. and I thought I tried it all ! Welcome from someone else in Gilbert

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the past 25 years.  We moved here from Scottsdale to get out of the city and have some open space :-)  The more things you try and do the smaller the bucket list becomes.  I have been blessed to have the opportunities afforded me.  All I had to do is bee willing.  In the food business you meet all kinds of people doing all kinds of things with food that one would never ever think of.  There is one thing I know - if someone is making it for others to buy in the food world, it is not difficult to make it yourself even better miost always, once you find out how they do it and improve on it.  I can't think of any kind of food that I haven't seen being manufactured and know who to call if I get stuck, which is most of the time.  It helps to have friends who know what the hect they are doing - the the folks at TFL.  Making vinegar is just like making SD bread.  All you need is the mother, some left over wine, it doesn't even have to be decent and some time.  I got plenty of time - at least I hope I do :-)  Cheese is very similar to SD too, milk, acid, bacteria, technique, time and temperature.  It has to be easy for me to do it!

Thanks for the welcome from home.