A belated introduction
Hi everyone, my name is Carol, and I'm addicted to The Fresh Loaf!
I found TFL about 18 months ago when I was in the middle of a quest to produce Jeffrey Hamelman's pumpernickel. That bread has a heck of a learning curve. I needed all the advice I could get. I was at baking school – a 10-month professional certificate program – and our instructor didn't have the time or background to help. But he was very generous in letting me make batch after failed batch using school ingredients after hours.
Before you imagine I'm a sweet young thing with flour on her nose, I'd better confess that I can be sweet sometimes, but the word "young" hasn't been applied to me in years. Except by my mom and her friends at the nursing home! I was her 24/7 caregiver until her dementia made facility care the only answer. Instead of collapsing in a small heap, I decided that a change would be as good as a rest. Off I went to experience instruction from the pros. Our class produced all the baked goods for the university. Filled some retail orders, too. We started at 5 a.m., dealt with a demanding production schedule – the works! And then we went to class. Theory and practice, in other words.Didn't know if I would end up working in the industry, but figured I'd have fun at school. Was ready to see where it took me. Managed to hold my own with the 18-24 year olds who made up most of the class, and shared top prize at graduation with one of them. Grad morning, a year ago June, I won an even bigger prize. Came down to my kitchen at home and took a Pullman pan from the oven. My first pumpernickel that didn't suck!!!
Intended to get a lot more active on TFL. I signed up and used the nickname "apprentice" because the one thing I learned at school was how much there is to learn. But life is full of surprises. Health issues for me that ultimately resolved. Crises with my mom as her condition deteriorated. A brand new grandson to go visit in Montreal! Etc.Things have only recently begun to settle down, and that's why you've seen more of me. Another reason is that I don't want to just take from the community. If I can help, even if it's only by cheering you on, I'll be glad. Will start a blog and begin sharing my successes and failures, no doubt learning more from the latter than the former. And of course, will continue to learn heaps from all the talented and generous bakers at TFL.
So tips anyone? I love the fast-moving discussion at this lively and fascinating site. But how do you stay on top of the posts without parking yourself in front of the computer day and night?
Carol aka apprentice