I haven't totally abandoned this blog. It's just there isn't much pastry going on in my life right now, and this blog is supposed to be about all things pastry plus extra bonuses, like how great my life is. Ha.
Actually I did get to do a little pastry work at The Famous Northwest Catering Co. in the Madison Park area of Seattle over the Christmas holidays. I got to reprise my role of working with the famous, ass-kicking Jewlz, who in her words calls herself "chumpy". If being a great pastry chef who cranks out delicious and numerous goodies on a seemingly effortless basis is "chumpy", then I'm less than chumpy. I aspire to be chumpy.
It was fun to work with Jewlz, and not have to sit around with Mom all day. No offense Mom, but you're not the most exciting company in the world these days. More on that later.
Christmas for the catering co. was very very busy, and Jewlz' regular assistant chose that particular time to go to China for two weeks. What I did was travel into the city on Tuesdays like usual to stay with Mom, I worked with Jewlz on Wednesdays and Thursdays, then went back to Port Townsend on Friday. I did this for two weeks. Like I said it was fun, and good to get my hands back in the dough again. I felt far more useful doing that, than watching my Mom just veg her life away.
I made dozens of mini tart shells, cookie doughs, macaroons, batters, tea breads, etc. What I found interesting was the "if you don't use it" you lose it syndrome. Things didn't come to me as easily as they used to, and I was extra careful not to make a mistake, so I worked a bit slower than I usually do, but I did pretty well for a kitchen I wasn't used to. That kitchen was definitely stuffed to the rafters with ingredients, dishes, baskets, equipment, etc. Things were behind things that were behind things that were behind things. The walk in refrigerator was the fullest walk in I'd ever seen, and when I first went in there, I thought I'd never find what I was looking for. Eventually I stopped being overwhelmed by it, and just dug around for stuff like everybody else did. I was amazed that such a relatively small space could crank out so much food. I've worked in larger spaces that didn't do nearly the production.
I don't have nearly the self-confidence in a kitchen as I used to. Kitchens used to be my "comfortable place", now they're my "nervous place". I think getting back to work is the only way I'll get my mojo back.
To be blunt, my life sucks right now. I've been caring for my mom for over 2 years, and it's kinda taken it's toll on me. The traveling back and forth, 2 hours each way, not including the ferry ride, the cost in gas and ferry fare, the time lost at home, missing my husband, not being able to work, being responsible for mom's well-being and her household chores as well as mine at home....well, it's just too much. Things have to change.
I've called my brother in to help me with the task of convincing Mom that she needs to go into assisted living. This will not be easy. Mom is adamant about staying in her own house, but the fact is, the only way she's able to do that is because of what I'm doing. I can't continue it anymore, so we have to come up with alternative solutions. She has to stay near Group Health territory, since that is her health care provider, so having her come live with us is out of the question. Besides, none of us would be happy with that. Mom needs more socialization, not isolation, as is the situation now. When I'm not at her house on the weekends, she is totally alone, and does nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV in her pajamas. She barely eats, and doesn't take care of herself very well. Surely, there has to be a better life for her than that. I can't provide her with 24/7 care and activities, which is what she really needs, and assisted living seems to be the only solution that I can come up with. My brother and I need to do an "intervention" of sorts. I'm really glad he's coming out to help me with this, because I've been slowly going crazy for a while now.
He'll be out after the middle of February and it can't come soon enough. Hopefully things will be looking different and better soon.
We now resume our regularly scheduled suckage.