Monday, March 27, 2006

Pompous Pastry




Every November for 8 years running I catered a local event known as "Christmas in the Mansion". It was (notice I say was, they have since lost funding to keep it going) an 'invitation only' event if you were a member of the local museum. People joined just for this event.

If attending, you would be one of 250-300 people getting dressed up & arriving at the museum on Saturday evening about 6:00 PM. Once there, you are brutally subjected to about 3,000 various pastries displayed on tapestry drenched buffet tables in accordance with the particular theme of that year.




(Did you catch that ratio? 250-300 people per 3,000 pastries. Know what else? There usually wasn't anything left!)




The theme in 2001 was "The Renaissance Period". Everything was sort of rustic looking, as it was meant to be. Notice the addition of a few faux roosters to add ambiance.




I absolutely loved the buzz I got from being submerged in this sea of people, listening to them ooh & aah over everything. Being complete gluttons, gorging on sweets & even losing their prim & proper-ness.

OH! The ultimate rush for a pastry chef, I never needed drugs or alcohol...just give me masses of people bingeing on my creations!

(I just had an incredibly disturbing vision to equate this experience with...shall I go on? Oh, hell, why not. Confession coming up ... I ... am ... a ... closet ... um ... ok ... I can do this ...we're all friends here, right? *Deep breath* I AM A CLOSET LIVING DEAD FILM FREAK!!!
*Big sigh* Oh, I feel better now.
Yes, I love watching any film about living dead people. So, back to my vision, you know how they sort of swarm & moan & groan until they're all eating brains & stuff? That's kind of how this group of people goes at the pastry tables. *Giggles*)

(I hope you all still like me? Here's another picture so you forget about what I just told you.)

MMMmmm....petit fours.

The woman who hired me also requested a bread sculpture for the centerpiece. She wanted it to be simple looking & quite large, it would be placed between two huge straw wreaths, on top of a 4 foot tall pewter stand, with attached candles (as they obviously didn't have electricity back then) suspended from the ceiling.

She was thrilled with my rendition. It was exactly what she wanted.


The next day I was just doing a walk-through to make sure everything looked as it should. I stood for a moment & stared at the bread sculpture. My bread sculpture. I was pleased with how it turned out. I hadn't noticed that 2 (past middle age) women wandered next to me & were also staring. (A side-long glance told me one was taller & quite large, the other short & slender.)
The large woman said very loudly, "IT'S UGLY!"
The small woman murmured, "Well, I don't really know..."
"LOOK AT IT! IT'S UGLY! IT'S HORRIBLE! LOOOK AT IT! I HATE IT!", large woman was nearly shouting.

At this point, (even though I can be very, very good at controlling my feelings & facial expressions) I think I must have had an awful look on my face, because the small woman turned to me & said, "You didn't make that, did you?"
I looked her square in the eyes & replied, "Yes. I did."
She scuttled across the room to where her friend had waddled off to & whispered something that I couldn't hear.
Large Bitch exclaimed, "SHE DID NOT! SHE'S LYING!" Then she turns to me & nastily says, "YOU DID NOT MAKE THAT. YOU ARE LYING TO US!"

WTF!??!

I stood my ground, stared at that bitch & calmly stated, "My name is Jennifer & I own Uniquely Yours Pastry. I made the bread sculpture. I believe everybody is entitled to their own opinion. In fact, in my opinion, if I were you, I never would have tried to squeeze my old fat ass into that bright red dress. But that's just my opinion."




Oh, of course I didn't say the last part. I'm too fucking nice sometimes.

But, if the same thing happened now, I would. Definately. Then I'd come here & tell all of you about it.

11 Responses to “Pompous Pastry”

Tiffanie said...

You are very talented. Writing, displaying your bakery items, and the way you tell your stories is funny. Thanks for the laughs.

LCC Katy said...

Wow I love the pictures, they look so yummy. I am a picky pastry eater, as I have grown up in Germany and I have to say aside from New Orleans, I have not found good "american" pastry. It always looks amazing but to me is almost always way to sweet. But looking at your pictures, if I am ever in the area, I will just have to stop by and try one of your creations.

Real said...

The pasties were to good for that woman anyway.

Real said...

Pastries, I ment pastries. No freudian slip here, move along, move along.

Monte said...

I, too, am a pastry chef. Well... I'm more a trainee than an actual culinary master. But the descriptions of the food you have hear is excellent.

jin said...

tiffanie: Thank you for stopping by, I hope you'll be back again!

katy: You are correct about American pastry, sometimes it's excessively sweet! When I frost cakes I offer 2 types of buttercream: the not-too-sweet & the sweeter, so I can hopefully satisfy everyone. My truffles tend to always be not-too-sweet, 'cuz that's my personal preference ;-)

itsreallysmall: lolol you caught that slip really fast! Thanks for the chivalrous comment. :-D

monte: Yay! A fellow pastry aficionado! Please visit again & comment anytime!

Real said...

hum, pastry pasties. I thinkt this could be the beging of something beutiful, and tasty.

I wish you had really said it to the mean lady in the red dress.

flatlander said...

I concur. That woman deserved a talking to!

jin said...

itsreallysmall: Hmmm...I could make some serious money with that idea!

CP & flatlander: There isn't a day that goes by that I don't regret not saying anything! (that was way too many double negatives...don't you think? lolol...too tired tonight)

Tableside Hack said...

This post is amazing. I love your stories. So you are a pasty chef? Amazing. I think I shall read this blog often. Thanks for the comment on mine- I agree about the bread thing...old ladies do take almost everything. Sometimes I don't mind when they stuff their bread in their purse at the end of a meal, but when they ask us to cook MORE bread for them so that they can put it in their purse, and then I HAVE to do it, I get a little annoyed. You're familiar with this though, I'm sure.
Keep on.
-Jonathan