mercredi 13 janvier 2010

December/January: The jolly period of revelry

The jolly period of revelry or how I survived Xmas, New Year's Eve and the Epiphany.
Mulot Dodo , Mulot Dodo.
The month of December seems to have gone very quickly and at the same time to have lasted for ever since we have worked such enormously long hours. It has left many memories, good ones like the sight of the customers in the shop looking at the "logs", unpleasant ones like the back ache I felt at the end of the day and the many hours of sleep I still must catch up with. As everyone knows, Xmas time is the busiest period of the year in a pastry shop. Beforehand, one can feel both anxiety and excitement. "Will the work we provide be sufficient? Is the team ready? Will the customers come and buy our Xmas cakes ?" On the other hand, one is truly enthusiastic to see finally that the "logs" we have prepared and put in storage are now ready to go out into the world and are about to fulfill their essential role, that of pleasing the customers.
Our work during these days is quite tedious and tiring : it consists mainly in three things :
1-getting the "logs" out of the freezers on the second and first floor and bringing them down to the basement 2- glazing them, cutting them, decorating them (in the basement) 3-bringing them up to the store on the ground floor.
Let me tell you that I have never climbed up and down so many stairs and carried such enormous weights in my life. I even fell down the stairs on the 25 th of December."Y'a d'la casse?" asked my chef. "Non, y'a pas d'casse à part moi", is what I answered. O, silly me! Silly apprentice ! I thought. The "bûche" before the apprentice !
Within the team the atmosphere also changes during these few weeks : personal hatreds vanish and there is a sort of team spirit, Xmas bliss and tension due to exhaustion. People are so tired they are drinking themselves crazy with coffee, they are so hungry and unaware of what time it is that they eat their lunch sandwiches at eight in the morning.
I am glad it is over but I am also glad I experienced the whole thing. And let's admit, after all this I am pleased I am not now slaving away for the Epiphany "galettes".

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