Good morning, friends and neighbors.
It had been a trying few days.
Emily and I were living in our first apartment here in Oregon. We’d barely been here a year.
My first shot at going into business for myself wasn’t doing so well, and I was back on the job hunt again.
Good morning, friends and neighbors!
Given last weeks tell-all about pie, I thought it would appropriate to give savory pies their chance!
Good morning, friends and neighbors!
After last weeks “crash course” in chocolate, another discussion popped up that I couldn’t help but stick my beak in as the topic was very close to my heart:
“Hey everyone, of all things in the kitchen, I know next to NOTHING about fruit pies. Help?”
Bakers and chefs chimed in, and I scrolled through their responses before finally saying,
“Yeah, everything here is about right to my experience. Here’s a couple other things I do that you might find helpful..”
My friend from last time popped up. “Oh thank God, I was wondering this too. Have you written about this?”
I went back and found my previous pie-related entries, only to realize I NEVER COVERED FILLINGS.
“Dude, GET ON IT, and then send me the link! Maybe a video how-to?”
Well, I like to correct my mistakes, and I’m here to please, so strap in all. I’m going to take you through baking pies and my personal Top 5 Fruit Pie recipes! Video how-to will come soon!
Good afternoon, friends and neighbors.
I am annoyingly active on Facebook. “Annoying” certainly for myself, since I’d like to believe I have better things to do than scroll through an increasingly bleak news feed and let fear/ anxiety/ envy consume what remains of my energy. (Fun fact: I do, I just kinda suck at reminding myself to do them.)
One thing that Facebook HAS done for me, however, is connected me with a community of fellow professional cooks and chefs from around the world. I tend to haunt these conversations more than I talk- you wouldn’t believe just how much of being a good storyteller is listening, rather than talking.
The other day, though, I felt the need to pipe up.
One chef in the community was working in the kitchen of a hospital, and had recently been put in charge of their pastry department as well as their hot kitchen. He was okay enough with the baking aspects- he knew how to follow a recipe, do the math, and so on. There was only one thing he was concerned about with his new duties- chocolate work.
The hospital had an EXCELLENT food program. They make chocolates and truffles in-house for their OB-Gyn unit- new mothers get a little box of specialty chocolates. The chef had chocolate on hand, tools, materials, equipment… but he knew NOTHING about working with chocolate.
Myself and another chef leapt in with a host of advice- tempering, flavoring, handling, sourcing, the works. The majority of my knowledge came from culinary school, and occasional experimenting in the casino under my friend Karen, but apparently it was more than my friend had ever gotten to hear.
Afterward, I got to thinking “You know, this is probably something a lot of folks would like to know. I should write something about it.”
Here we go, then. Strap in.
Good afternoon, friends and neighbors!
Today is gonna be a little different, and it’s gonna be a long one- because it’s going to be my story.
I tend to drop a lot of little tidbits about my life and experience throughout the blog, especially as the subject matter calls for. It makes a good story- good stories are easier to remember, and that’s why the lessons in them stick.
It’s why I love stories. It’s why I memorize them, and retell them, and share my own- because knowledge is something that, so long as you remember it, can never be taken from you.
Words have power. Stories magnify that power.
About the Author
The Black Hat Baker, a.k.a. Matt Strenger, lives in SE Portland, Oregon as a professional baker. Here, Matt bakes, cooks, exercises, and explores, returning to his wife and their hobbit hole up Mt. Tabor to write about all of it.
Email the BHB at blackhatbakery(at)gmail(dot)com
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