Our weekend at Lucky's was a whirlwind of activity...we baked pies, cut 1,000+ samples, visited with old friends and made a lot of new friends (and even had the surreal experience of autographing a few pie boxes and posing for a few pictures). It was exactly what we both needed...we are the creative and social types that NEED some interaction with our pie-loving peeps or we start to lose our sanity and question our goals. When we are alone and rolling dough, we both have moments of second-guessing our plan to become pie moguls. Give us a crowd and we are back on target to becoming the "Cake Boss" of the pie-eating world. A little renewed and refreshed from our fun weekend, we rolled into today with some GOALS. While baking late on Saturday night, I realized I needed about 1 1/2 cups of pecans to finish out the very last German Chocolate pie before we could clean up and call it a night. We typically buy local whole pecans and then use a food processor to chop them up and re-bag them. We had plenty of whole pecans, but none left of the processed and bagged variety. I eyed the food processor on the counter that had already been washed and dried and put back in place. That German Chocolate pie was well over our 100th pie baked in two days and we were SO VERY TIRED. So, I made an executive decision...I took the whole pecans and beat them with a meat tenderizer until they were in pieces. It was a little cathartic for the final leg of a long baking schedule and frankly, I sort of enjoyed it. Alas, I can't see us beating bags of pecans with tenderizers once we are in our shop and I seriously hate washing a food processor.
This is only a long way to justify the first item on our GOALS list for today...find a supplier of fresh CHOPPED pecans. Amazon.com is developing drones to deliver online purchases, so I would suspect that we live in an age of readily available chopped pecans (though Jeanne swore it was impossible). And...
A company will ship 30 pounds of fresh and CHOPPED pecans directly to your door for a price that is so good, I had to double check my iPhone calculator twice. I've really marveled all day that we will never have to food processor or meat tenderize 30 pounds of pecans again. And hey, I realize that making such a big deal about this is totally lame because they are pecans and six months ago, I would have bet you $10 that I would never even Google "pecans", nor crowed around all day about CHOPPED PECANS. I wish I could muster up some embarrassment about all this, but I can't. Because CHOPPED PECANS.
Our other major goal for today was to follow up with the mechanical engineer on the whole "you need a vent" vs. "no we don't" argument. Would you like to see the new baking mechanism for PJP V. 2.0?
ONE. SINGLE. CONVECTION. OVEN.
Did you just roll your eyes and groan? Yeah, us too. It was a battle we couldn't win. A double stack oven would have required some way to pump the heat out of the building and every option given was somewhere in the range of $4,000 or more, with the added bonus of maybe then needing a sprinkler system installed.
I so don't understand. I wish I did, but I keep thinking about those 1,000 square feet with 20 foot ceilings and I don't understand how one double oven produces enough heat that we have to install a hood system. I even went for the pity card of suggesting we install ceiling fans to help cool the space, but the engineer just scoffed. So...awesome. Because of the city's over-restrictive and poorly worded regulations, we are saddled with an oven that cooks eight or so pies at a time. (I can't wait to run for Columbia City Council someday and have that previous sentence thrown back at me...rest assured, I will still stand by it...in fact, maybe my platform should be "Double Ovens For Everyone").
On the upside, the mechanical drawings should be complete soon and then perhaps someone can actually go to the space and do something. I don't even care what it is at this point...SOMETHING accomplished in that space would make us so happy. In the meantime, I'll just work on browsing the Internet for "best reviewed single commercial convection ovens."
I have no idea how the City of Columbia thinks we are going to be pie moguls eight pies at a time.