It is no secret that Jeanne has been in the pie-baking business far longer than I have. Her 10 year tenure at the helm of PJP V. 1.0 gives her a pie production expertise that is unrivaled. As I've learned to bake and learned to manage a business over the past year, I've challenged her conventional methods with some new ideas. Some ideas have been total wins and some, well, some have been epic fails. Here is a story of a total fail... During the height of our busy baking schedule, it wouldn't be terribly uncommon for us to make four or five separate batches of a particular pie in one day. So for example, we typically double a batch of Chocolate Bourbon Pecan to make two nine-inch pies and six baby pies from one batch. So on an average day in December, we were doing that double batch two or three times in one day...essentially making it, filling the shells, and starting over on another batch. So I kept thinking that if we could make four double batches (an octo-batch?) at one time, well, that would be WINNING. And a serious time-saver.
Jeanne resisted the idea, believing firmly that something gets lost in translation when increasing the batch size by that quantity. I was pretty relentless, arguing that the big mixer we own has to be for something more than just dough. And while I can be pretty persuasive, we ended 2014 in a big batch stalemate.
Today I prevailed. While she wouldn't consent to making an octo-batch in the mixer, she was willing to try it in larger versions of our mixing bowls. I was pretty encouraged...until well, until MATH. And you know those word problems that start out with a train leaving Los Angeles headed to New York at 50 miles an hour and another leaving New York headed to Los Angeles at 70 miles an hour and where will they pass each other and who even cares because who takes the train across the country in 2015? It was like that...ridiculous. She handed me this note and asked if I thought it was correct...
And after we spent more than socially acceptable with our iPhone calculators, we felt like we were good to go and we filled our first round of shells with our filling and put it in the oven. And then realized that we were so distracted by the math, we forgot the ten cups of white syrup. Gah.
For whatever time we would save by making so much quantity at once, it was fully eclipsed by not know what we were doing at all when it came to all the fractions. And while time changes many things, it is clear not much as changed between Jeanne and I since she tried to help in 1988 with 8th grade math homework. And I'm not sure where my 8th grade math teacher is now, but I bet this whole story is very disappointing to her. But not surprising.
In the process of trying to fix what we had done and starting over, I sent the picture of the note to Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason...
BLESS HIS HEART. If only we were the spreadsheet using type of girls.
And so it appears the road to World Pie Domination will be built on small batch baking. True story.