After the Roots and Blues festival weekend and then a week packed full of busy days and baking parties each night, it was clear to me that by last Saturday afternoon...I had inadvertently out extroverted my own extroverted self. And after seemingly hundreds of conversations over the past 10 days, I was starting to hinge on a bit stabby with anyone who asked anything of me, short of whether or not I wanted to stop by Starbucks or watch three episodes of The Mindy Project without commercial interruption. (Yep. And yep.) And so when I found myself working alone today at PJP Buttonwood to prep for the week, I wasn't 100% sad. Not that I didn't want Jeanne there by my side, but she had errands to run and a few hours of silence never hurt anyone who pretty much talks or texts constantly (hint...that's me). And also, being there alone left me 100% in charge of the music selection and the volume. No Coffeehouse playlists for me this afternoon, thankyouverymuch.
I worked along steadily on preparing for an early Tuesday morning order. I also finally had some time to devote my energy to a few things (and a few people) that had been on my mind for a few weeks and it was DELIGHTFUL. Until it was time to make dough.
Jeanne is the undisputed Dough Diva. She makes 97% of all the dough at PJP, leaving me the other paltry 3% over the course of the year. After I paused my tunes, I called her and she talked me through it the measurements because it is second nature to her. Except I couldn't raise the bowl to our large mixer. Like, I seriously COULD NOT.
See that handle on the right side? That one needs to be 180 degrees in the opposite direction to mix the dough. I've seen Jeanne struggle before and usually Gunnar, Mac, or Mitch is around to assist. But alone today, I struggled. I'm sorry to say that I actually SWEATED. And swore a few (read: so, so, so many) times. After a few unsuccessful tries, I stopped to think about my options.
- I could call Behind-The-Scenes Tech Guru Jason and demand he leave work, drive three miles, walk in and pull the lever up...and then drive himself back to work. Seemed lame.
- I could walk to the barber shop three doors down and ask one of those guys for help. Seemed embarrassing.
- A few hours before working at PJP, I had stopped Hyvee and when I was checking out, I let a police officer in line behind me check out with his one item before I did. We started chatting about PJP and he offered me his card in case we ever needed anything. Did my mixer issue qualify? I wasn't sure, but in the case it was a terrible waste of public resources, I didn't want the story of my pathetic upper arm strength to end up in the local newspaper.
- We could just not have dough. Except we have a significant number of tarts due at 7 am and Jeanne would likely kill me to walk into PJP with no dough early in the morning.
- I could refuse to be defeated by a commercial mixer and go all Incredible Hulk on the mixer, pulling the lever up like no other option existed.
And as you can guess, I finally succeeded in turning it. I made dough with my pride somewhat intact, but not before seriously missing Jeanne. And when I needed to open and pour out a 50 pound bag of sugar not even thirty minutes later, I cut the top off and just scooped out of the bag. Hey Gunnar? If you are reading this, will you fill the sugar container for me first thing in the morning? And hey Jeanne, will you never leave me alone again?