Friday, 3 March 2017

Not What I'd Planned!

Alas, my job in the cafe has been short lived and I have left, not without some regret that it wasn't for me, but definitely knowing I have made the right decision. I mastered the oven and was turning out up to 40 large cheese scones and 40 fruit scones each day I was working, filling the freezer for days when I wasn't there. I've made soups by the gallon (literally) and everything has been greeted with enthusiasm by customers... one or two have even asked to meet me to comment on the scones... the best they had tasted apparently. I didn't mind working hard, some days for up to six hours on my feet before I managed a break, without so much as a cuppa.  I didn't mind taking over the dishwashing when the cafe staff were too busy, nor did I mind spending time on my days off finding soup recipes and sending in shopping lists.


But up until now there has been no other cook in the kitchen when I wasn't working. I have been one half of a job share but with no-one else to share it with! Then last week the manager took me aside for a quiet word... outside the back door of the kitchen in the midst of storm Doris blowing a gale, me in just a tee shirt (it's hot in the kitchen)... to tell me that they had hired someone else but she wanted full time work so that's what they had offered her. So maybe...in a few weeks time...  possibly... not that they didn't appreciate me of course... I wouldn't mind working just one or two days a week... or perhaps we could sort something out? At the time I said okay but overhearing snatched conversations from the manageress about how good it would be when the "proper" cook arrived and they could serve "proper" food made me rethink. There seems a fine line between being appreciated and being taken advantage of. There were other things too that got me thinking I was better off out and then it just so happened last weekend I got four big cake orders in one day and I decided that I'd rather be working flat out for myself than flat out for someone else.


So this week has seen a return to some baking for the farm shop, ordering in supplies for my business not someone elses, and planning some lovely cakes for the weeks to come. I've spent a happy afternoon boiling up citrus peel I had been collecting in the freezer to make my own candied peel. I actually loath the stuff you buy in the supermarkets and never put it in cakes or buns, but this homemade stuff is something else... it might be a long, laborious and somewhat sticky process but it was well worth it. It is amazing and I'm having to stop myself just eating it from the jar. Anyone about to mention "healthy eating plan" can stop now... they are oranges okay! And as a bonus I have a bottle of the most intensley flavoured orange syrup to use in cakes and bakes.


And just as I was feeling all energetic and enthusiastic about baking again... I went and kicked a chair. Not deliberately I might add. And this happened... (apologies for pictures of my feet in the same post as food)


One broken toe which is currently strapped up and elevated in the hope it will get better soon... because currently I can do little more than hobble around the house.


And I am supposed to be training for a long walk in ten weeks time. I won't be doing my four miles today that's for sure, and my five miles on Sunday is looking unlikely so it will be another quiet weekend for me at this rate. Best laid plans and all that...
I hope your weekend goes according to plan... have a good one!

35 comments:

  1. I'm sorry about your toes. Poor you. Sounds like you made the right decision about your job. All work and no appreciation. That orange peel looks and I'm sure tastes wonderful. Have a restful weekend. B x

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    1. Thanks Barbara. A bit of enforced rest will probably do me good!

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  2. Awe you're better off out of that place Gina (just imagine that said in a Northern Irish accent ;) ). Good to see you doing your own thing again and that orange peel look amazing!
    Sorry about your toe...that does look painful, plenty of rest again then!!

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  3. You need a hover board, that might stop you damaging your feet for a while. Hope it gets better fast.

    Your employers sound very unsympathetic, you are better of out of there; enjoy the home-cooking.

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  4. An enforced rest before you plunge back into life again! Hope the toe isn't too painful. The candied peel looks wonderful as do the bakes ready for the farm shop. I wonder what the cafe owners thought that 'proper' food was. I would have thought that hand made scones and soup fitted the bill. Sounds as if you made the right decision.

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  5. Don't worry about the job, Gina. Hard work and long hours on your feet aren't good for you, when lining someone else's pocket. People with skills get jobs - and you have plenty of skills. And the sheer experience of going through a few jobs before you get the right one is a very good example to set to young people. Then you can demonstrate how to analyse what you liked and did not, and how to overcome setbacks. (Can you tell I used to be a recruitment interviewer?!) And you certainly don't have to tolerate being under-appreciated. Onward and upward!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I think I knew the moment I went for the induction it wasn't right for me but still had to go through that process of working for a few weeks to prove to myself I wasn't just giving up.

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  6. I am glad you went ahead with the job so you didn't look back and wish you had.
    But glad you were given an out for leaving. Hope the 'proper' cook doesn't end up in the same position in a short time!
    And being right out straight in your own business gives you joy in your work along with tiredness that goes with hard work. so, much more worth it!

    Sorry about the foot. Have you considered steel-cap boots? ;-)
    Sandy in Bracknell

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  7. Oh ouch, poor you, hope it heals soon. Well done for leaving the cafe, it does indeed sound as if they weren't appreciating you. I'm glad you stood up for yourself. They will miss your scones once you've gone I think. Wishing you a good weekend, look after that toe. CJ xx

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  8. Things happen for a reason, somehow I never quite saw you as the skivvy out the back! Rest woman, let your toe heal. xxx

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  9. Yep ouch. And good for you for appreciating your worth and moving on.

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  10. Those employers don't know what they are missing - but good for you for getting out and going back to your home cooking business. The candied peel would disappear in a flash in my house!
    I hope the toe heals quickly, but think of all the reading you will catch up with over the weekend!

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  11. Maybe the customers will request that the cafe orders some of your scones and cakes?
    Meanwhile have a rest this weekend ... listen to the foot!

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  12. It's all been said, Gina. Onwards and upwards but rest your foot well. Don't forget the odd glass to aid recovery. xx

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  13. Oh that looks sore, I hope it soon recovers. I don't think the cafe realised how lucky they were. I could just manage one of those delicious scones right now. 😊

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    1. ... I could bring one right over!

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  14. Congratulations Gina! I like a woman who knows her self worth.
    Can I buy your orange peel and concentrated orange water?
    One or two of my toes have, at one time or another, looked just like yours. Take it easy for a few days and you will be good as new.

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    1. Thanks Gina. I'm trying to be and rest my foot!

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  15. I'm sorry the job didn't work out for you but I'm sure that you made the right decision. Keep resting that toe!

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    1. Being very good and resting... most of the time!

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  16. I'm glad you realized this job wasn't for you before any huge resentments came into play. You sound much happier when you discuss all your hard work for your own business. I think it's the details you allow yourself and the pride you take in creating food that both looks amazing and tastes wonderful. That candied orange peel photo had me ...mmmmm! Yes, might as well work your fingers to the bone for your own reputation than someone else's.
    I know what it's like to break a toe. I broke one when I walked right into a tricycle. Six weeks to heal right up, but the hobbling stops in about two. I was wearing open-toed summer sandals in the cold fall weather for it. Hugs to you, I know how much they hurt :(
    Take care Gina and enjoy the baking again!
    Wendy

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  17. Your toe looks really painful, I hope you got some painkillers for it! To my mind you are as proper a cook as any trained to be one. You have talent and imagination, both work together to make wonderful things (not just food). I am glad you decided to step down, your talent is wasted on forty scones a day. Wishing you a peaceful weekend. x

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  18. Gina, our pal Celia has already commented one of my thoughts...you might have attracted new customers for your expert baking.

    You were wise to make your decision, If we could meet for tea, I think that we'd have many more stories to share...and laugh about, too.

    Hoping that toe is a quick healer. Seems like we have noticed a popular time for accidents! xo

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  19. Oh no, not another foot injury, you poor thing!
    As for the cafe - It's their loss Gina - why on earth they would employ you, and then buy-in cakes is beyond me. xx

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  20. So sorry about your toe Gina - ouch, hope it mends quickly. The cafe do not deserve you and their customers will certainly miss your wonderful food. The citrus peel looks absolutely delicious and I don't think I would be able to keep my hand out if the jar!

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  21. Glad to hear you have left the cafe. You were being taken advantage of and you made the right decision. That poor wee toe! Ouch!! Take it easy til it heals, please! (I have a story about a neglected stress fracture i will tell you anout sometime....!) x

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  22. you are better off out of it! hope the toe heals quickly for you xxx

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  23. I've not read the rest of the comments so if I repeat what someone has said I apologise but I have steam coming out of my ears!!! This is a classic story of small businesses and their inability to manage within the framework of the law. What has happened to you is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!! It makes my blood boil. What if that job was life or death to you? Grrrr.... do not go back and ever help them out. Get on with your own stuff and stop breaking your digits. My fractured finger is now untaped but I have been told it could take up to two years for the swelling to go down. Be prepared for the long haul chum and don't collect too much sponsorship for that walk as you might have to make alternative arrangements!

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  24. I am afraid that you have not been treated well by the cafe and if they carry on like that they will end up in an employment tribunal which is an expensive way to discover that you are a bad employer.

    I am quite sure that it was not a good use of your creative gifts and enthusiasm and that there will be another opportunity which is more rewarding when you have had a chance to clear your head.

    In the meantime look after yourself! Please don't knock any more chunks off assorted body parts. There is only one Gina so take care.

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  25. Oh Gina! I've just stumbled upon your blog, which I've not read for ages (it's not you, it's me, faffing about doing boring things and not doing the things I like, such as reading blogs!) and I've seen this post - and looks like the end of a saga. I'm going to have to have a proper sit down after tea and read all your posts since I left off, to catch up! Sending all good wishes xx

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  26. Life it too short to be un-appreciated. Take care from Australia

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  27. Your candied peel looks amazing. I've been meaning to make some for ages but domn't eat enough oranges to collect the peel. Sorry to hear about the toe - and that cafe doesn't deserve to have you! Proper food, indeed!

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  28. The catering world is a difficult one Gina and I hope your wounds are licked and you are enjoying the freedom of being a free spirit once more. I would like to write a book about my 14 plus years of catering and the soul destroying year of running a kitchen in a cafe bar. There were the bridezillas, the millionaire businessman who wanted to pay 50p per head for hot and cold nibbles, an angsty woman who was So cross when I didn't want to do thing in aspic on mirrors (definitely too many cruises!) etc.. In amongst all this there were some lovely clients, tv work, gorgeous venues and lovely feedback. You need to be true to yourself, be kind to yourself and sure other doors will open.

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  29. Wow Gina -- another big change for you! It sounds like you gave that job your all. Selfishly, I'm glad you're back to your cakes -- they're fun to see on the blog LOL!

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