There is nothing that prepares you for a busy night working the line at a restaurant other than a busy night working the line at a restaurant. I’m terrified I won’t be able to keep up with pizza orders once I officially launch pizza nights on the patio. I’m still getting the hang of working the fire and keeping the oven hot. One of my baker friends told me it took him two years before he figured it all out. I will have two weeks.
I decided to put myself under pressure - feet in the fire - but instead of a line of customers, I invited some of my friends & family to join me for a night of pizza, celebrating my new oven.
After last week’s tests, I felt confident the dough would set me up with a solid foundation. I created the first pizza menu based mostly on seasonal ingredients I could get from local vendors.
The Standard - crushed Jersey tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil
Greek To Me - pesto, kalamata olives, feta, red onion, bell peppers
Nettlesome - stinging nettles, Fulper’s Farm ricotta, caramelized onions, prosciutto (I’ve been making this one since my first pizza days with Mark & Christian at The Patisserie in Milford, PA)
Sauce-Sage - crushed Jersey tomatoes, sweet Italian sausage, shishito & chili peppers, fresh mozzarella
BB Kale - crushed Jersey tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, kale
Josie was home sick from school all week. After a second trip to the doctor, it was determined she had bronchitis. A couple days of antibiotics later, she was almost back to normal. When I told her she couldn’t help me with the dough, she was devastated.
“You’re sick, you need to take a break,” I said
“How many times have you worked with bronchitis? How many? What about the flu? You don’t take a break. The bakery doesn’t take a break. You just keep working. You can’t tell me I can’t work,” she responded.
Fair enough. She got the clipboard and took every order throughout the entire evening…more than 60 pizzas. She knew everyone’s name or at the very least, the name of someone who they came with. Talk about feet to the fire, I put so much pressure on this soon-to-be 11 year old. Any other kid would have melted down, thrown the clipboard at me, and gone to play fortnight. Not this kid. She called out the orders. When I forgot them, she gave me an ‘all day’ count and kept me on track. When one of the guests had to leave early, she gave me an ‘I need it NOW! How long on that….’ If this girl doesn’t take over the world one day, no one will.
Weekly Training Log
Monday: TRX @ Architect Studios
Plan: RUN - 8x400 between 1:35-1:40
Reality: 1:35, 1:38, 1:38, 1:38, 1:38, 1:39, 1:38, 1:37
I must confess, I thought this was impossible but as Alden said, ‘impossible is a state of mind, not a physical reality.’ After I finished the workout as planned, I scoured data from the last three years and these are, in fact, the fastest 400’s I’ve run in a workout.
Plan: SWIM 35:00
Reality: This was the first time I’ve been given a time rather than a distance to swim. It was also my longest swim without a break. I managed to get in 1550 yds in the time allotted. I was surprised by how easy it felt. Granted, I was not, I am not, fast but I am comfortable with my head under water.
I’ve started obsessing about the water temperature of the Chesapeake Bay, where I will be swimming next week. I asked my mother to stick her toe in it and tell me what it’s like.
“Rachel, you can’t swim in that!” was her response.
“But I am swimming in it.”
“Okay but just don’t get THAT water in your mouth,” she advised.
When I was growing up, I quickly learned that I had to take my swimsuit off as quickly as possible after swimming in the Bay. If I left it on for too long, a rash appeared that all the kids referred to as ‘Bay Rot.’ I guess it’s still better than swimming in the Hudson. Better the evil you know.
Plan: BIKE 60:00 tempo
Reality: Completed as planned
Plan: SWIM 1850 yds
Reality: Same as last week but remembered my watch this time!
Plan: RUN 60:00
Reality: Absolutely the most perfect day for a run. Zero humidity, cool breeze…the reason why we do this!
Plan: RIDE 75:00 outside, RUN 2mi with 1@RP
Reality: I started baking at 2am, left for my ride at 6am. I promised Brad & Josie I would text them both before heading out on the streets. I also promised to stay in Montclair and leave early enough that there was minimal traffic. Before I clipped my shoes in my pedals, I had no less than 10 messages from Josie telling me to be careful and ‘please don’t die.’ As if I wasn’t nervous enough.
I looped around Montclair until I reached 75 minutes. I managed to hit 5K race pace-ish for my first mile of the run even though my legs felt like someone didn’t screw them on right. Took it easy for the second mile, came home, regrouped and started making pizzas at noon! Never a dull moment.