A Bad Day in the Kitchen

In a chef’s kitchen, cooking accidents are bound to happen. From forgetting a pinch of garlic to spilling melted butter on the floor, a chef’s day can be turned from good to horrific. In the majority of these cases there is a time limit of some sort, whether that means working at a restaurant or competing on Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen, there is little room for mistakes.  I have had these days too when baking for the Sykesville Main Street Farmers Market.

One Saturday in the midst of summer, I was making Cinnamon biscuits for the farmers market, which would be the next morning. These were a new creation or mine, based off of my buttermilk biscuits with a few changes, such as the presence of sugar. In baking, changing recipes involves precise calculation, a single mistake can cause chaos. The time of day was around two-thirty in the afternoon, and I had a few more seconds of baking left with the cinnamon biscuits. I was awaiting my glorious biscuits to be done, when, I took the biscuits out and instead of that glorious creation I was hoping for, they were scorched black. All this hope and excitement inside me had rotted away, and anger, frustration, and anxiety crept up my chest. I had tasted them, and for being scorched, they weren’t all that bad, a pinch of that sweet cinnamon flavor was left; but burnt biscuits can’t sell at a farmers market! That would be insane!

A million thoughts were blazing through my mind.  I knew that two batches of different biscuits couldn’t be done in an hour, just one would be challenging enough to do within a restricted timeframe, at least by myself. I then realized I needed help. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to sacrifice a biscuit flavor like other incidents similar to this, and my mother helped me by mixing up one batch, while I did the other. We had gotten a lot done, now we needed to bake those biscuits. Everything seemed fine, except that time was running out quicker than I had thought; there wasn’t any room for mistakes. Even the slightest error couldn’t be corrected at this point.

My mother helped mix, and then she left everything to me. With my mind rushing to get the biscuits in the oven, out of the oven, and on the cooling rack, I looked at the time, and saw the clock. I had no more time left, but Tyson, my stepfather, hadn’t been home yet. I still had time, and I would use it. And the time was enough. I had cleaned up the kitchen and finished both the biscuits with barely any time to spare, and Tyson arrived at home. He was content that I finished my baking, which was good, but I couldn’t say he was ecstatic, since he was tired from the intense, agonizing heat from being a steamfitter.

After putting the biscuits away in an airtight container, I was relieved that I was able to overcome this, with a little bit of help, of course. Having been done that, I went on with the rest of the day and woke up the next morning, tired, and prepared for the market that turned out to be very successful that day. All that hard work culminated into a successful day at the Sykesville Main Street Farmer’s Market, which I was proud of, since I had been forging baked goods for the past three days, like all the weeks after and most of before.

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