If baking is my first love then I think coffee would have to be a close second.
My love for coffee started quite a few years back, one milk one sugar from Tims, endless days of chillin' with my little big brother in the red ranger. I have the fondest of memories from those days, though like most things they didn't last nearly long enough. The days of having no real responsibilities, just endless time on our hands, listening to Biggy and 50, doing doughnuts, just cruisin'... and like those days, my love of tim horton's one milk one sugar turned into one milk and then to black and then to I can't drink their coffee at all.
I must give credit where credit is due to my sister Margie and my Dad for introducing me to Starbucks. They have been strong advocates of their coffee for much longer than I have. I remember in the beginning tasting nothing but burnt... strong burnt. And then something happened, or maybe my taste buds did their 7 year flip and it wasn't strong burnt so much anymore as coffee. Yummy coffee! I drank Pike Place for a very short period before moving onto their bolder more flavourful coffees (though I'm not going to knock pike... It for sure has a time and a place, I just don't happen to be in either the time or place very often.)
We, Margie my dad and I, have spent many hours of conversation over a venti bold (personal tall decaf for papa), and like the days of the red ranger, I treasure the time we've spent over a good cup of coffee.
I'm blessed for my family, and I'm blessed because of coffee.
Since moving to St. Catharines so I could go to baking school at Niagara College, I've taken up the job of being a shift supervisor at Starbucks. I love my job. I love being a barista. I love making drinks, and I love the family I've made with my partners. Like any job, there have been many ups and downs... my first shift closing I got punched in the chest... twice... two managers left, inadequate training, someone else left on stress leave, came back, left again... It was my Starbucks family that got me through that... and my sister, and my fiance, who wasn't always my fiance.
During the craziness of our lives at 4th Ave the first night we closed at 6pm, October 4th, 2010, after working a 10 hour day, kinda beaten down, trying not to break, I came home and Joshua went from being my boyfriend to my fiance. Pajamas and a beater, dancing to no music at all, it made everything different... it made everything better.
In the months to follow, like any job, there were still more ups and downs, and again it was my starbucks family, my sister, and my fiance who got me through it... are getting me through it. I am blessed for my family and I am blessed because of Coffee.
Back to basics isn't just about baking, though it was born out of a desire to keep things simplier in my kitchen... as cliche as it is, I'm learning that it's so much bigger than flour and sugar and the end result. It's about how I get there, what I learned on the way, and how many cups of coffee were drank through it all. I love my life and I love where I'm taking myself, but even more, I love how I try with everything I do to bring things back to basics...