Inside artistry there is craftmanship, inside the end, a beginning.
I enjoy the kind of happy ending where occasional personal restraint pays off in some unexpected and beneficial way. In the extreme, I think restraint is called denial. I’m not a proponent of denial.
In fact, there are some categories of purchases that are exempt from restraint in my book. Shoes. I love a great pair of shoes. Like my courageous purchase of those little red patent Stuart Weitzman flats. Strangers (men, mostly) continue to compliment me on them. Make no mistake, these are not the Ruby Slippers, although in wearing them I know how [G]Linda, the Good Witch, must have felt in dreamily waving that magic wand. I call them my Ferrari’s. Capiche?
Restraint seemed prudent a year ago at a Retail Confectioners International (RCI) conference on what I would call a capital purchase for Essential Confection, my new confection business.
Nine hundred dollars is enough money to get my attention. A piece of equipment that would literally cut my caramel production time by fifty percent called my name. The roller-cutter. A pseudo-rolling pin with large wheels of customized size designed to cut pastry. Rollers… the highway to heaven.
Nine hundred dollars was a tough pill to swallow for a new business-hopeful and yet, I saw the payback in increased efficiency and standardization of product. I didn’t act. Restraint.
Fast forward to today. I have the great good fortune to have the input of the world’s top pastry chefs (largely through my willingness to purchase their books) and in perusing Thomas Keller’s Bouchon there was answered prayer. The bicycle.
A bicycle is this adolescent version of its $900 big sister. At one-tenth the price. Each of the five wheels can be adjusted to a cutting width of between a half-inch and five inches. Designed to cut pastry, I wrung my hands in the hope that it would be substantial enough to cut caramels, took a deep breath and immediately ordered one.
This is the happy ending part. Or, perhaps, I should call it a happy beginning because, yes, it’s officially a caramel cutter. A really well engineered piece of equipment. Gliding strokes resulting in gloriously plumb pieces, made no less handmade or succulent in their uniformity.
Beauty on the eye, delight on the tongue.