Turner and I have embarked on a new adventure, some might say crash course, as restaurateurs. To make a long story short, we are helping some investors start a coffee shop at a hospital in the Chengyang district of Qingdao, near where we taught English last year. My background as an amateur baker and aesthetic eye and Turner's business background and skill with numbers make us a pretty good team. It will be called Cookies Cafe. (As an English major, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the pluralization... should it be possessive? And if so, who's Cookie?)
When we entered the picture, the coffee shop and kitchen had the bare minimum, tables, chairs, refrigerator, oven, stand mixer (which is almost as big as me!). We have had to buy the rest in the past couple days to get both up and running, including everything from sugar packets for the cafe to spatulas and flour for the kitchen.
Tomorrow I am going to be testing recipes before training the Chinese staff in western baking and cafe service. The menu will be fairly simple and straightforward to start. Remember, they have never heard of putting cinnamon in something sweet. Baby steps, folks. Here's the game plan: granola with yogurt, fruit salad, apricot scones, banana bread, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and lemon cake.
The things that we have not been able to find thus far in Qingdao? Muffin tins and vanilla extract. The thing that will drive up the price of baked goods? Butter.
This next picture should accompany the punch line of a joke...
"Howdya like 'dem beaters!?"
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