November has me thinking about gratitude. I guess because Thanksgiving is right around the corner and in “normal times”, many people spend the holiday with their loved ones, eat way too much, and are “Grateful”. Or at least, that’s what I think is the reason behind Thanksgiving; we give thanks, right? However, this year has been anything but normal. A lot of changes have already taken place and this holiday season will be different for most of us.

 I would however, like to speak  about how grateful I am for this program. I’m assuming that my classmates agree with me. I have already learned so much about Baking, Management, Nutrition, ServSafe, and Employment, and I have been connected to outside resources such as the FSET program, and I could go on and on about my gratitude for that. 

So in the midst of these tough times, we here at Just Bakery are finding creative ways to keep the program going. Due to Covid, the kitchen part of the program will be delayed until January-throughout the month of December, we will be watching videos about Baking and will be learning more of the Science behind the baking process. I am really excited about this and I encourage you readers to keep your eyes on us so we can tell you what secrets we learn about becoming better bakers!

This week we had our usual Monday on zoom and Jaclyn discussed with us more about our Nutrition Presentations and using Google Slides. Then Zack took us through a lot of ServSafe review to help us pass our final exam on Wednesday. We also did some employment check-ins with Tucker. Brandon and Candice met with us individually about our resource needs and then on Tuesday we met at the Just Bakery location. But instead of making cookies, we met some new members of our team! Our new Baking Instructor, Sylvia, was a prior student and a success story at that, and  we also got a lesson with Jim, an expert in the Baking Industry. He gave an awesome, in depth tour of the kitchen. For instance, he described in detail the main do’s and don’ts with the oven, bread slicer, Hobart stand mixer, and the proofing oven. Finally, our last lesson of the day with Jim was about the different flour variations and their uses, and a little talk about leaveners and sugars.
At 2pm on Wednesday, we had a guest speaker, Dana Sitar, who introduced us to the world of Freelance Writing. She gave us tips on freelance jobs such as blogging, ad copywriting, creative writing, and how to become self-published. She talked about how to pitch your material to potential employers and she listed some of the high demand niches, like personal finance. Many of us brought up the idea of combining the joy of writing with a topic that you are either passionate about, or something that you are just interested in learning more about. Dana left us with her contact information so she can be available to act as a mentor to those of us who are interested in pursuing this further.
Thursday we did not get to work in the kitchen due to the new emergency order’s restrictions. So we met virtually again, mainly going over our Nutrition material but then we watched some videos on baking using the Muffin Method and  the Creaming Method. In the afternoon, we discussed the therapeutic use of essential oils with Jan, our Trauma Therapist..
We hope you continue to follow us along on our Baking journey as we navigate through the holidays in the midst of this Pandemic.

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