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As Fall gives us our last warm days, how will we deal with Winter Rains?

It’s now 12+ hours since i rose this fine morning, 10/23/11, 6:45 and the radio came on so quietly I almost missed it.

6:54 am looking back at the test oven and our house

I don’t really need the alarm these days, especially on Market day. There’s quite a lot to do before I head out on a Sunday, and my brain clicks on around 5. then i look at the clock for a bit, fall deep asleep for like an hour, full on involved complicated dreams too about loosely connected shit I have no idea about, and then pop, time to wake up now. Head out, load the stuff, get to kensington farmer’s market, detatch the oven, unload the van, park it, set up the booth in this order: unload tables, unload wood, light the fire, set up canopy, set up tables, tablecloths, start rolling dough balls so they have enough time to rise to the occasion, and take the gratuitous vendor cup of freshly roasted coffee from Catahoula Coffee Co. (I owe them some pizza BTW). Line up the morning trades with various vendors like my favorite Scones from Butterfat Bakery, the cheddar Scallion being the bomb-diggities. Actually I think I get hyphy for them, if that’s possible for an almost 40 year old pizza nerd from the bay area. Scope out tomatoes from J&K Smith Farms in Knightsen CA, near Brentwood. All of this happens before 8:45 am. On a Sunday…

Ok, some of you reading this may actually work in restaurants, or bakeries, or the foodservice industry, and yes, that’s how business goes. You may even get up earlier than me most days and work longer hours. I know I’m still new at this, its difficult at times, and I whine just a little once and a while. Up before everyone else, smelling like coffee, shallots, and garlic way too early, maybe wreaking of the night before, maybe not really wanting to do any of this at all. Realizing you started the washing machine but never made it to the dryer, so you have no clean “clothes” to wear. Too small an operation to have a “service” that does the washing of the towels, aprons, tablecloths and the, well More like a uniform than clothes anymore. But not today, you had time to do all of these things yesterday, so you had a clean uniform waiting for you. 7:04 am. Coffee is ready. Almost time to go.

I choose all black most days. I do have a nice red T-shirt I like to wear, and the first chef’s coat I purchased is Red. Otherwise I’m the man in black, covered in white, from head to toe, flour caked to my ass pockets and cornmeal getting stuck between my toes because Keens seem to be a great shoe to be on your feet all day in. Doc says (my chiropractor Rob Pape) I need a few new pairs now though cuz i wear them out. I have an adjustment lined up for next Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to that. You should all have multiple pairs of shoes if you’re on your feet all day, even change them mid day to help lower back pain. I’m not sure how these last few sentences got here, but We’re jumping to a new subject now.

Winter is on its way, and we are being treated to the last days of our Indian summer. I’m trying to make the most (pizzas) of it, but the crew at Fist of Flour have been sweating these last few shifts for sure. Did I mention the oven runs at a cool 900+°? Its really good-feeling to be outside when the weather is so damn nice. But when its not, well, you know. It kinda sucks really. Last winter we were still getting our chops on the streets, and I definitely got my feet wet several times. Working on the street often means working right on top of an overflowing gutter during a torrential thunderstorm as it casually whips through our little bay area and soaks everything in sight. The old canopy has already been replaced, so the new one has no holes, yet. The little awning out front of the booth collects just enough water in the middle to splash every 3rd or 5th person who comes up when its gusty. I plan to do some rainy gigs just because we’ll have to, but some of the smaller gigs may go away till the spring, like our Monday nights hangin out at Beer Revolution and the 4th and Washington Lunch spot spot Thursdays. We will definitely be representin at our NEW SPOT out on 24th street for the next two Art Murmurs. Make a note we have left the usual spot at 23rd st for a little while while we occupy this empty warehouse space (between Telegraph and Broadway) with food, art, and Oakalnd vibes!

It’s not so bad really, as long as we’re able to set up the canopy, its do-able. Some of you have noticed the “moustache” that lines the doorway of the oven, it doubles as a rain gutter, and forces most of the water to the sides. If the oven is hot enough, the water that does land beyond the stash zone evaporates before it can drip, which is nice. See you out there.

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