August was a good month for me. I got a regular, weekly client for my salted caramels (more on this in a later post). I had a great birthday. I took time off from baking to enjoy the summer (which after a record-breaking hot July, I desperately needed). Traveled to the Pacific Northwest. Well, just check out some of my adventures:
I met Ron Ben Israel and got a private tour of his bakery. Extremely nice guy.
All this fruit and flowers is made from sugar. Nothing else.
I made a cake for a lesbian with a good sense of humor:
The Williamsburg/Greenpoint CSA continues to supply us with a ton of food every Saturday. Corn continues to be my favorite.
I made this for my good pal Matt's birthday. It was one of the best cakes I've made in a while (in my opinion):
I secretly delighted in watching three chefs work out the best way to cut my cake (seriously, this cracked me up):
I took the second half of August off from baking to relax. I rented a convertible for my birthday and drove out to Fire Island with a few pals, Randy and Greg:
I like the beach.
After a crazy birthday party that involved bowling, strippers, and a lapdance, I cured my hangover by riding The Beast with Jimmy. In hindsight, a high-speed boat ride through New York Harbor after a long night of drinking was probably not the best idea, but it was fun. Stupid, but fun.
I went to the new Pop Tarts World in Times Square. As a fan of Pop Tarts growing up, I can honestly say my experience here forever turned me off of eating them. There was absolutely nothing good about this place, and even as a funny, campy, jokey thing to do, it was an utter waste of time.
I went tubing on the Delaware River with 18 of my friends. It was cold and rainy, but we had the river all to ourselves.
I went to Seattle and Portland with Ashton.
While in Portland, we went camping with the office staff of the Ace out there, and it was truly great. Nice folks, cool weather, good food. The camping trip included a visit to Three Pools, where you can jump off these giant rocks into shallow pools of melted snow. Here's Ashton:
And here's a video I took of myself. I have to say that being on the top of this rock by myself was one of the scariest experiences I've had in a while. My legs were shaking so badly I had to sit down. Stepping up the edge of that rock, taking a deep breath, and jumping off was the pinnacle of my August, and one of the highest points of my year so far. It was so exhilarating, and the water was so cold. That moment was the single moment of the trip where I felt farthest away from my life in Brooklyn. It was truly amazing. Also amazing was climbing out of that snowmelt to a dry towel and a cold beer.
Here's Ashton jumping:
And a little campfire sing-along:
I made a cheesecake for everybody.
The fire was intense.
Here's Jesse and Rob, two cool dudes in Portland. Great guys, and awesome drivers.
And I finally met a baker in Portland, George Koop!
And, though not in August, I was able to squeeze in one final summer adventure over this cool post-Hurricane-Earl Labor Day we just had - tubing on the Esopus in the Catskills with Pailo and Jimmy on a day when they open the dam for mega-fast whitewater!
August was great, and this summer in general has turned out to be a very successful one, personally and professionally. I think I managed to balance a lot of work with a lot of play time. It was intense and crazy, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the fall, but I have a feeling fall is going to be pretty bonkers, too. I wouldn't have it any other way.