with food, there’s always something new

Auld Lang Syne

Today is the last day for Crawford’s Bakery. After 21 years in business, they’re closing shop on North Capitol Street across from Methodist Hospital.

There’s plenty of media coverage. Even though we’re in the midst of an historic presidential race and ominous economic meltdown, Crawfords made front-page of yesterday’s Indianapolis Star.

Not everyone is weeping, though.

A friend and colleague of mine worked for them, right after she’d graduated from CIA (Culinary Institute of America).

She told me, “when I interviewed, I saw bags of flour and sugar, and thought ‘what a great deal.’ They were all mixes. Here I am, right out of CIA pastry program with mixes. Worse, I wasn’t allowed to decorate much less touch the cakes.

“No, they stuck me on the fryer, with the doughnuts. “

“After a while they let me work with the gingerbread man cookies. Not the whole gingerbread man, mind you, I was only allowed to put on the eyes, noses and buttons.”

“When they decided to expand, they wanted to teach me how to make sandwiches. I felt degraded. I wanted to say, ‘you do no real baking, nothing is from scratch, nothing is of any quality and you want to teach me how to make sandwiches? I stuck it out for a year and left.”

“I don’t blame them. The owner was a nice man. It was my fault. Lesson learned. Now I manage my career. When someone wants to hire me, I look closer at what’s going on. I look at the bags to see if they’re flour or a mix.”

In Indiana, we have a bad habit of rolling around and remorsing over a past that never was. Crawfords is a perfect example, medicore bakery, mediocre sandwich shop.

So today, pick up some free food and watch the ceremony as the Fire Department hauls off the last doughnuts. Shed a tear for Mayberry.

Then, Indianapolis, move on.

Written by Susan Gillie

September 30, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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