Thursday, May 6, 2010

Viola's Cupcakes

Sigal, AKA Viola, sitting (a very rare moment) outside of Viola's Cupcakes, on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, just days before her cafĂ©'s opening.  I'd just arrived to stay for two weeks to help her during this exciting, albeit stressful time. Two months prior, she rang me out of the blue, "You must come and help me!" Knowing that Sigal would NEVER ask for help unless she really, really needed it, I rearranged my work, bought a ticket to Tel Aviv, and off I went.

This photo was taken on a Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after my arrival.  Little did I know what was in store for me when I met her newly hired assistant, Nadia.  Our immediate goal at hand was to finesse the existing cupcake recipes and to produce hundreds of the full size and mini cupcakes for the opening that Friday -- which we did. The rest of the week and the next was spent recovering from having the entire inventory wiped out on a daily basis.

In Israel, it's a six day work week with (no wonder it's blessed) Saturdays off. You're supposed to not do anything other than spend the day with your family. Orthodox Jews don't use even use electricity. I'd say we observed that Saturday in the proper way. Our plans to go to the Dead Sea were scrapped as we failed to peel ourselves off of our choice of horizontal surfaces. I had forgotten how brutal production is on the body. Neither of us are Spring chickens anymore.  Hell, we're not even Fall chickens.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade my adventure in Israel for all the cupcakes in the world. Being upstairs, "producting" as we say in Sigalese, and looking down onto the hoards of people at the opening, was better than being at any wedding, graduation, or momentous occasion I'd ever been to.

As I sit in my office typing, I think fondly of Sigal, and Nadia, and 66 kilos of buttercream.

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