Friday, March 29, 1968
Reb was getting the hang of making sweet dough and crafting it into various sizes and shapes. The Navy/Marine Corps recipe index had sketches of a wide assortment of sweet rolls and pastries with descriptions of how to create them. He liked the “Bear Claw” and experimented with it. Eventually he tried using a canteen cup as a cutter, but the dough, on its final rise, looked more like a foot. He was persistent with his design and cut a V-notch in the cutout at the tip, then added four slits with the dough cutter. The outcome was a foot with a bunion, big toe and smaller digits. He glazed it with a mixture of maple syrup thickened with powdered sugar, evaporated milk and caramel color. They were unique and slightly crunchy . . . everyone’s first bite was the big toe. He named it Big Foot.
It didn’t take long for the word to get out about Reb’s new creations, and different sections of Kilo battery dropped off labeled ammo cans with pre-orders for Big Foot takeout. We also started supplying a large thermal beverage container of coffee to the Exec Pit. This cut our breakfast traffic dramatically and allowed us to start lunch prep much earlier.
The Seabees would be leaving on Monday. I showed the plan to the foreman about making a bakery addition. He said, “If you put in the forms, we’ll pour the cement.”
Reb measured and fabricated the forms that afternoon. He loved working alone and took great pride in his creations. For him, the bakery would be his studio, and the products symbolized his artwork.
Next Edition: Mama-San’s Frenzy