This time of year inspires in me, like most folks, a feeling of reflection and gratitude – the last year has gone really well, with the little one growing up in so many ways, with my own personal and professional growth, the podcast is picking up steam, not to mention a whole grip of new readers here at the blog!
Today my aunt and her partner went home to Philadelphia after a really lovely weekend visit, and one thing they commented on was my enthusiasm for food – eating it, preparing it, and talking about it. Thinking about this today, for some reason, has brought me back to a really singular moment.
When the Doctor and I lived in Providence, I worked for a small local chain of bakeries called Seven Stars – they’re beloved in that town, and I think rightfully so. Among other things, I actually did my first-ever growth experiment there! I feel immense gratitude to have had the trust and confidence of the owners there – that’s something that has made a huge difference in my whole life.
I remember I also, at one point. had the chance to spend a day in the production bakery, doing some light bake-work, rolling croissants and so forth.
While there, I remember this so, so very clearly, I took a bite out of a plain butter croissant fresh from the oven. It was explosive. It was remarkable. I’ve had red wine at midnight on the banks of the Seine and I had the extended tasting menu in the wine cellar at wd-50 (RIP), and that moment, in a T-shirt and a white apron in a commercial kitchen, stands among my finest and favorite culinary memories. For that, I am immensely grateful.
If you have a bakery in your town, a real artisan bakery that starts their croissants from butter and flour and laminates the dough in-house (this is rarer than you think) – you should do whatever you can to be their friend, and to find some way to replicate this experience. A fresh, warm croissant is simple, and delightful, and can stay with you forever.