The bandana crew has been on hiatus for several days while the wall dividing old bakery with new came tumbling down. I grabbed the opportunity to hop aboard Alaska Airlines and pay a visit to Sibling Sister in Seattle. My 50/50 rule of travel applied, playing out just as predicted. One half of the air travel experience was nearly flawless; timely, comfortable, turbulent-free. The other half was fraught with peril; mechanical difficulties, delays, screaming infants and a fog machine landing. Fortunately, I had the foresight to fill my carry-on satchel with a bar of Theo chocolate and a ginger molasses cookie from one of my favorite Seattle bakeries, Macrina. There was also a beautiful pear that weathered the flight, eventually finding its way into a small but significant pie to herald the weekend.
Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café cookbook was given to me by my sister more than a dozen years ago. With little coaxing, the pages open to the recipes I return to again and again. The flavors are definitively Seattle, the recipes delivering baked goods and savories that are delicious, not overly fussy. Without standing on an organic milk crate screaming the words FARM-TO-TABLE, I understand what Mackie means when she uses the words fresh, pure and high quality.
I’m jealous that Macrina Bakery is as easily accessible to Sibling Sister as Washington state pears are ripe for the baking. I envy the fact that a perfectly frothed morning brew plated with a square of chocolate at Caffè Umbria is part of her daily routine and not mine. But what saddens me most about the pie-coastal divide separating us is the distance between our kitchens. And that’s why it makes sense to be a frequent flyer on Alaska Airlines, 50% of the time.