In late fall of 2011, I began my stint @the able baker, decorating holiday cookies. At that time, the bakery had only been open a few short months. It was a single storefront away from the retail hubbub. The post office had not yet relocated and the soundtrack of the bakery was Etta James on repeat. Pie was baked on the weekends, one or two flavors, max.
Ten years later, as I step away from the bakery, I am filled with enormous gratitude. The Able Baker provided not only a launch pad for creativity, but an opportunity to establish lasting friendships. Thank you, @juliepauly, Thomas, Ella, and Declan for all the butter, coffee, camaraderie, and the sheeter. And warm appreciation to @andreablock who is sunshine in a bandana.
Additionally, thanks to the dozens, no, hundreds by now, of folks in the kitchen and front of house, and all of the enthusiastic pie peeps who frequented the bakery on a regular basis. Along the way, I consumed way too much, (but never enough) @arturososteria and should have listened to @aliciawalter about those compression socks. Special shout out to to those who start their day at half past dark o'clock; not only bakers, but farmers and delivery truck drivers. The food industry teaches us to never underestimate the importance of those slinging suds at the 3-compartment sink, repairing the espresso machine, plowing the snowy roads so you can get to work, clear the grease trap, or fix the a/c in August.
Heartfelt appreciation to @mschweppe15, @beerswithbrahms, @maggieschweppe, @aliharveyyy, and @bkgray66 for always listening. There's much to keep me busy; words to write, roads to run, and without a doubt, plenty of pie. Always pie.
August 15th, 2021
Julia Child’s birthday was August 15th. I grew up watching episodes of The French Chef on a black-and-white tv with Jessie and my mother, in the kitchen on Bay 25th Street when we lived in Far Rockaway. I’ve mentioned before that the probable reason for snagging the nomination and win for French Club President my senior year of high school was not for my brilliant command of the French language. It was simply because under Jessie’s tutelage, armed with Julia’s recipe, I filled an enormous glass bowl with mousse au chocolat and toted it to a French Club dinner. The mousse was the highlight of the event, clinching my win the following year.
In 2016, the late Molly O’Neill orchestrated a trip to La Pitchoune (‘La Peetch’) in Provence for a group of strangers with a passion for words, wine, and travel. Cooking in Julia’s kitchen was as formidable as one can imagine. This year, to celebrate Julia’s birthday, I returned to a recipe from a now retired PBS program co-hosted by Julia and Jacques (Pepin). In this particular episode, there is plenty of bantering between the two as they create a sandwich inspired by the south of France. Culminating with a clink of beer glasses and generous wedges of an over-stuffed Pan Bagnat, Julia claims that the sandwich isn’t any good “unless the olive oil comes down and falls off your elbow” when you’re eating it. True. You can certainly enjoy a stemmed glass of wine alongside your sandwich, but a cold beer is pretty good, too; something my mother, not much of a drinker, would have enjoyed. Happy Birthday, Julia.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm