In the two days leading up to Valentine’s Day, I spent what you might call a busman’s holiday working in a bakery. The sweetest part of the experience was the opportunity to work alongside Blondilocks and for my dear pal Alicia. Three hundred and fifty galettes later and too many cookies to count, I wandered out onto Sullivan Street, winding my way towards Bleecker. Barely able to stand against the ferocious wind, the hood of my coat refused to cooperate. A man firmly planted against a red brick doorframe offered some sage advice as I blew past; “Put your hood up, baby!” Would that I could, Sir.
The West Village is dotted with florists, tiny jewel box storefronts, windows over-filled with thorny long stems, fragile blossoms and the promise of spring. As challenging as the food industry is, one can only imagine the perils of being a florist on the 13th and 14th of February. Roses are not nearly as hardy as a case of unsalted butter or a 30 lb. box of semi-sweet chocolate. The logistics are staggering to think about. Not only do floral arrangements need to be artfully arranged, there is the entire delivery component. I best stick to sugar.
Seeking refreshment, Blondilocks and I turned down Bleecker at West 10th Street, but not before being approached by a veritable live Valentine. Outfitted head to toe in what can only be described as rose pink, the elderly woman paused before wishing us a “Happy Valentine’s Day, tomorrow.” Her enthusiasm was more genuine, dare I say heartfelt, than anything plucked from the card rack at Papyrus.
Cupid knows better than to stick around past closing time. Sprinkle King’s red, white and pink miniscule hearts have been relegated back to the basement. It has been brought to my attention that George Washington has a birthday celebration in just a few days. Had I not spent last week crimping edges on cherry-pies-for-two, I might take notice of this pie holiday opportunity. Sorry George, but I have other plans.
The cold and flu season refuses to board that Greyhound bound for nowhere. This is clearly evident on the streets of New York and the trains of NJ Transit. Inspired by a beverage set before me a few days ago in a small eatery on West 10th Street and a conversation with my floral artist friend Tim, this week’s pie features restorative ingredients. We can all use a slice of warmth; cherry pies can wait a week.