végétation sèche



apartment building

So I stop and have half a sandwich at a new neighborhood place that took 1/2 the spot vacated by the Spice Boys. The new place, Basil or Parsley or summat, has all of three tables. At that exact moment the tables were all taken (one by a guy absorbed in a laptop and not eating anything so it was a little bit hard not to resent that dumb ass) so I sat on this little shelf thingie they use to hold their take away menus. Sturdy enough. I did ask first.

I struck it up with the tall striking babelicious bird behind the counter who was working furiously on sandwiches to serve the three tables as if she were on the Iron Chef, which struck me as a little bit ridiculous. She asked me if I'd like my selection on their chiabatta, then points to it as if I didn't know what it was. I go, "Sure." Pause. Then, by way of extending conversation, I go, " I make my own bread don'tchaknow" A little bit jolted by the utter non sequitur of my chirp she goes, "Wow. Er. Actually, so do I." Well, there ya go. Right off the bat we got something in common.

"Do you use a machine?"

"Oh, no."

"Me neither. That would take all the fun out of it."

She paused to smile glowingly and warmly. "Yeah, I know."

One thing leads to another and in no time I got her co-worker glaring arrows at me. Bastard. Undaunted by him, I persist. She mentions a book she read on the subject, Baking Artisan Bread. I told her I have that book. She smiled again broadly and said she's trying to follow the recipes in it. I told her I've never once followed a bread recipe. Apparently impressed with my nonchalance, she goes, "You must be an expert." I go, "No, not at all. That's just the way I learn -- by making every mistake possible." I asked her if she uses a cloche. She asked, "What's that?" I explain. I asked her if she bakes at high temperature, and if she aims for a wet dough, and if she ages it and does she collect her own culture, etc. etc. Mr glairy eyes was getting all steamy so I wrapped it up but by the end of our little confab I impressed upon her my store of knowledge and experience is vast belying my apparent age and for a regular bloke and drawing on information and techniques beyond the content of the book she mentioned, and although still busy working she continued asking me all kinds of bread-related questions for which I had ready and straightforward answers. As I'm leaving she asked me to repeat those words I was using and she jotted them down on the same tablet she used to take orders to explore what I was talking about later.

So there's that.

I think I'll take her a loaf of my bread in a few days when I bake them and win over her heart with my thoughtfulness, leave my name and web site address, as a wedge, you see. Possibly get another sandwich while I'm there *whispers* "The one I had wasn't very good"

That's just the way I roll.

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