Posts Tagged ‘bakeries’

Baker’s twine and Kraft paper;  items that bind boxes and bakery together into neat bundles of laundered shirts and school books. They are as useful as they are evocative of other eras, and they came to mind several times lately, reminding me of my childhood.

Bakeries – stand alone, family owned, old-fashioned bakeries – are harder to find these days. We are fortunate to have a most excellent Swedish bakery  nearby. I frequent it now-and-then for their outstanding pecan coffeecakes and the best hot cross buns during the Lenten season. A German bakery bustles, especially on Saturday mornings when the small shopper area is elbow-to-elbow and where the best molasses cookies and apple pie can be found. Earlier this week, I was on the hunt for a Czech bakery a friend recommended some time ago which is in another nearby suburb that once was peppered with many such bakeries.

I selected a few brownies and a cherry coffeecake for a special someone who I hoped would enjoy it. The checker, who was efficient if rather no-nonsense, quickly wrapped up my purchases, hand tying the boxes of sweet wonders as if strumming a guitar. Her motions were almost musical as she mentally measured the chord of string and tied my bundle in a sturdy bow, handed my bundle over and sang out “next”.

I think a few Linzer cookies might have made their way to my mouth as I drove away.

Later, homeward bound, I stopped at The Farm. The Farm it is a favored summer vendor of mine for produce – and flowers. They grow most of the flowers they sell from a large plot of land behind the old barn from which vegetables, fruit, honey and seasonal items are sold, especially sweet corn.

I selected some bell peppers, pickles, plums and peaches. A jar of honey was set in the cart . . . and then, there were the fresh cut flowers, bundled in sturdy vases of Kraft paper. The bouquets reminded me of bouquets long before the plastic sleeves without a soul that we find today – and they reminded me of my grandmother.

Yia Yia grew a circle of zinnias every year in our back yard.  Come September, a few days after school resumed, Yia Yia would pick the choices zinnias from the garden and gather them together in a bouquet. She would wrap them securely in newspapers, creating a vase to keep the stems together, sending me off to school with a glorious garden bouquet for my teacher.

I selected a bouquet, not the zinnias, but instead an arrangement with hydrangea and grasses, knowing they would sit comfortably in front of the window, where they will primp and pose until they are passed their prime. It will be right about then that more sweet corn will be calling – and perhaps a bouquet of zinnias will follow me home then.

I am sorry for the darkness of the photos here. I tried to lighten them up, unsuccessfully. I hope you have an idea of the textures in the bouquet.

Do you use baker’s twine? How about Kraft paper?

A little on-line research, and a few off-line gardening books, brought me to Childe Hassam’s painting, At the Florist, which is pictured on top of this post. The bouquets from The Farm reminded me of Hassam’s painting.










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