Sunday, October 28, 2012

Like Datils for Chocolate, Birthday Observances, and a Phenomenon Called Sandy

Yesterday, October 27, my friend Sue and I set up a table at Westminster Woods' Fall Festival. It was my first time actually selling something at an open air market, but thanks to the St. Johns County Commissioners enacting a Cottage Food Industry law and to Sue for getting a table at the market, I was able to participate in the American economy as a small (not just in stature) business owner. Under the Cottage Food Industry law I was allowed to sell confections and baked goods like bread. So I did.

My offering consisted of two varieties of bread and chocolate. To my amazement, most festival attendees had never heard of such a thing. Despite their lack of culinary breadth, quite a few were induced to buy a mini loaf of either Maiden's Blush or Passion's Flush au Pan after a sample, and perhaps a quick read of my description: Like Datils for Chocolate. Not enough to break even but a positive experience on the whole. And it launched my new website a la Lisse

My husband was kind enough to help me with setup and take down and to finish off the Like Datils for Chocolate bread over the next few days. Really impressive considering October 27 was his birthday.

Well, I didn't ignore THAT fact entirely. I baked him a butter pecan cake with coconut pecan icing and homemade butter pecan ice cream. He didn't ignore THAT fact, despite his bread intake. I got one piece of cake and took a picture the day after.

But it was not all cake and ice cream. In the meantime, Hurricane Sandy was targeting the mid-Atlantic. Sandy passed through New Jersey, then New York, Connecticut, and Delaware. Sandy was big. Her immensity more than made up for her relatively weak wind speed, and those two facts conspired to increase the destruction from flooding. Over the next few days we watched as Sandy tore up Ocean City's boardwalk, site of my adolescent summer vacations, flooded Battery Park, Sheepshead Bay, the Rockaways, and Staten Island - Johns' youthful haunts. We tracked its path across Long Island where his sister and brother's families lived and into Connecticut over our cousin's vacation condo. We didn't hear from his sister for a week.

If I was more glib, I'd say that my kitchen after Like Datils for Chocolate au Pan looked like Sandy's devastation, minus the flooding. Well, my cleanup only took two days. Weeks later, some parts of New York and New Jersey were still without power and heat (we're talking about late November). I might forget Like Datils for Chocolate and Butter Pecan Ice Cream, but I'll never forget Sandy.