dawnswann

Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

The Badass Biker Gets Taken Down a Notch

In Life Lessons, Monday Review on May 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

The idyllic scenery of these roads almost negates it's treachery. Almost

So…I will preface this blog from a remote location by saying that Scott was right. I should not have ridden to the bakery. It’s only an eight mile ride– four there and four back. After my ten mile crucible earlier this week, I thought to myself eight miles? pshaw. But I forgot that the four mile stretch in question was made out of volcanos. I had to stop four times up one hill in order to not die of cardiac arrest. Then, on the next hill, I had to get off and walk. This is not badass behavior! My spirit is crippled. But, on the plus side, I’m eating a delicious almond croissant.

The other day I came to this bakery, called the Madrid Bakery, because it was my stepdad’s birthday and I needed a cake.

Wait– let me ask you something. Have you ever read the book “Chocolat?” Its one of my favorites and its about this woman and her daughter who move to a little French town and open a chocolate shop. The woman can tell what kind of chocolate will fix what ails you as soon as you walk into her shop and her chocolate is magical. I read this book years ago while in Cancun so some of the details escape me….but I think she added something Mexican to her recipe, or maybe it was tears. Anyway, I have always wished for a chocolate shop like that to come to magical Framingham. Why not? So the other day after i purchased the chocolate and vanilla ganache cake at this little Spanish patisserie, the woman said that I needed to come back on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday and try her fresh croissants because they were the best in the world. Naturally I made the connection. A magical shop in which people can cure me with delicious food has arrived! Being pragmatic, I realized that I should ride my bike to negate the calories in the croissant.
“Not a good idea,” said Scott. “it’s all uphill and full of treacherous and windy roads.”
“Oh dear,” said my mother. “I will pray for your safety.”
“you have certainly earned your croissant,” said the little Spanish lady behind the counter when at last I arrived.
She could tell because my face was the color of a bad rash, my hair was sweaty and plastered to my cheeks and I huffed into the shop like I was going to either eat something or blow the house down. So she prescribed an almond croissant for me.
“Next time,” she said, while I handed her my cash, ” you try this.” she pointed to a mysterious, angel sprinkled cake with a name I couldn’t pronounce that looked like the name of a saint. “Its my personal favorite. And every morning before I work, I have a slice.”
I will take her up on that offer. But next time, I will drive.
Now for the ride home.

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Winter Morning

In Life Lessons on February 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

The other morning, as I waved goodbye to my offspring all bundled up and tucked neatly away in the carpool minivan, I thought about how smooth the morning had gone. First I woke up at a quarter to six– an anomaly fueled by the fever breathing husband panting his illness all over me in his sleep. The extra time allowed for the peaceful observation of the sun rise and the snow fall. Lunches got made, mouths got fed, mittens got secured all before carpool. And nobody got hurt in the process. The morning eased and stretched into my workday and thoughts about what makes the whole thing work tinkered around in my brain. I made a list:

  1. 1. Coffee on a timer. I don’t care if it is Pavlovian. The best part of wakin’ up is [Dunkin Donuts Brand Coffee] in your cup. I don’t exist until that first, curling tendril of coffee in the air.
  2. 2. Oranges simmering in pot. A few things happened for this discovery to occur. A) the cool mist humidifier mysteriously cracked its tank. When I say mysteriously, I should also mention that I found the cool mist humidifier disemboweled in the play room. I’m not blaming anyone, just saying. B) Scott became sick and congested. C) An arctic blast met my furnace and produced enough dry, static electricity in this house to launch it into orbit. D) the oranges I wanted to put in the lunch boxes looked like they’d sucked on their neighbors, the lemons. So I put the oranges, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves into my grandmother’s big soup pot, put it on the stove, brought it to a boil then lowered it to steaminess.  The result was warm and Christmassy-cozy on a January morning. And Scott got that nose a- going again.
  3. 3. I’m all about keeping it simple. Not really. I’m actually all about over complicating. But sometimes I can’t help but be a powerhouse of simple efficiency. Like when I get the crock pot full of oats, apples, cinnamon and water before bed and we wake up to breakfast. It’s like having Alice in the house without having to see her or pay her or listen to her go on and on about the butcher and his meat. Also, the aroma of “baking” mixed with the aroma of coffee mixed with the aroma of simmering oranges is so precious that the offspring can’t help but spring from their beds with joy.
  4. 4. And since they are happy, I am happy and I brew them a pot of chai, which they love.
  5. 5. Speaking of Alice, I like to get all my appliances going in the morning. At least the washer and dryer. I think it sounds productive — like the house is busy and participating in the world. Since I work from home, I get thrill from feeling like part of the team. Even if that team comes from Sears and breaks every third month. (In the spring and summer I hang laundry on the line. Please don’t judge me. I care about the planet as much as the next guy. Woman. Many wet clothes grace my banister too because I’m all about the green living. )
  6. 6. And here I slide into…affirmations. No, I’m serious. I don’t care who laughs at me. If I tell myself I’m going to have a good day then I AM GOING TO HAVE A GOOD DAY. AND SO WILL YOU. But, really, there are so many thoughts happening in that bucket of gray jello. They roil and surge and sizzle without any…well…thought. Heart thoughts like “Altogether now, on the count of three, BEAT!” and breathing thoughts like, “breathe in, breathe out.” And bad habit thoughts like, “Eat that. C’mon do it. You aren’t getting any younger. EAT THE CHOCOLATE! What if we die this afternoon and never get to eat again?” And so on. I feel like at some point I oughta take back my thoughts. At least for a few minutes. And you know what? Science agrees. Just for a few minutes, at least, I think good thoughts.
  7. 7. And while I make the lunches, I think good thoughts about the people who will soon sink their milk teeth into them.  With each smear of peanut butter I think, “I love you.” I know. It sounds SO RIDICULOUS on-screen. I do the same thing when I’m pulling the daily batches of jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts right side out. I try not to think, “why in the hell do you people not put your clothes right side out before you throw them on the floor? And why do you ALWAYS leave your chapstick in your pocket?” Instead I think, “I love the little arms and legs that go here. And I love the little lips that will now be chapped because the waxy crap that would have protected them is instead heat-fixed in all the laundry.”

One could argue that I rely too heavily on my feelings. Ask the fire breather.  But when I use my powers for good instead of evil, synergy results. Feel makes a great barometer. In the autumn and winter, I like the morning to feel cozy. In the spring and summer, I like it to feel fresh.  In all seasons, I like to feel a little bit of love in my heart, no matter what the day throws my way. And now I feel corny. Peace out.

PS….Feel free to click on my links up there!!! Fun stuff. It’s like looking into my brain without needing to wash your scalpel.