There's an artisan baker in town. Her Facebook page features lovely photographs of her wares. She is on the more savory side, breads, croissants, pretzels, turnovers, rather than cakes and cupcakes. She does do pies. But the breads are the thing that keeps me coming back to her page. She is influenced by German style, and her wares are just wonderful to see. As one customer said of her photos of the breads, "staring at your creations makes the Internet worthwhile."
But I've never eaten any. I've only stared.
This is because she packs up and sells it all at the Athens Farmer's Markets. Her bakery is baking-only, no on site retail. I don't drive into Athens. It's a bit far to go for bread. This is disappointing especially since her bakery is a half mile from my house, and there is nowhere else in the county to get crusty bread.
A couple of years ago she announced that she was moving into an old pizza place to open a storefront/retail location a block away from her present location. I was so excited. However, they are doing all the work themselves and since she is still baking for the twice-weekly market in Athens, the work in rehabilitating the old pizza place into a bakery has gone slow. That's OK. I'm patient.
Well on Friday she announced that she was doing a test bake on Italian bread. For $2 a loaf people could come to the in-progress bakery and pick up a warm loaf. The sale would go on until she sold out. This happened in the mid-afternoon. I was just getting home from school and hadn't seen the announcement yet.
However soon after I arrived home, so soon in fact I had not even changed out of my school clothes, my friend arrived with two warm loaves for me. She had seen the announcement and launched into the car to grab some.
Of course I sliced some right away and I was pleased to find what I though I'd find, a perfect balance of lightness of the bread to crust, low amount of salt and delicious crunch. It is one of the best loaves I've ever eaten.
A friend who brings you bread, thoughtful and kind...is there anything more wonderful than a friend handing you a warm loaf of bread? I do not think so.