Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bread and cheese. And pie.

Gayle's breads.jpg
Eastside Road, June 24, 2012—
YESTERDAY I MENTIONEDGayle's Bakery and Rosticceria. It's a very favorite place of ours, for three reasons, all of which fascinate me: it is a wonderfully successful and fascinatingly managed business; it is a marvelous bakery-delicatessen-rosticceria whose product is always of very high quality; it is owned and run by a couple of people we've known a long time, like immensely, and find both tremendously entertaining and truly good.

I've often thought how lucky we are to know such people, and how interesting it would be to read a book that devoted a chapter each to all the many people we've managed to come to know over the years. (Of course I could never write it: they're all too close as friends for me ever to write about them.)

Well, Gayle's. I've always said the best bread I've ever eaten in this country has been bread Joe Ortiz has himself baked. That he is in addition an attentive and caring businessman, a talented visual artist, a skilful sculptor, an enterprising composer of musicals, and a commercially successful writer — well, you can see almost anyone would be excused for a teeny bit of envy.

Joe at Gayle's.jpg
Joe Ortiz, handing me a loaf of his bread
photo: Lindsey Shere
Then there's Gayle, who we first met many many years ago when she worked a stint in the pastry kitchen at Chez Panisse. She's a fine pastry cook-and-baker, an enthusiastic accordionist and tap-dancer, a skilful businesswoman who cracked the gender-line at her local I-won't-say-which service organization but it ain't the Notary, an astute shopper, a marvelous worker in pique-assiete, a successful author, and a former mayor of Capitola. Among other things; one always has to add that, when speaking of either Gayle or Joe.

Well. Above, left to right: Joe's bread, a dark, solid, sound loaf we haven't yet opened. On it, Raisin Rye, with walnuts in it as well: nutritious, interesting, substantial. Then the white loaf: "English Toasting Bread," perfect toasted, buttered, and taken with a soft-boiled egg. (Maybe tomorrow some Deviled Egg Sandwiches, Lindsey?)

And to the right, what was left earlier today of that scrumptious blackberry pie. The crust is short and toothsome, the filling generous and deeply flavored, just enough sugar to bring out the flavor, as L. always says.

So supper tonight: a couple of bowls — all that was left — of the potato-leek-celery root soup of a week ago; then a piece of toast and some slices of nagelkaas. I hope I remember to photograph that cheese before it's gone; it's a handsome thing to contemplate.
Cheap Nero d'Avola


Giovanna said...

That sounds like my very favorite dinner ever. And I'd love to read a book by you about all the people you've come to know. With a slice of pie on the side.

Charles Shere said...

You'd need more than a slice of pie. That would be a pretty long book! Don't hold your breath…