A bakery stop at Ginza Kimuraya en route to the post office. Making the stop was the RIGHT move indeed. I passed the bakery right after 11am when a ‘ding ding’ reminder when off in my head. Bakery sensor, I tell you. 11am is PRIME TIME for hot goods leaving the oven, making its way onto the display cases at Ginza. I made an instinctive U-turn, and viola! found myself waltzing into the bakery. Totally forgetting my resolution to stop eating so many sweet things. Some things were not meant to be.
One pastry I craved in particular was the Milk Brot. Think of a mini, slight softer and sweeter sister of a baguette. The Japanese interpretation. Then slice the sweet baby baguette right down the middle and pipe in a daring mix of whipped butter, condensed milk and sugar. The warm bread soaks up some of the buttery spread but leaves enough for a bit to ooze out with every bite. Imagine. Hot bread, sweet spread. It brings back memories of school day breakfasts of toast with butter and sugar. Only more refined. But just as decadent.
But to balance the sweet, I also picked up the Curry Donut. There is nothing more honest than a piece of fried bread, teasing you with its shiny brown glory. Even better is when the bread is stuffed with a beef and potato curry. This was a little more oily than usual, however the light flaky crunch and soft stretches of buttery dough and warm curry quickly pushed that thought aside. Hey, at least it wasn’t a chocolate donut :)
Well then I thought, ‘I’m already here. And everything is warm. So FRESH. It needs to be eaten. It must!!! So I did. The “special” good for the day was an orange croissant twist. The heavy brush of sugar syrup on top made it overly sweet and I thought the raisins didn’t quite fit in. Scratching my head, I plunged on with bite after bites, peeling apart the soft wispy layers, each one with the faintest hint of butter. Ay yah. This was a really filling lunch. Bakeries were invented to give human heart attacks. And we love them all the same.
I went to my mom’s office afterwards to help her out with emails and a few administrative thingamagiggers. I’m going back to school on Monday, which makes me sad and happy and mostly wistful. But these last few days – no more summer school, work or obligations. Just family time :) I took a walk along Kaimuki’s Waialae Ave in the later afternoon. Too much staring at the computer in a freezing cold office can drive you crazy. And I walked. And walked. Past the comic book stores, Cafe Laufer, C&C Pasta, Bozu, Kaimuki Choy Suey, Verbanos, poking my face in the windows of everyone, examining menus I already memorized from past walks. I like doing things like that. Then I passed Sconees.
And checked my watch (or phone, cause I don’t own a watch). Nearly 4pm! Magic time (again)! The whole bakery, aside from refrigerated goods like custard pies and lilikoi & guava bars, go half off soon before closing. The 15 minutes leading to 4pm is rather exciting with crowds of elderly couples, school kids and people on their way home pouring in to take advantage of the deal. People in Hawaii love deals. And love buying in bulk. That’s why we have 3 Costcos and 2 Sams Club on this tiny tiny island. My mom phoned right as I was passing by,
“where are you? I’m leaving now and can come pick you up”
“Sconees,…did you want anything? It’s all HALF-OFF!”
“Didn’t we just eat?”
“Oh. Oh yeah.”
“Get something if you’d like, I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”
Exactly five minutes, mom pulls up on the side.
“Oh, you got something – a scone?” She peers eagerly at the bag, attempting to see right through with her nonexistent x-ray vision. Mom loves to eat as much as I do, only she’s better at resisting the sirens of sweet baked goodness.
She looks slightly confused. I guess choosing cornbread in a place that specializes in scones is different…but it was the CORNER PIECE. And I don’t even know why I got it. I was so full! But it was so CHEAP! And so BROWN and PRETTY. My mom didn’t ask why I bought it, but I felt as if I needed an explanation. So I gave one. Or at least I made up one in my head…
“Oh, I don’t know…my hand. It just wandered there and pointed at the cornbread. And before I knew what happened, my wallet opened and out flew a dollar bill. Suddenly the bill disappeared and in place of it was a golden corner cut of cornbread. I, I really have no idea.” OK, I was happy. Really. That’s JUST how it happened.
A strange moment indeed. (Summer is frying my brain!)
I’ll leave you with happy thoughts that my $.64 corner piece was mighty delicious. Crusty around the edges, buttery and just so corny soft throughout. Imagine having it warm! With butter, of course.
And yes, I shared with my mom.
4211 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
1117 12th Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
We’re going back into the archives to revisit these classic posts by James Norwood Pratt. This post includes the last two in the series of Chinese green teas: “Green Tea: Dragon Well (Longjing or Lung Ching)” and “Green Tea: Biluochun”. We have added a link to the end of each … Continue reading
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