My bakery is called “Sticky.”

You’ll find this establishment in a transitional neighborhood of a large American City. The location takes advantage of ample foot traffic and a dense, modestly diverse cluster of nearby housing. A well-regarded university is no more than four (but no fewer than two– F*$#ing Hipsters) miles away.  Inside, framed photographs of distressed Italianate architecture dot the exposed-brick walls, and an area behind the display counter painted a bright, earthy blue.

There is plenty of seating- members of the creative class take advantage of the free wi-fi to do Very Important Things on their laptop computers. Grumpy old men from the neighborhood hunch over the large table in the corner and play chess all afternoon, bathed in the lazy sunlight streaming through the ancient bay windows. The dining area smells vaguely of coffee, wheat, and lemon.

And, inside the display cases, the baked goods will stop you cold. Brownies the size of wallets, pitch-black from the too-expensive French cocoa I stubbornly insist upon, much to the chagrin of my accountant. Cupcake frosting colored by a madman and applied by a bomb-diffuser-brain-surgeon-architect who freebases Adderall. Ciabatta that’s still slightly sandy from the floured towel used it to hoist it into the steamy oven. Muffins that look like muffins, replete with tops and perfect blueberry distribution. Chocolate chip cookies that are ever-slightly pale. Cinnamon sticky buns that singe your nose hairs before coating your soul in gently frosted goo.

And exactly one cake.
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The Thelonious Monk of Banana Breads

Life would be so easy if I just craved Kale.

Unfortunately, the restaurant I worked at as a teenager used the stuff to garnish the salad bar, wrapping the bright and sturdy leaves around plastic tubs full of garbanzo beans and jello squares and soupy ranch dressing.  In retrospect this clearly strikes me as a wanton waste of such a noble vegetable.

Still, if it’s three AM and I’m standing in front of my fridge in my pyjamas ready to gnaw off my arm… or if it’s 830 PM and I’m lying face down on my couch with my work shoes off my heels but still technically on because I don’t have the energy to kick them off due to spending the previous 11 hours at work being yelled at by an entire corporate supply chain… I don’t want f***ing kale.

This latest effort to allay my comfort-food cravings reached all the way back into the murky paleolithic prehistory of my baking – before I understood gluten and fat types and pH and not overmixing quickbread and such things.  Back to one of the first things I ever baked.

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