Friday, October 16, 2009
I'm REALLY lucky. We have an old bakery that is about a 20 minute drive from the house. It is called Carlock's and it is just up Los Osos Valley Road. And the best part is ...in the Fall you drive right past Mary's Pumpkin Patch.I wanted to see if Mary survived the BIG STORM. And as I had feared, she had not. She was closed. It was sad to see. But it looked like she might have dodged a bullet. It didn't look as bad as I thought it would. I'm sure she is back up and running by now. I'll be stopping by soon to check. But on my way to my doomed fishing expediton I made a side stop to Carlocks. It is the kind of bakery that is frozen in time. If you stepped inside you would not know it was 2009. Old men sit at the tables in the back drinking coffee, eating donuts and reading the newspaper. The tables are formica and the chairs are aluminum. Crumbs are on the floor and the place smells of burnt coffee and cinnamon. You don't see anyone on a laptop, no one is sipping an espresso or a latte. No one has a tatoo or pink hair. It is just old fashion. Down home. Farmy. Comforting. It makes you happy. I really like going there on any given holiday. And they do it right. No, it's not like the pastry shops you see in San Francisco or Los Angeles.Not like the ones that have french tarts. There are no pear tart tartin. No pumpkin creme brulee.No panforte with candied quince. Nothing is garnished with a rose petal or mint.There are no croissants. Nope. Not here.It's donuts.
When I was a little girl and we lived in Los Gatos there was "The Cream Puff". I think I told you about it. It's not there anymore. When I was in high school here in San Luis Obispo there was "Delight". It too. Gone. What has happened to all the old fashion bakeries. Now it is either Vons or Safeway..or those real fancy ones. I guess when you get right down to it...they really do have to be old in order to be good and have the charm. Even these new bakeries like "Magnolia" and "Sprinkles" that go for the old fashion feel..well, they just are lacking because they aren't old. There is something about time standing still in these places. And the desserts that are offered are stuck back in time too. And therein lies the charm. Halloween at Carlocks ...what can I say. I love it. Did you see those cakes and cookies? I can feel my heart race when I enter the door..the little bell rings and the ladies run to the counter to help you. They assemble the bakery boxes, line them with waxed paper and load your goodies. And tie it with a string. I miss those days. I wish all my boxes were tied with string .
I went to the Great Pumpkin Contest in San Luis Obispo at the farmers market yesterday. The pumpkins were so large they took my breath away. I have grown pumpkins all my life... I've never had anything that even came close to these though.I took pictures so you could see them, but to be honest...they really are more spectacular in person.