Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer memories

Old House Ardennes 67 by Ledent
Old House Ardennes 67

The daily front page news may or may not have got you down over the last month as well as the lack of summer warmth. The news all around is rather gloomy…but only if we let it. Our antidote here is to rise above any recession prediction and continue to enjoy what we do.

The economic outlook may seem as dark as the summer weather; every week suppliers provide new price lists, stop stocking certain items or change their delivery days to cut fuel costs which overall is probably a sensible approach in the current volatile business climate.

Global warming, the credit crunch and economic recession can be a selffulfilling prophecy if we let it.

My childhood in Belgium took place in a small village in the Ardennes and every Sunday I cycled to the village ( about 3 miles away, uphill) to seek out the bakery. My efforts of cycling uphill were rewarded upon entering the village where my senses would be revived. The smell of fresh bread and pastries would waft out of the bakery and Annemie would wave me in with a lovely smile. I was about 12 at the time. My basket would fill up with fresh crusty rolls, the odd baguette, fruit waffle and Tarte au Riz for afternoon tea. My cargo had to be protected on the whiz down the hill back home. During summer months I would rest on a grass verge, read a few passages of my book and admire the view of the valley below. Come rain or shine, whether my week had been successful or pretty hard to deal with, I never failed my expeditions to the bakery. Annemie’s wave and smile would beckon me in and I would leave feeling a sense of belonging and warmth which has stayed with me ever since.

This is one of the reasons for baking fresh bread, croissants and pastries in Central Stores. There are still memories to be made today for young and old alike.

For the past few weeks we have been experimenting with baguettes, different types of rolls and pastries and feedback has been very encouraging indeed. The variety on offer will continue to change, not only to test our baking skills, but to offer a moving feast for the senses to accompany villagers during bright and rainy days. You may even glimpse a smile from behind the counter!

Bread, rolls and pastries are available every day but croissants and petit pains au chocolat are weekend delights to be savoured with a steaming cup of your favourite beverage and good read whatever the weather. Baking has given me a new satisfaction; every time a croissant leaves the oven, I hear Annemie’s voice telling me not to hurry, to enjoy every moment. Every croissant has the ability to create a memory.

Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is a success.
Henry Ford


Anonymous said...

Dear Anne, oh how I wish we had a village store like yours. Your posts this week have been a tonic.
I can almost smell the fresh bread!
Thank you.
Julie x.

Anne said...

Thank you Julie, I believe we all need a tonic now and then.