A remarkably calm day despite the record number of orders we had to get out the door. I woke up around 7 and started with the Anadama Breads, then moved onto the Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the cake. I made much better choices today with regards to the timing of making things that needed a cool house. Baked the sponge for the cake last night and made a raspberry curd for the filling, so that all of that could be chilled overnight. This morning I was able to get the buttercream done before the oven had to be turned on at all, and it made a huge difference.
Apple crumble, Anadama Bread, cookies and brownies and then onto the sourdoughs. 7 loaves today including two of the new Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Sourdough. Baked a couple of them in the little 1 quart cast-iron pots. They look ridiculously cute and smell amazing. All wrapped up in brown paper and string, they make me so happy.
First stop today with Ruben and Kelli. They are new parents to little baby G. and are dealing with the crushing fatigue, joy, stress and elation of a newborn. We talked for a few minutes through a glass door and it was so good to see Ruben. Sent Kelli a virtual hug through his literal arms. It always makes me marvel that as a society, we spend so much time, money and energy preparing for birth and very little energy, relatively, preparing for the postpartum period, which arguably is the harder part! The birth is pretty much (in general) going to happen one way or the other, but the postpartum time needs so much in the way of support for all the family: mamma, baby and partners. If you know expectant parents, the best thing you can do is try to offer ways to support them in the month or two AFTER the birth. Right now of course, it's hard to actually go to their house to clean their bathroom for them (which is really the very best present you can bring a newborns' family) but maybe in the future, that will be an option again. In the meantime, it was fantastic to see Ruben... I adore him. He's going to be (and already is) a fantastic father.
Next stop was a corner in the Sunset district where I met up with Ariela and her darling daughter. Lilah was practicing her scooter skills when I pulled up. She was wearing sparkly shoes with cherries on the toes which matched her shirt. Or at least, that's what I called it. She promptly corrected me that it was NOT a shirt, it was a dress. I offered 'tunic' as a compromise, but she was not convinced. She also had a totally enviable Frozen-themed helmet completely with an 'ice' crown. Totes adorbs. Nice to chat with Ariela too... about the nuttiness of the world, the fears about theatre disappearing completely or becoming unrecognizable. About our sympathy for the young actors just coming up and their dreams and hopes and this new reality, in contrast to our positions of being 20+ years into a professional career with lots of great experiences under our belts. Good stuff. So good to talk with another actor. I am so grateful for the excuse to get to see my people, even if it's on a street corner, fully masked and gloved.
Next, I dropped off the special order cake that I made for Roberta and her husband. When I got there, they had left a bunch of flowers and a sweet blue wicker basket with a bright yellow ribbon for me. Such a sweet thing. Simple and sweet and cheering. Another thing to be grateful for: that this endeavor has expanded my social circle... that through the magic of community, I have become connected with such lovely people. And even though we have not had the pleasure of working or playing together, I feel connected to them. And feel so touched by their kindness.
Susan was next, and here was another opportunity to connect across the driveway. Susan's child had seen me in a production of CAROL and she has been ordering food for the last couple months... and now, we figured out that we are connected in another way, through David! The small world just gets smaller. We had a quick chat about the preschools opening up and how much of a difference that will make for parents who are now working from home.
Headed to the East Bay for the second half of the deliveries... first was a friend of Meryl's who bought some of our porcini, then a nice distanced visit on the lawn with Gwen. Again, SOOO good to have a chat with a fellow actor. We talked a bit about theaters working out new protocols for whenever they are allowed back up, and how the main focus is on audience safety and how there will always be actors who will risk anything to work. We also talked about the double-sided fears. The fear that theatre will never look the same as it did, and the flip-side fear of worrying that the new theatre will be so daunting to participate in that we will have a hard time competing. And the secret confession, that it feels like kind of a relief not to have to be competing right now. To have a pause in the "my body/mind/talent belongs to the world and each decision about my body/mind/talent is for the greater goal of getting work". I know that we will be back in there, whenever we are allowed to, but there is a certain relief mixed with the fears. And then, of course, there's the granddaddy of the fears that has to do with health insurance, and how my health care is tied to work. But I will think about that tomorrow, Scarlett. (Anyone?)
Next was a brief hello and drop off to Bill and Susi, and then out to Walnut Creek to see the Potter/Weiss' and Heidi. Such a joy to see all those folks each week. I love the little Willows reunion that happens each week on the sidewalk outside the house. And the weekly visit with Eleanor and baby Marian, is a highlight of my week.
Last stop, Alameda to see Cynthia and her son, Alex. I love getting to see folks from all my lives... Dickens Faire is well represented in my weekly rounds. Its weird to see folks outside of the bowels of the Cow Palace, but I like it!
Home to unload the returned jars and load the dishwasher to sterilize everything again. I feel happy that we made the commitment to present everything we serve in reusable, recyclable or compostable containers. Jars, parchment bags and wrapping, brown paper boxes for the pasta... everyone returning jars gets $5 of their next order. It's working very well and makes me happy to see all the labeled jars lined up in boxes on my way out to do delivery.
The house has the usual Wednesday night tornado look about it, but I am going to ignore it all and head to bed. Nice to be looking at my bed before midnight. This adventure is certainly doing what I had hoped it would do in keeping me occupied and my brain thinking about something other than worrying. I feel very grateful that we can be useful and productive and creative in some way, and that folks are appreciating not having to cook every night themselves. It is my hope that MARTHA AVENUE can bring good delicious love into homes, and folks can feel nourished and loved even in this odd, challenging time.
I have updated the store part of our site and included a few more items, the special order cakes and a few more pics. If you feel called to do so, feel free to share with anyone you think might benefit from some home-cooked love.
Menu listed below is good for Friday. Orders should be placed for SF pick-up and delivery by tonight or tomorrow morning.
For now, take good care of yourself. Step away from the news, if it might help sleep come more easily. Drink more water, cry if you need to, take a long bath. Everything gets better with more water, one way or the other. Hug your people; hug yourself for me. Be kinder than necessary. Know that you are not alone, even when it feels that way. xoxo