Friday, December 4, 2009

Memory Work

When I was working on my bread project, I thought it would be fun to include panettone, an enriched Italian Christmas bread made with chocolate, nuts, and candied fruit, that I remembered fondly from a holiday spent in Florence long ago. I'll admit that I used a container of candied orange peel that had been sitting in my pantry for as long as I can remember. I have no memory of where it came from or why I would have bought it and never used it. When the children went crazy for the bread, I was surprised but happy. I promised to make several more panettones in the coming weeks, and yesterday I went to the IGA, looking for more orange peel, convinced that I had seen it before, somewhere between the dried figs and the sun-dried tomatoes in the produce section. Imagine how disappointed I was when I could not find it! It could only mean that the orange peel had come from King Kullen many years ago, and to make my bread again I'd have to venture beyond Main Street. So I drove to Bridgehampton, proof that I will do anything for the children. And there was the orange peel, right next to the containers of candied cherries (red and green) and all of the other ingredients you'd need to make a fruitcake. As I headed to the checkout, I remembered that we were low on apples. This memory triggered a crisis: Should I buy a bag of Granny Smiths labeled rather vaguely as "New York State" while I was here? Or should I drive five minutes further, to The Milk Pail (1346 Montauk Highway; 631-537-2565)? I wonder if it was another buried memory, of freshly fried cider doughnuts, that made me choose the Milk Pail.

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