One pain a la Suzanne. (Or Sister Bread. Or Jim Lahey’s No Knead Dough with 1/3 cup sour starter–it was sooooo good!)
Mixed: 9:15 pm Monday night
Folded: noon Tuesday
Molded: 12:20 pm
Baked: 2:30 pm
Split with The Pomegranate Lady
There’s this tree along a closed road here in Santa Barbara. I’m not telling which road–pomegranates are serious business with me. So, there’s this tree, the most lovely, inviting, fruit-bearing pomegranate tree I’ve ever tumbled across. And if you know me, I’ve tumbled across many a punica granatum. I hunt them out. I track them down. And I sit, and admire the red fruit from the car; it’s the thing that most tempts me toward thievery.
Every couple of years I get a phone call from my friend (who also adores pomegranates). She says, “The Pomegranate Lady called, Jane, and invited us to pick!” This fruit picking day is one of the highlights of my life.
So, I loaded my kids into the car and met my friend and her three youngest along the roadside where the tree sits. We were greeted by Mary herself, who apologized for not having more fruit. Said this was a lean year. I looked at her tree. There were still more than a dozen juicy red pomegranates dangling from the branches. I looked in the bag. At least a dozen or more there. Oh, yes, lean years from full grown, mature trees, were just fine with me.
As I was about to drive away with my bag and kids bundled into the Volvo, dreaming of pomegranate jam and pomegranate syrup and fresh pomegranate seeds, I noticed the tempting smell of warm bread coming from the back of the car. My pain a la Suzanne had been forgotten in the midst of our picking (and the kids climbing the tree, and throwing Pooh sticks into the slow-moving river.) I had never thought of fresh bread as a good tool for bartering, but today I was relieved that I had something to give in thanks to this very generous woman.
And as I placed the loaf of fresh bread on the porch for Mary to find later, I thought of my own pomegranate tree, which is still just a babe, but will someday tumble into the roadside like Mary’s. And I wondered, when it’s big, if I’ll invite others over and allow them to drive away with bags of my prized fruit. I hope so, I pray so. I’d almost be an Indian-giver if I didn’t…
And what about you, I’d love to hear stories of your neighbors who share… Avocados? Zucchinis? Walnuts? Firewood or compost? What sort of neighborly give-and-take happens in your neck of the woods?