A Tribute to Community

One giant pain a la Suzanne. Came out so beautifully yet again!

Mixed: 5:30 pm Tuesday

Folded: 10:10 am Wednesday

Molded: 10:30 am

Baked 1:15 pm

Gave to: Renato–owner of Via Maestra 42

My husband works from home. He has been without a company cubicle, office politics and a commute for over ten years. He spends most of his day with a headset on, jabbering on the phone; I love it–he’s like a farmer who heads out ten paces to the fields in the morning, and comes in for lunch, and dinner. It’s a huge blessing to have him around. (Like when I desperately need someone to turn the oven on for pre-heating, but am on the other side of town!)

But being at home, surrounded by finches, doesn’t provide a lot of intellectual or friendly stimulation, even for those who prefer the hermit-side of things. So my husband found a happy solution. Every morning he walks out of the neighborhood and into the big-wide world of Santa Barbara to hang out at his favorite haunt: Via Maestra 42, a little coffee shop cafe owned by an always-smiling and big-hearted, Renato Moiso.

It being Christmas and all, my husband wanted to take a loaf of bread over to Renato and his crew. I happily got to mixing and folding and molding and sent him over as delivery man yesterday with the giant hot loaf of my new favorite sourdough mix.

But much to my surprise, Renato liked the loaf so much that he put it on display! I was stunned when my husband recounted the story. Who wouldn’t want to eat that hot loaf of bread? I’ve lived in Italy–I should have known. Most any Italian would first want to show it off, so that it might be talked about…

…then consumed. Sharing is one of the Italian’s most famous virtues. My loaf became yet another symbol of love for your community…

My husband headed over for coffee again this morning. I’m wondering if the bread ever went home to someone’s table, or if it’s still there, hovering over customers as they order their morning cappuccinos. I won’t ask. I love my husband, and Renato and the staff of Via Maestra too much. It simply doesn’t matter. I’m so grateful for this place where my husband blends in and converses with real, not virtual, people.

What about you? Do you have favorite haunts who welcome you like family–who might even prop your bread up on a stand and display it for an afternoon or two? (Or more… :))