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Saturday, May 09, 2009

fruited almond bread, by Carol Lambert

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Mother’s Day Part II

I wrote already about my mom and her clam spaghetti recipe, and now I’m going to write about my mother-in-law, Karen! She lives in Maryland, but is very accommodating about making the long journey to visit us (and Meredith) frequently.

Last winter I got an email from Carol Lambert that she wanted to make a painting of our Rise & Shine Bakery fruited almond bread. I was thrilled, since I already loved her beautiful paintings of Farmers Market produce from the summertime. I couldn’t wait to see what the painting would look like! Turned out that I didn’t even have to wait until it was completed to see it, since Carol was working on it as a demonstration at Charlie’s Club 25 Cafe Gallery last winter! (I already described that outing in my pomegranate post.)

So, a couple of weeks after the fruited almond bread painting was supposed to have been finished, I emailed Carol and asked if the painting was for sale. She wrote back “Sorry, it’s already been sold!” and I was surprised that it has sold so quickly, a bit disappointed, but also happy for her that it had been sold. “Oh, that’s great,” I said, “I’m just glad it went to a good home!” I did wonder, though…  was it one of our bread customers? And if so, funny that they didn’t mention it to us.

So a few months went by, and Dan’s and my wedding anniversary was approaching (it’s on the Spring Equinox—March 21st). Karen had arranged for Meredith (who is four years old) to take us out for dinner to Sack’s Café for our anniversary—perhaps not the most romantic anniversary celebration, but certainly a fun one, since Meredith loves to eat, and we all love the food at Sack’s. Meredith was even in charge of calling to make the reservations (Karen had forewarned the staff at Sack’s, so it all went very smoothly). The only thing Meredith was concerned about was that she couldn’t drive us to the restaurant. Her grandmother assured us that her daddy could drive, but that Meredith could take care of everything else.

We arrived right on time, festively dressed and ready for a great meal. The hostess tried to get Meredith to come with her (I thought for crayons and the kids’ placemat) but Meredith was a bit too shy, so we all sat down and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Right before dinner, the waitress showed up with a HUGE flat package, wrapped in colorful jungle-themed paper. It looked like a puzzle, but it was way too heavy. And it didn’t rattle. What on earth?

We opened it up… and would you believe, it was the painting of our fruited almond bread! Karen had bought the painting all those months ago, and had conspired with Carol, the artist, about wrapping it, writing a card, and dropping it off at Sack’s. Not to mention prepping the folks at Sack’s to deliver it to us! We were so thrilled, surprised, and grateful! What an amazing and wonderful, thoughtful and beautiful gift!

Even though there’s a four-hour time difference, we called Karen as soon as we got home—not caring if we woke up her up to tell her how surprised we were, how we loved the painting, and how much fun we had at dinner. Luckily she was still awake!

Thank you, Karen! Every time I look up at the painting on the living room wall I smile and think of you! Happy Mother’s Day to you, Karen—and to all you other mothers out there!

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