I have been meaning to post this for a while and now I will. We are in the current Yankee Summer Issue that features the Best of New England. We are listed under the category of the Best Bakery Dish in New Hampshire! And that dish is our beloved meat pies and sausage rolls.
I was turned on to making them while working at a small cafe in Melbourne, Australia. Carlton to be exact. Go Carlton Blues! That was 18 or so years ago. And I’ve been making them ever since. You can get them here at the cafe or at the outdoor Norwich Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9 to 1. Try one and you’ll be hooked! And Bob’s your uncle!
Let me tell you a personal story. It all started with a lemon tart. One of the many pastries we sell at the café is lemon tarts. We try to have them in the case for sale every day but there was a brief period of time when they weren’t offered so regularly. This hiatus was noticed and it came back to me in the bake house by the front staff that told me that there was a certain customer who was wondering when we would offer them again. This customer wanted to know if I had forgotten the recipe or something. This comment I found very funny so I had to find out – who was this person who was so enamored of our lemon tarts? So I told my staff member to please let me know when he was in the café again as I wanted to meet the man who liked our food so much. Wouldn’t you? I found out he was a regular customer who adored our lemon tarts and would sometimes buy all that we had in stock. (I think at that point it was to guard against any future lemon tart droughts from the eccentric fickle baker in the kitchen) And that is how I met Herb Knapp, retired doctor, soldier in WWII, lover of French inspired food, and person who made me laugh. I’ll never forget going into the café to introduce myself for the first time to Herb. It was the beginning of many stories I would have the pleasure of listening to for the past two or so years. Herb recently celebrated his 91st birthday and I was honored to go celebrate at his home. It would be his last birthday party that he would share with friends and family. He passed away on the 13th of June. Words cannot describe how sad it is to lose one you care about. I’m sure I’m not saying anything new to any of you who are reading this. I lost my father in 2000 so I am no stranger to the bitter sadness and emptiness that comes from the loss of a loved one.
One of the joys of owning a bakery besides making people happy with the food we make is the opportunity to meet these interesting people and hear their stories. To connect. Isn’t that what it is all about to be human- to connect? I had the joy of becoming friends with Herb and talking about things from an era that has long passed from our current existence. And now he is gone too. And it makes me cry.
In observance of Memorial Day we will be closed tomorrow.