Mardi Gras is this Tuesday! That means Doughnuts!

 Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, the 28th!  And in keeping with our annual tradition,  we will be making doughnuts!   We’ll have glazed, crullers, Boston creams and maybe some other kinds as well.  There will be gumbo for lunch and zydeco music playing all day!   Make Umpleby’s your morning stop on Tuesday and get a good base of carbs in your stomach if you plan on setting out and indulging in the traditional Mardi Gras beverages that we don’t sell.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

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Happy Dartmouth Winter Carnival!

The magic worked!   You got the snow storm for Winter Carnival!  Pretty lucky for a bunch of muggles.   Or maybe you are not muggles at all and that’s why we got the snow……

Come by the cafe this weekend for some hot food, tasty desserts, delicious potions and lively conversation.

And you don’t need to check your wand at the door.

Happy Winter Carnival!!

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The Art of Comfort Food

I like to think that I am in the quality of life business.   What does that mean exactly?  To me it means trying to provide a relaxing atmosphere in a space that settles the nerves, promotes thoughtful conversation, and nourishes the individual with honest food made from ingredients that are locally sourced when possible and at least of high quality if not.

For absolutely no reason whatsoever I thought it might be a good time to extol the merits of comfort food.  (who am I kidding – there is really a good reason why I am posting this now)   What is comfort food?  Here is one definition that I got off the ‘net:

com·fort food
ˈkəmfərt fo͞od/
food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.

I agree with most of the definition but I bristle at the reference to “high sugar”.   I disagree with the idea that childhood cooking had to involve a lot of sugar.   I strongly believe that something can taste amazing,  indeed it will only taste amazing if it is not overly sweet. I have a mantra –  sweet is not a flavor.   Lemon is a flavor, vanilla is a flavor,  fresh fruits have a flavor, chocolate is a flavor, coffee is a flavor.  SUGAR IS NOT A FLAVOR.

It is snowing right now as I write this and what I am thinking would taste good is a freshly made baked good right out of the ovens.   It appeals to all of the senses –  the smell of butter on the nose, the warm healthy look of the properly finished baked good,  the feel of the pastry in the hand, the sound of the gentle crunch with the first bite,  the amazing taste when the flavors reveal themselves.   That is comfort food.  I don’t think you can achieve the same results in a product that has ingredients that you can’t even pronounce and that don’t normally appear in nature.  Baked goods made with such ingredients should be considered phantom-comfort foods or trojan horse-comfort foods.    It would be food that might give you a moment of pleasure but after that brief moment is gone you are left with a sickly, empty, nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach and dare I say your soul as well.

I’ll get off my soap box now but I don’t think I will ever give up preaching the merits and power of properly made, honest ingredient based baked goods.   True comfort foods are a comfort for a reason.



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