Today I turned my grief into a sweet gift.
It took me an uncomfortable moment of not being able to find a way to capture my emotion. While I was on my run pounding the pavement to the grit of Eminem and Missy Elliot, the next song was unexpected as well as the emotion it brought upon me.
The light strums of the guitar began and the ting of the triangle sounded as Stand By Me began to play. Thoughts of my dad poured into my head and into my heart as tears began to roll down my cheeks.
Although he’s been gone for a couple of years now, the pain I feel from his loss is still very present. I continued to run and I continued to think. I cried … and I felt.
For the first time since he passed I got mad at him
He would drink his vodka, eat whatever he pleased, toke on his cigars, but he refused to wear sunscreen. “Maybe if he wore it just a few times”, I think to myself. The song continues, “I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear. Just as long as you stand, stand by me.” Just maybe if he weren’t so stubborn, he could still be here a little bit longer. Tears continued to roll down my cheeks. Oh, how I miss him.
My dad passed away from Melanoma Sarcoma about 4 years before Bakery 28 opened. Even though he never saw it or even had an inkling that someday it would exist, he is still very much part of it.
His tools & toolbox are in my office
His work hat sits on a pedestal in my office that stands on his old cigar box.
His voice continues to say to me: “got any samples” every time I make petit fours. (At my first bakery, the petit fours were always so small to him that he thought sneaking a few wouldn’t matter. Little did he know they were already counted for orders. His snacking got under my skin then, but I can appreciate the moment and laugh at it now.)
Best of all, he has two of his favorite sweets on the Bakery 28 menu
The Eleven11 Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake & The Buddy Boys. Why these names? His birthday was November 11th and the cake recipe was his mom’s. Buddy Boys is a cluster of cream puffs that he adored even more when I stacked them with hard caramel. His mom used to call him Buddy so it just seemed appropriate.
Reaching a pinnacle
As I approached my house, all sweaty from the run and probably red-eyed from a good cry, I felt like I had reached a pinnacle in my grief: I will not be mad at what I cannot control. He couldn’t control his cancer and I cannot control his passing. I decided to turn my grief into a gift.
A gift for veterans
Since my dad’s birthday is November 11 – Veterans Day, at Bakery 28 I will honor the veterans and those who keep us safe. Although my dad did not serve, he did salute those who did and my dad, no matter what, always kept us safe.
Because his birthday falls on Veterans Day, I feel it is suitable to remember my dad and those who have served and who continue to serve.
Thank you for keeping us safe
Our country, our counties, our cities. And thank you to all the dads who continue to keep their families safe. You are all our heroes.
Veterans, join us at Bakery 28
on November 11, 2020 between 9am – 11am
To receive your complimentary slice of Eleven11 cake or a stack of Buddy Boys.
Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and spice mages courtesy of Pixabay.com
Pumpkin cheesecake photo courtesy of Keli Marks
Pastry Chef Keli Marks is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She received a full year education at the French Pastry School in Chicago, IL in exchange for being the very first assistant to Jacquy Pfeiffer & Sebastien Canonne, MOF when they opened the school in 1996.
Keli has been on the Food Network on three separate occasions: Sugar Rush, Romance Novel Cake Challenge and The Holiday Baking Championships. In addition, she was on the Chicago chapter’s board for Les Dames d’Escoffier from 2009 – 2011 and was a guest pastry chef at the famed James Beard House in NYC in 2013.
As the pastry chef owner of Bakery 28, she incorporates local ingredients from farmers within the Carolinas and promises to only use natural ingredients.
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