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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Let Them Eat Nutella

When I was in San Francisco last week, I met up with a friend one afternoon at Boulange Hayes, the Hayes Valley branch of Bay Bread's lovely boulangeries. Some phrases (usually delivered with a genuine French accent) that have been overheard to describe these bakeries include "just like in France -- there is no difference" and "be very excited." And indeed, the breads and pastries one finds there give one reason to be very, very excited.

I found another reason to be excited upon stepping into Boulange Hayes: up at the condiments counter, along with forks and napkins and bowls of sugar, a big jar of communal Nutella set out from which all customers might liberally slather their bread or croissant. A stroke of brillance.

Of course I had to do just that. My croissant was already sweetened with a cheese filling, but I couldn't say no to the noisette threat.

Many other tasty sweets were also on offer:

Now if these Bay Bread people could just find a reason to open a sister store in Boston, my happiness would be complete. In the absence of that development, Clear Flour Bread in Brookline is very good ... but it would be a lot better if they left an open jar of Nutella on the counter.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wedding Clothespins

This weekend I attended a terrific wedding in San Francisco and had the honor of making a pair of bride-and-groom clothespin doll cake toppers modeled after the happy couple. This was actually something I'd thought of doing for my own wedding but ultimately "deprioritized" the idea, so it was fun to get the chance to undertake the project for my friends.

As depicted in effigy, the real bride indeed wore a white flower in her hair and carried a bouquet of apple-green blossoms, and the detailing of her gown involved lots of horizontal pleats, which I mimicked with layered ribbon. As for the groom, art imitated life in that all I had to do was put him in a suit and a color-appropriate tie next to a lovely lady and he would look handsome and distinguished.

In lieu of a traditional cake, these guys went the cupcake route -- a stylized tier of them decorated in lemon drops and yellow polka-dot icing, i.e., the most adorable wedding cake display I've ever seen.

The event was held in a loft-like art gallery with the ceremony and dinner in an outdoor courtyard and a leisurely reception afterwards inside the gallery, complete with a pool table, foosball, and a photobooth. That apple green color was carried throughout the space using flowers, paper lanterns ... even the bride's polka-dot clutch.

And did I mention that the photobooth was really awesome?