You know I’m busy when I forget the Tumblr because I was supposed to be working but there was a Golden Girls marathon on television and I got sucked into watching it working so hard that I passed out early on the couch.
In consolation, I bring you this. You all know it, and probably haven’t thought about it for a while, but seeing this is going to make your damn Monday. That and some sweet Robicelli’s baked goods of course, available at a very smart, quality minded, and exceptionally good looking retailer near you.
Remember a few months back when we planned a one day lecture/pop-up shop out east in Quogue, but then a few days before we were supposed to go out it seemed like it was going to snow, and the The Weather Channel started going “AAAAHHHHHHH IT’S A BLIZZARPOCOLYPSE AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”, we were were all “NOOOOOO!!!” and cancelled our pop-up, and then everyone went to Costco and bought all the potato chips and bottled water they could and we stayed home waiting for the end, and then it snowed like 4 inches?
And that’s the story of how Costco was out of Cool Ranch Doritos for four whole days and it totally ruined Crainium night at our house.
Point is we weren’t just going to up and cancel on the good people of Quogue, so we reschedueled for a date where we were (almost) certain there would be no snow - and that date is this coming Sunday!
If you’re interested in coming down, you’ll need to register first, as there’s limited space in our venue, the Quogue Library. If you’re from Long Island and have yet to visit the Quogue Library, this is a perfect excuse to go- it’s been rated one of the top 10 libraries in the entire country, it’s got a tiny one room schoolhouse from the 18th century on the grounds, and you’ll get to watch me running around the grounds for about three hours flipping my crap over all the historical architecture, because I am so, so lame.
Now for the baked goods that are going to stores in the right now in New York City. We forgot to take a picture of the cupcakes today, so instead enjoy this image of a young Scott Baio in teeny tiny white shorts. Happy Monday!
Last Friday everybody’s favorite website that we spend too much time on while we could be spending our time with loved ones or persuing a dream or hell even just outdoors, BUZZFEED, published a list of “The 33 Hottest Hunks of Broadway”. Being a closeted musical theater nerd, and loving all shirtless men regarded of ambiguous sexuality, I totally clicked on through. And seeing as there were 33 of them, you’d figure at least ONE of them would be this guy:
If you are not a musical theater fan, this is Telly Leung, Broadway star, recording artist, and quality piece of tail (and coincidentally my best friend of 20 years, but that has NOTHING to do with this blog post which is totally 110% objective. Pinky swear). And while this guy was on the list
…..which, you know, was enjoyable- and THIS guy…….
…which I TOTALLY don’t have a problem with- and um….
….yeah, um….wow….uh….what are we talking about again?
Now I’m not saying that Telly should be included just to hit some racial quota, but if random anonymous people on the internet can shoot their mouths off and guilt Buzzfeed about this, than why the hell not! EVERYONE should be doing this!
Or you could do something more constructive than randomly yelling online like a crazy person. Like maybe checking out Telly’s album I’ll Cover You(called “A Revelation” by Stagebuzz.com!), or treat yourself to a very fancypants night out at NYC’s best cabaret and get tickets to see him next month at 54 Below. Listen! It’s good times!
But, you know, if you want to yell on the internet, I’m sure as hell not going to stop you. I mean, that’s what it’s there for! What better way to kick off a Monday than by getting your aggression out anonymously by lashing out at strangers!
You could also eat cupcakes to improve your mood. That would do, too.
Hate to break it to some of you guys, but fall is right around the corner. And I, for one CANNOT FREAKING WAIT, because the lines on adorable jackets and cardigans distract from the fact that my head is the size of a bowling ball.
Fall also means we start getting back into doing special events and bringing out our craziest, super limited edition flavors for them. Matt and I had a marathon brainstorming session today that included figs, dates, sherry, multiple European cheeses, pork products, three different types of chile peppers, local honey, herbs, apples, pears, pumpkins and more- and we’re STILL not done coming up with new ideas. I wish we had a bigger kitchen and a fleet of robots to do our bidding so we could release them all at once, but alas, we’re only human.
That being said, I’ve posted Septembers schedule, and we’re bringing back the fall flavors a few weeks earlier than normal. I wait all year for these flavors to come back, so I want to give us all as much time with them as possible before they disappear after Thanksgiving. If you’re planning a party, corporate delivery, or need our special once-a-year L’Shanah Tovah cupcakes for Passover, drop us a line! We’d love to be a part of any and all shindings, hoe-downs and hootenannies.
Speaking of hootenannies, check out the updated list of some of the many events we’re doing- like the Brooklyn Local or the NY Food & Wine Festival. Many are ticketed, all are on sale now, and you should get your tickets before they all sell out. All those special new flavors I told you we’re experimenting with? Those will be at events exclusively, so plan accordingly.
As excited as I am for fall, that means that our summer flavors are starting to take their final bows for 2012. Go out and have a Root Beer Float before they disappear til next year. It’s going to miss you too- I promise.
Clockwise from front: Root Beer Float, Banana Cream Pie, Coconut Custard, The Ebinger
Had a wonderful night out with Liddabit Sweets, Good Batch, Granola Lab, and Sweet Loren’s. Now to totally bypass the Tumblr (though we came up with no shortage of topics tonight) and leave you with one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands ever. And next time they come to town, someone hit me up. I followed these guys around the northeast for most of the early 2000s, and sort of miss the carefree recklessness that goes with being twenty-something and following Clutch cross-country in a beat-up Honda Civic.
And Clutch- in the unlikely event you ever read this, I make an EXCELLENT back-up dancer. And I bring cupcakes like this you see here:
Clockwise from front: Creamsicle, Coconut Custard, Ebinger, Banana Cream Pie
Creamsicle: Orange cake, vanillla buttercream, hand candied orange peel
It’s hot. And I’m sick.Who the hell gets sick in the summer? How does that even happen? Aren’t all the germs spontaneously combusting in the air thanks to the suns death rays?
Fortunately the cold was at least considerate enough to wait until Cooking Channel was done with most of their filming yesterday before it smacked me in the head like a ton of bricks. And a BIG thank you to everyone who stuck around our shop at DeKalb Market, even though shooting ran far behind schedule. We can’t wait for you guys to see this segment in October.
Not only did we film a tv show yesterday, we ALSO made cupcakes for stores today, because we’re multitaskers. However, after todays effort in the hot hot heat, and because of all the hard work they did covering for us when we went to Sesame Place, we’ve decided to shut down for a few days so all our employees can get a few well deserved days of rest, hit the beach, do some day drinking in direct sunlight, etc. So find these around town today, but not at DeKalb- we’ll be reopening there on THURSDAY (with 2 for $5 all day!)
Clockwise from front: Chocolate Mascarpone, Strawberry Shortcake, Coconut Custard, Hot Sundae
The groom in this picture is Mike, who I’ve been friends with since I was 5 years old. I love him more than most of my biological family. And he is, in part, one of the reasons that there is a Robicelli’s in the first place.
Growing up, I was a guys girl- my main group of friends consisted of seven “Bay Ridge guys” (if you’re from South Brooklyn, you get what that means). One night in January 1995, when we were 14 years old, we were hanging out drinking malt liquor- which FYI is the defacto standard weekend activity when you grow up in Bay Ridge. One of their birthdays was coming up, and I suggested we do something special- because as I’m a girl I’m actually considerate about crap like that.
So one of the guys- we’ll call him “Luke” because that’s his real name- scoffs “Yeah, what are you going to do? Bake a cake?”, and starts laughing at me. I say “What, you don’t think I can’t make a cake?”. And he keeps laughing at me. So being the obstinate girl I am, I decide that yes, I am baking everyone a freaking cake, and I’m going to shove a big hunk of that cake right down his little throat and it’s going to taste like defeat. Rich, velvety, creamy defeat.
By the time I was 14 I had read the “Good Housekeeping Complete Illustrated Cookbook” about 973 times, I’d played with savory food (and poorly at that), but I’d never baked a single thing on my own in my life. My first ever, my “spite cake”, was a cheesecake which though very delicious, had a gigantic crack down the center. I whipped up a quick sauce with some frozen berries and covered the top so no one would notice, but it didn’t matter. Regardless of the fact that it was delicious, I knew it was flawed.
PS- to keep this from happening to you, cook AND cool your cheesecake in a hot water bath. Turn the oven off right as the cheesecake looks barely set in the center, then just keep it partially open until the oven and water are cool. Then cover the cake and let it set overnight in the refrigerator to allow the egg proteins to set. OR ignore all that advice, just cover it with strawberries and keep your damn mouth shut. You’re welcome.
With the memory of my cracked cheesecake haunting me, I did the only thing I could do - I started to learn everything I could about baking cake. When Luke turned 15 a few weeks later, he got a cake, too. Then for Mike’s birthday, which coincidentally is today, he asked me to make him a blueberry pie, so I started to expand my repertoire. And until we all went away to college, every single one of my friends got a cake, or pie, or bread or cookies or whatever on their birthday, 60% out of love, and 40% out of vengeful, vindictive spite.
On Saturday, 17 years and 6 months after that fateful night where Luke inadvertently taunted me into my career in an Olde English induced stupor, we were together again watching Mike and his new wife cut into a cake that I made with the man I married, the man who I met in a bar one night at talked about cake with until 10am the next morning. And behind them was the eventual product of my own personal fairy tale- a big tower of Robicelli’s cupcakes.
We’ve been a part of hundreds of weddings- for clients, for friends, for family, for strangers. Even before this business we both spent the majority of our careers working a large amount of banquets and catering. They are checklists, set-ups, breakdowns, deliveries, vendors, planners, tuxedos and walkie-talkies. Weddings for Matt and I are a business. Even our own wedding, which we planned and executed ourselves, was like that in many ways.
This one was different. Maybe because seeing someone you love so much finally finding his other half, and having her be one of the most amazing women you’ve ever met, can make you as happy as if you were falling in love yourself. Maybe it’s because that in that moment, surrounded by the friends who have for the better part of my life been my brothers, I remembered that for all the headaches and hoopla and commercialism- weddings really, truly are one of the most perfect moments in life. And I am overwhelmed with gratitude that so many couples choose us to be such an important part of the greatest moment of their story.
As for my friends- we may not see each other every Friday night anymore, we might not all have as much in common as we did when we were kids, and not all of us survived to be there (we still miss you Sean. I didn’t forget it was your birthday today- happy 32nd in heaven, handsome. I’ll bake you a Car Bomb Cake when I get up there, I promise). Though I am grateful to them for helping me keep my head while coming of age, for accidentally launching my career, for inadvertently giving me the skill that would lead me to finding the man of my dreams- what I am most grateful for is that even as we are all getting older, whenever we get together, we still in so many ways are those idiot 14 year old kids getting drunk in Bay Ridge. And I had forgotten just how much I had missed that.
I love you guys. Even you, Luke. Even though you’re still a jerk sometimes.
What would be really lovely for all of you to do today is perhaps to pick up a cupcake for someone you love, just to put a smile on their face and remind them how much they mean to you. It’s always a good day for that, but today is an exceptionally good day.
Clockwise from front: Dark Chocolate Dulce, Coconut Custard, Root Beer Float, The Bluth
Dark Chocolate Dulce: Dark chocolate cake, dulce de leche buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, sea salt
The Bluth: Chocolate banana cake, chocolate buttercream, roasted walnuts, ganache
Robicelli’s at DeKalb Market is closed Mondays, but will reopen tomorrow. All the cupcakes you see above, plus brownies, whoopie pies, and more, are going to select Robicelli’s retail partners. Availability varies per store- call ahead if you’re looking for something in particular.
Super short post tonight because I have to be up super early to make it to a Gifted & Talented kindergarten open house at 8:30 in the morning.
I know I’m a giant crybaby, but I’ve been working nights for as long as I can remember, and my day typically ends somewhere between 3 and 4am. I’m terrified I’m going to end up accidentally growling at the principal, Atticus won’t be allowed in because no one wants the crazy growling lady near the building, and then he ends up shooting dice in an alley somewhere, never ends up getting into an Ivy league school, then winds up living with us til he’s 45 while he’s waiting for his reggae-funk-fusion band to take off.
2. Today’s flavors? Four of our most popular flavors ever. Why? Because they are so ridiculously delicious that they may make you spontaneously burst into tears. As I’m expecting to do at PS 748 at about 8:35am.
Clockwise from front: Coconut Custard, S’Mores, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel, Banana Cream Pie
Every year, Share Our Strength asks people around the country to help fight childhood hunger by hosting a bakesale. Since our lives sort of are a bakesale, and since childhood hunger is a cause near and dear to us, we are proud to announce that this is Great American Bakesale Week at Robicelli’s!
From this Tuesday til Friday, 25% of every single baked item sold at our store at DeKalb Market will be donated to Share Our Strength. And from Saturday the 21st til the end of April, we will feature a special item every day that will have 100% of it’s profits donated! The item will change every single day, so you’ll have excuses to make multiple trips.
We know that cupcakes, brownies and such are not the highest priced item in the world, and it might not seem all that important to leave your desk at Metrotech to come by, or maybe stop in one night on your way home from work. I thought the same thing too at first. But then I saw these facts on the SoS website:
$1 can provide a hungry child with 10 healthy meals
Only a dollar can do that! Buy a cupcake and 10 healthy meals come of that!
$4 can help provide a child facing hunger with a backpack full of healthy food over a weekend when school meals are not available
Grab a co-worker or two, come by for something sweet and a Manhattan Special, and you managed to feed a child by taking a coffee break
$9 can help connect a child with healthy lunches during summer when school is out
Swing by and pick up a dozen for your office. Not only are you now the most popular person at work, but THAT just happened.
Want to help us do even more good, but just can’t bring yourself to eat 500 cupcakes by yourself, no matter how delicious they may be?
Donate directly to our bakesale page. If every person who subscribes to our Tumblr or visits this website donated just a dollar a piece, we could raise over $50,000. We’re just hoping to be able to raise a simple $300 this week through internet donations. Pledge a few dollars, help spread the link, and let’s cross our fingers that we can make it happen!
Host a bakesale of your own. You don’t need to be a pastry chef or a wizard in the kitchen. Use cake mixes, refrigerated doughs- hell, even store bought stuff is fine! I’m hoping to be able to make cookies with my kids sometime this year and sell them in front of my parents house for less than a buck, just to show my boys how awesome it is to be involved in this. You can organize a group or just do it with your own family, but either way it’s a very fun way to get people together to do something wonderful.
Visit the NYC Food Blogger Bakesale on April 28th. This is part of a national movement where food bloggers all over the country will be participating in different cities. Last year they collectively raised close to $25,000- with your help we can break that record this year!
Now……the first cupcakes of the week!
Clockwise from front: Coconut Custard, The JoJo, Turtle, Banana Cream Pie
If you follow us on Facebook, you would have seen us cryptically announce that we had a huge piece of news that would have to wait for Monday. And I’m not even going to waste your time with jokes or anything, because this is without question the ABSOLUTE COOLEST FREAKING THING EVER.
THE FIRST EVER CUPCAKE CRUISE ON CELEBRITY CRUISE LINES!!!!
The Celebrity Summit will be leaving Port Liberty New Jersey for several fun days at sea as it makes its way to beautiful sunny Bermuda, where you’ll be able to spend three whole days doing whatever it is people do in Bermuda!
There will be a Cupcake & Cocktails event, a “Cupcake Beach Party”, decorating classes with the people who wrote “Hello, Cupcake!”, a workshop with the guys from Baked, and of course…..US!!!! As of now, we’re teaching a technique class, and will be baking cupcakes on board for several of the events.
I will talk more about this in detail another day, because right now I am just too freaking excited about all of this. I know this will sound really stupid to a lot of you, but I’ve always been kinda jealous about people who get to travel for work. And everyone who I tell that to is like “UGH! You don’t want to travel- it sucks! It’s not a vacation, you don’t get downtime, it’s not fun at all”.
Thing is, I haven’t done much travelling. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, and we didn’t take vacations (my dad’s idea of a vacation was taking a week off from work to patch up the roof). Probably the most exotic place I’ve ever been was that time I drove to Kentucky, which was the most foreign place I’ve ever experienced. Yes, I’ve been out of the country, but remember I grew up in Brooklyn where there were lots of people from Mexico and the West Indies, but not a lot of people from Kentucky.
I love seeing new places and meeting people who don’t know anything of New York. I love hotel rooms with their little bottles of shampoo, and sitting in a plane with my face pressed up against the glass, bouncing up and down like I’m five years old while it takes off. I love road trips and rest stops, listening to different radio stations and eating things I’ve never heard of but the waitress swears is good. And I’m 31 years old and still haven’t done it, and now I have two kids so not only is it difficult to travel, but it gets really really expensive when you realize that you can’t go anywhere without paying for four people.
But next August? I’M ON A BOAT!!! I’m going to get to hang out with bakers from all over the world for seven days to share ideas, learn new things and meet new people. I’ll be on a proper trip for the first time in six years. AND I’m going to get to sleep without my kids climbing into bed and waking my ass up at 5am for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS.
This is kinda the best news I have gotten in a long long long long time. Thank you so much to all the Cupcakes Take the Cake girls for asking us to go. We are so freaking lucky.
And the best part of all of this is that YOU can come on the boat with us! I know somewhere on your dream list is “Going on a vacation with the Robicelli’s”, and now you have the opportunity! Here’s what you need to do:
One of the best parts of having the new shop at DeKalb Market is being able not only to see all our old regulars again, but to meet all the new fans of Robicelli’s- seeing their reactions as they take their first bite, telling them more about our company, and answering their questions. Some questions are about baking, some are about running a small business, but one comes up so often I just can’t keep count at this point:
If you’ll recall, we were asked to make an audition video for the show last year, which we gladly did. However, we decided NOT to do the program, as they refused to let us compete as a team- they wanted one of us to be the “chef” and one to be the “assistant”, and that’s not how things work over here. Matt and I are equal partners in marriage, parenting and business, so even though it meant turning down a trip to LA and the opportunity to FINALLY experience In-N-Out, we knew it was the right decision.
I want to try one of these so effing bad.
They called us again for the next season. Again, we said no. When we tell people this story, they look at us like we have sixteen heads. But we both got into this business before “Celebrichefs”, “Cheftestants”, “Chefthaletes” or “Chefarazzi”- we just got into it to cook. We always said that if we had a good tv opportunity we’d consider it, but the ultimate goal was never to be on television- it was to do what we love every day, and do it with each other.
Earlier this year, we were approached about doing a reality show. Totally honest- it was tempting. We asked lot of friends what to do, and everyone said we would be stupid to turn it down. Then we thought about the heart of Robicelli’s- our family. We didn’t want our kids to go to school and have other kids (and other parents) say things to them about our “personal life” they saw on TV, because we all know these shows are 95% fiction and fabrication. Regardless, children don’t know that, and we didn’t want our kids growing up in a false reality. And then after surveying the reality television landscape, we thought we should just cut to the chase and name the show “Robicelli’s: The Fast Track To Divorce”.
We said no. Our family comes first.
And then three week later, we signed the kids up for preschool and saw the bill.
Then we realized that they have slight overbites, and probably need braces like I did.
Then the kids asked why we don’t have yard and requested a puppy.
Then we went down to Princeton to put pressure on our kids, and realized that it’s going to cost us over a million dollars to put them both through college one day.
And that’s when we started to think that the mature, responsible decision we made might have been really really really really stupid.
Seeing that our moment had passed, we went back to our original plan for success: working ridiculously hard. Then a few weeks ago, our apartment flooded and we had to move in with my parents for a while, meaning that I had access to cable television again. And OH MY FREAKING GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO TELEVISION. What was passable guilty pleasure crap has now degraded into such ridiculousness as “Famous Food”, “Mob Wives” and “Hillbilly Handfishing” (thanks to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck for turning me onto that one!).
Yes, this actually exists. And you thought I was kidding, didn’t you.
What have I learned from this? Well, despite us thinking that no one would want to watch something as boring as two bakers at work, well….really America?!?!? Storage Wars? Cupcake Wars? Parking Wars? I mean, these aren’t really wars, it’s just people working. I’m pretty sure you can walk into any business and just stand there for a while and watch people work. That would be a stupid idea though- it would be far better if you could sit on the couch in your living room and watch people work. This way you could eat popcorn & unbuckle your pants without everyone saying you’re creeping them out like the people at Starbucks are always telling me.
I’ve also learned that since television has apparently completely run out of ideas, maybe our chance hasn’t passed! We decided to give it another shot and put together a little reality tv pilot for you! Now, I have spent HOURS watching Food Network and learning exactly what the people want to see today, and I think I’ve come across the magic formula. A guy, a girl, a bakery? Anything could happen- and DOES!
Call us, Food Network! And go buy some cupcakes, too!
Clockwise from front: Ebinger, Lemon Blueberry Ricotta, Dom DeLuise, Coconut Custard
Ok, I’m not going to talk about the store today. I’m feeling good about where we’re at, and really excited about all the new projects to come. Right now I’m most excited about finally ending buildout phase, then going back to being a good woman and getting my ass back in the kitchen where it belongs. The past few weeks I’ve been nuts and obsessive over opening, and I need to start stepping back and relaxing, and remembering that I do have a life. So we’ll talk about something else.
But just one thing really quick……we had a few IndieGoGo notes come back to us in the mail. If you haven’t received yours yet, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can go back into our databases and make sure everyone gets their thank you note and coupon. That’s all. I promise.
Ok, now back to me not talking about anything related to the store.
So…..ummmm…..how are you guys doing? You doing good? It’s really hot out, ain’t it? Yeah. Real hot. Yeeeeaaaaahhhh……..um………
Oh! I got an email this week that I’m not a Gold Star Member at Starbucks! That’s pretty exciting, right? My birthday’s in a few few weeks, and I’m going to get a free drink! I usually get something sensible like just plain coffee, but I think for my birthday I’ll get something more indulgent, like a vanilla latte or something. I’m really looking forward to it!
Ah, screw it. LOOK AT WHAT I MADE TODAY!!!!
It’s not close to being done yet, but this is a hand-painted sign that will be facing the inside of the market. We took the colors from the paint that was already on the container, but they’re also the school colors of my alma mater McKinley IS 259 (Strutting Eagles! What what!!!). They also celebrate my children’s most favorite place in the whole world, which in their eyes is as close as we mere mortals can get to heaven on this earth: Ikea.
Friday I’ll give you the whole rundown on everything to expect this weekend, plus the scoop on what will be coming up for the next few months down there. But the weekend is so far away, and the cupcakes that you see below you are going on RIGHT NOW, so you should eat them because they are super-yummy.
Clockwise from front: Banana Cream Pie, The Ebinger, Coconut Custard, Boston Cream
Six days until opening!!!! Ninety degree weather with 100% humidity and thunderstorms during the last week of buildout! Heh heh heh heh heh……..I’M NOT FREAKING OUT AT ALL!!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! HA!! HA!!! HA!!!! HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
Clockwise from front: Hazelnut Kiss, Coconut Custard, Boston Cream, Strawberry Shortcake
I’m halfway tempted to just blow right through this blog post because as of now, Matt and I are OFFICIALLY ON VACATION!!!! That’s right folks- there will be no deliveries this Wednesday because our family will be living the good live at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania! WOOHOO!!!!
We’re going to look just like this, but way, way sweatier and tired looking.
Aside from the obvious lure of hanging out with Super Grover for three days, and being able to take a vacation so close to home since you can’t really travel with a small business and have to keep it brief, there’s a third and very important reason we picked this for our first vacation in two years. Sesame Place is a very short drive to where we’re staying- in Princeton, NJ. And Princeton is home to one of the greatest culinary experiences in the entire United States:
The Bent Spoon- creators of the greatest ice cream IN HUMAN HISTORY. Ice cream that we will be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner for our entire vacation.
We met the owner, Gabby, extremely briefly last summer at Meatopia and didn’t get a chance to try her ice cream because of the ridiculous line (about the length of Colonel’s Row on Governor’s Island). HUGE disappointment, since I had just read in Dessert Professional about how they are one of the ten best ice cream makers in America, and were at the top of my “must try” list for the day.
A few weeks later, we went to the shop in Princeton and asked if she happened to be there. She came out from the back, and immediately recognized us from our 25 second meeting. As we ate our ice cream (sweet corn ice cream at that-one of my top 5 food experiences of all time), we explained that the next day was Toby’s second birthday, and the day after was my 30th. She gave us a bag to open in our hotel room: inside were cupcakes with birthday candles, party hats, t-shirts for us and the kids, and all the money we had spent at the store tucked inside an envelope.
The next day we returned for “breakfast ice cream” (it is that addictive) and to return the money. She absolutely refused, saying that us people in the business needed to stick together. We came back several times that day as my in-laws and Matt’s brother came to see us, and every time, no charge. And no, we didn’t keep going back because she was comping us. Bent Spoon is so good, it’s like when you see the most unbelievably awesome thing you have ever witnessed in your life, and you immediately have to call everyone you know to say “You NEED to see this dude! Seriously, RIGHT NOW!”. You eat it and it stops time. Its supernatural ice cream.
I think Gabby thought the reason we had come down to Princeton for the weekend was for me and Toby’s birthdays, or maybe just to de-stress and finally check out her shop in the process. What she didn’t know was that 24 hours before I walked through her doors, my grandmother had passed away. Even though she was 89 and had been in declining heath for weeks, when she died it was more than I could take emotionally- how do you let go of a woman who practically raised you? Who is a huge part of the reason you fell in love with food and shaped it’s meaning for you? To let go of the last surviving member of that generation, of the old Italian guard that is slowly disappearing from Brooklyn? It seemed everything reminded me of her- every street, every shop, every corner. I felt that I couldn’t survive the grieving process staying surrounded by family and my memories, so Matt, the kids and I got into the car, and we ran away from home. Running away brought us to Princeton, and to Gabby.
Those two days are where I realized the incredible power of what food, and hopefully, the power our stuff has. By all logic I should have holed up in that hotel room and cried into a bottle of bourbon, because being drunk to the point you’re sick would have felt better than I did in the hours after my grandmother died. And yet there I was in Princeton, smiling. We might not be saving refugees or curing cancer, but really wonderful food can change everything in your life, even if it’s just for a minute or two.
Every day when I wake up and I just don’t want to do it all, where I feel useless and unappreciated and think I should just crawl back in bed and watch movies under the covers, I think of how I felt that day in The Bent Spoon. I get up, go to work, and do my best to make each thing I bake as close to perfect as I possibly can. And I pray that they’ll reach someone who is sad or hurting or frustrated, and it will make them smile. We may just be the little things in life, but sometimes, those little things are the most important ones of all.
And now here’s your picture and flavors- we’re on vacation!
Clockwise from front: Coconut Custard, Cherries Jubilee, Abuelita, Banana Nutella
Banana Nutella: Banana cake, Nutella buttercream, hazelnut and banana praline
CAFE AT SAM’S BAKERY- 94th Street off 3rd Ave, Bay Ridge
THE CUPCAKE STAND: Fifth Avenue between 60th and 61st, Sunset Park
CRESPELLA CREPE & ESPRESSO BAR- 321 7th Avenue at 9th Street, Park Slope
TAZZA CAFES- Henry off Atlantic and Clark off Henry, Brooklyn Heights
RADISH- Bedford Ave off N8th, Williamsburg
RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND: 284 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook and Roving Food Truck *Whoopie Pies and Wild Maine Blueberry Cobbler cupcakes only*
CAKESHOP- Ludlow btwn Stanton & Rivington, Lower East Side
LINK CAFE @ THE SHERATON TRIBECA: 307 Canal Street, Tribeca
JOE: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY- W. 120th btwn Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
*Note: Not all locations receive all flavors. The flavors recieved are determined by each store’s management, not by us. If there’s something in the upcoming rotation you want to see, let them know directly