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This morning, during my rendezvous with baker Lindsey Kirtz:
A woman is choosing a design for her daughter’s cake. “Ooh, go with the blue frosting,” she murmurs, glancing at the Giant bakery catalog.
“And you want the yellow edges, right” Kirtz asks. The woman frowns and shakes her head.
“No, no yellow. I don’t want any yellow on that cake.”
“Well hey,” Kirtz says, “I think it looks kinda nice. Works well with the blue.”
The woman mulls it over. Which flavor does she want for the white part, Kirtz asks: regular or whipped cream? She hesitates. “Whipped cream…hmm, that sounds good.”
Kirtz grins and cracks open a vat of the stuff. The woman gasps. With an enormous spatula, he draws out one great dollop of frosty, creamy goodness and drops it in a plastic-wrap cone. He takes a snip off the bottom, and voilà: a delicious frosting dispenser.
“Oh God, that’s too much!” the woman laughs.
“Hey, you don’t have to eat it all. Just take it with you around the store. See how you like it.”
The woman, hesitant, accepts the makeshift tube. She tastes. Her eyes close.
“Mmm that’s good. You realize I’m breaking my diet….”
Kirtz laughs. “What diet?”
“I’m cutting out sweets,” she says through a full mouth.
“Naw, this is low in sugar, plus it’s non-dairy,” Kirtz assures her.
The woman winks, not believing him. “Take it away from me,” she begs through another mouthful. Kirtz refuses.
“No, ma’am. That’s for you to enjoy.”
The woman slowly steers her shopping cart towards the deli counter, still lost in a faux-whipped cream haze. Five minutes later, she materializes again, forcing the half-squeezed tube into Kirtz’s hands.
“I am exercising restraint,” she says. “No more for me.”
The good news for one lucky daughter: Your mom settled on the whipped cream.
Photograph above by sea turtle