Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Had a Dream About a Cinnamon Babka

I find myself having cravings for very specific foods, which is funny because I really don’t have that great an appetite yet. So when I get a craving, I do like to yield to it.

The other night I dreamed about a cinnamon babka. For those of you that don’t know what a babka is…Webster’s says it is a loaf shaped coffee cake of sweet yeast dough to which raisins, chocolate or nuts can be added. Trust me this description doesn’t do a babka justice. I will take a moment to say that while all babkas are good…the most available variety seems to be chocolate, but the one I love the most is the cinnamon. There is a really good Jewish bakery about 25 minutes from my house; but this does sometimes feel like quite the trek to capture one’s babka…but on the morning I woke up from my babka dream, Jon needed to get a ride to Great Neck (home of the babka), because there was track work on all stations up until Great Neck. How funny is that? So off we went. He drove to Great Neck and went into bakery to get the babka before I was to drop him at the train station right next door. I was specific about the fact that my first choice was a cinnamon, but that I would take a chocolate. I’ve been to this bakery many times over the years and I have not in all that time spied a cinnamon babka, I was even wondering on the way over to the bakery, whether they even still made the cinnamon variety. I was expecting a chocolate one…a cinnamon would be a real prize.

The story goes something like this…I wasn’t there, so I only know what I have been able to piece together from the different accounts of this convoluted babka story. Jon went into the bakery and pointed to what he thought was a chocolate babka. He then asked what kind of babkas they had that day…he heard the man say that there was one cinnamon one, and feeling that he had also just seen and pointed to a chocolate one, called me on my cell to find out which one I would prefer…and why did he even have to ask? Let’s just say these things do tend to happen. In our mad dash to get out of the house to the bakery, and to make Jon’s train on time, I had left my phone at home. When he couldn’t reach me, he opted for what he thought was the safe decision...and purchased a chocolate babka…or so he thought. He happily left the bakery with cake box in hand…and a delicious Great Neck pastry for himself for the ride into the city. I dropped him at the station, (I should say we dropped him, Rachel was with me), and we proceeded home. All the way home, I was imagining how good this chocolate babka would be…it wasn’t the cinnamon one of my dreams, but it was still going to be good.

Rachel and I got home, opened up the box. It didn’t look like a babka…it had the delicious streusel topping of a babka, but it just didn’t look right. I cut into it…it looked more like a pound cake, but perhaps they had changed their recipe. I had to eat it to know for sure…nope, definitely not a babka…a chocolate pound cake for sure. Buzz kill!

I could have let this go, and enjoyed the pound cake…but a pound cake is no babka…and I had had my heart set on it. I couldn’t head right back over to Great Neck (I had things to do)…but an hour later Rachel and I took the journey back to the bakery. I walked up to the counter and said “I have a sad story to tell, my husband came in here about an hour ago, and wanted a babka, and you gave him a pound cake…here it is, you can see it’s not a babka”. The guy at the counter, said “Yes I remember that guy, he pointed to a chocolate pound cake and said he wanted a babka. I told him that that what he was pointing to wasn’t a babka, that we were all out of chocolate babkas, but I had one cinnamon left”. This must have been when Jon called about the cinnamon babka, but didn’t hear the other part about the fact that there were no chocolate babkas left. When Jon couldn’t reach me, he pointed to the streusel pound cake that he believed was a babka…and the rest is history. The counter guy, asked me what I wanted to do and I said “well, what can I do, you have no more babkas, I guess I’ll just keep the pound cake”. And then he said the most marvelous thing…he said “we still have that one cinnamon babka left if you want me to exchange the pound cake for that?” Oh my god, my cinnamon babka was still there…like it had been waiting for me…on a busy weekend morning when all the rest of the babkas had sold out before 10A…there was my cinnamon babka…the first one I have had in years, perhaps one of the few they even make in a day, or even a year…the one of my dreams. Dreams coming true again. It may not be the Prius of before, but on this morning it may as well have been.

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Cinnamon said...
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