Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bread and Friendship

Some of you might know (in the blogging universe sort of way) my friend Helen from the UK.  She's one of the Twelves, as well as the author of various blogs (From Down the Well, Plan Create Succeed) and we write the blog Tea and Talk for Two together (Well, we have, but we're behind, and we will again.  Another story.)

Anyway.  Here's Helen.  And I have this picture of her looking rather contemplative (or perhaps tired and hungry because this was during our lunch break on a big shopping day) because until a few days ago, she was right here visiting me.  And what a lovely time we had.

It's kind of amazing how you can meet someone online -- through a blog or group -- and really get to know them, so that by the time you meet in person you are already fast friends.  I don't think that people who do not interact with online friends understand this (in fact, they look at you rather oddly when you say you met someone online, have you noticed?)  This was not our first time getting together in person, so we knew that we have a real and not just virtual friendship.  But because we live so far apart, time together feels miraculous and precious.

Our time was packed with fun things, but I what I want to share today was a stop at a charming bakery.  Helen is an avid baker and I am an avid appreciator of baked goods, so when Helen suggested that we seek out the Wild Flour Bakery on our way out to the coast, I readily agreed. 

It's in the little town of Freestone, between Sebastopol and Bodega Bay. Look at these cool doors -- perfect for a rustic, brick oven bakery, yes?

There was a long line of people inside, but waiting gave us time to read the menu and drool over the options.

When you get up to the counter, you can see the gorgeous array of baked goods.

We bought bread for a picnic by the ocean, and some bread to put in the freezer for future eating, and some scones for later in the afternoon with tea or coffee, and some scones for the next morning, and some for the freezer...  Suffice it to say that the bread and scones were yummy and the car smelled deliciously of bread for the rest of the day.

There was a charming garden around the back of the bakery where we were invited to wander.

I especially liked this door to the orchard.

From there, we continued to Bodega Bay where I introduced Helen to the funky, Alfred Hitchcock-Birds themed general store, then on to a point overlooking the ocean where we ate our picnic lunch.  We shivered a bit then headed inland just a mile to find sunshine and warmth and hot coffee. We poked around shops, visited several artist studios (having the good fortune to be making the trip on an Art Trails open studio day), and came home bread-laden and contented.

Even though Helen left a few days ago, I'm still basking in the pleasure of that visit.  Yesterday, I pulled out these very photos and painted a page in my sketchbook to commemorate the day.

Aah, a good friend, a day trip, and a bakery.  Perfect!


  1. Sourdough/breadmaking is such a wonderful metaphor for friendship that has its genesis in blogging. It's as if those wild yeasts are dispersed into the blogosphere; they settle and bubble up; we feed them a little more; and, before we know it, we have a wonderful loaf of bread that we can eat but we still have the starter so we can make some more. And it just keeps on getting better.

    PS: I know where I am going when I next visit my brother-in-law's ocean house at Salmon Creek near Bodega Bay. Thank you!

  2. Your description of the day with your friend has me drooling for a get together with some of my online friends. Those days truly are a salve for the soul.

  3. Oh Diane, this takes me back! Wild Flour was a must stop on my drives from our Sea Ranch home to San Francisco. Now that we have moved to Arizona I especially miss their sticky buns and the green goat bread. Thanks for the vivid impressions and photos.