Dear Diary,

At 2:30 pm, I received a text from my boss.  It read: “I’m at my mother’s.  Sorry (in advance) for the inconvenience.  But, could you, would you please (with sugar on top), bring us a banana bread (use extra bananas), and whatever soup you made today.”


With all the excitement about the Mayor’s wife’s arrest, and the cassava flour palooza, I had completely forgotten to make a soup…  On Sundays, my boss likes to offer an exotic warming soup with one bakery side item for $13.75.  Then I got another text from my boss: “You should remember my mother’s address.  Also, be a dear and enter from the red kitchen door.  The front door’s security camera is whacky and will signal an alarm because I haven’t uploaded your image to its facial recognition software.  Capisce?”  I didn’t understand but wrote, “I’ll be there by 5:00pm.”  She wrote back, “After dark would be better.”

The “after dark” seemed weird, but truthfully it was no weirder than the time my boss asked me to collect cobwebs for her mother’s injured foot.  Looking back, I don’t know how I did it.  But, I did.

Anyway, I needed to make soup PDQ!  Lentils might seem like an odd thing for a bakery to have on hand, but they are incredibly versatile; so I decided to make Ismail Merchant’s “Nimbu Masoor Dal” or lemon lentils.  When the soup was ready, I set off for my boss’s mother’s house.

“Ultimate Banana Bread” recipe from the book, Everyday Grain-Free Baking, by Kelly Smith

“Nimbu Masoor Dal (Lemon Lentils)” from the book, Passionate Meals, by Ismail Merchant


Dear Diary,

While I sat in disbelief, “Cleopatra” checked her phone for more news about the Mayor’s wife’s arrest.  Then I wondered where my boss was.  She’s rarely ever more than 5 minutes late…

“Cleopatra” showed me her phone and said, “Look… the Mayor is having a press conference!”  An aide to the Mayor spoke first, “The Mayor will make a brief statement.  Please respect the Mayor’s right to privacy at this difficult time. There will be no questions allowed.”  Then the Mayor took to the podium and said, “My wife is innocent!”  The Mayor was about to leave when a reporter jumped up and said, “I’ve heard reports that your wife has been dealing in the illegal importation of animals since before you two were married.  There are allegations that she started her business, ‘Old schooled primates’, while volunteering at a refuge for aged former zoo animals in Africa.  Any truth to that, Sir?”

The Mayor seemed annoyed.  He shook his head and said, “The citizens of this city are too smart to fall for your smear tactics.”  The reporter continued, “Last month (when your wife was in China), she visited a giant panda sanctuary and was quoted as saying, ‘When the aged zoo animal loses his physical appeal he is retired to a wildlife refuge.  Perhaps it’s time to view them differently?'”  The Mayor said, “My wife’s comments speak to the devaluation of all animals as we age.  Furthermore, my wife was in China for medical treatments.”  The reporter sat down and the Mayor left in a huff.

I started to worry about my boss…  Then the oven timer beeped.  The chocolate chocolate chip cookies were ready!

“Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe from the book, Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson

Dear Diary,

I was up and ready for the day at 4:00 am.  I had leftover savory bread pudding and hot chocolate for breakfast…

When I got to work; I found a note from my boss.  It said: “There was a mix up on the flour order.  I can’t send it back… Figure out a yummy, cost effective way to use it, and I’ll give you another day off.  Maybe next week?  My seminar was such an historic success I’ve decided to have a Part II: ‘The spicy  postnup– Simple negotiation strategies every savvy (married) woman should know!'”  Sounded interesting but I was way more excited about the flour mix up!  It was an opportunity to try something new.  Also, I wanted another day off…

I walked into the kitchen and found 100 pounds of Cassava flour.  I googled cassava flour recipes and got to work.  First up: a yeasty wheat flour like sandwich bread.  On Fridays, my boss prefers to have ready made sandwiches available for the grab n’ go customer…  Next up: tortillas.  In addition to regular sandwiches, my boss likes to offer wraps filled with grilled chicken.  Before I knew it, I had made: brownies; cookies; waffles; pizza dough; crepes; a tempura batter, and pancakes!

I was so preoccupied with the wonders of cassava flour that I didn’t even notice the time.  Anyway, it was 1:00 pm when “Cleopatra” ran into the kitchen.  She said, “Guess what?”  I responded, “Chicken butt.”  She said, “Haha.  I’m serious.  Guess what?”  I couldn’t think; so I said, “Please, just tell me.  My brain is all about cassava flour right now.”   She suggested I sit down.  Then she said, “The Mayor’s wife was arrested!  Turns out, she’s been importing endangered species.  She was caught in a sting operation at that rich man’s place.  And, he’s really an FBI agent!!!!”  I covered my mouth in horror.  I thought about the Mayor’s wife’s box.  Then I wondered what was inside that box that got away…

Cassava flour recipes from: Otto’s naturals– “The Next Generation In Grain-Free Baking”

Dear Diary,

I was up and ready for the day by 4:00 am.  I wanted toast for breakfast.  There were 7 slices of my “Dirty White” left; so I decided to make a savory bread pudding for dinner.  I looked in the refrigerator and saw that little bottle of Prosecco and a few eggs.  I hadn’t been shopping in a while, and wondered if any store other than 7-11 was open?  Then I remembered that Co-op place.  I had enough time to shop, and get to work by 5:15 am.  My boss comes in late on Thursdays because she lectures at the Business School downtown.

I was on the other side of my front door when I received a text from my boss.  It read: “I was in a rush this morning and forgot to feed Ancel and Axel…  Be a dear and take care of them for me.  The food is in the giant walk-in freezer, in the basement.  You should remember the security code.”  I responded that I remembered the code and I’d be there soon.

Ancel and Axel are gorillas!  Yes, my boss has pet gorillas.  I have a healthy/reasonable fear of gorillas.  Once, when I was at the zoo, a gorilla locked eyes on me and broke through its bullet proof glass enclosure.  I froze.  I had no idea what to do.  Everyone knows what to do if confronted by a bear: DO NOT RUN!  STAND YOUR GROUND OR BACK AWAY SLOWLY AND DIAGONALLY.  IF THE BEAR FOLLOWS, STOP.  Has anyone ever declared what to do if a gorilla is suddenly on the loose and “making eyes” at you?  No.  I fainted and what happened next made the evening news…  I’m fine now…  I simply prefer not to share space with gorillas!