Dear Diary,

My walk to the bakery usually takes less than 10 minutes.  But with this morning’s relentless pounding rain, it took an agonizing 20 minutes!  Along the way, I stepped in a doozy of a puddle; lost my footing and dropped my bag.  My bag was fine.  But my phone fell out, and landed in another deep puddle.  I probably looked crazy trying to resuscitate that thing.  I don’t know what possessed me to do CPR!

When I got to the bakery, I smelled fresh coffee and wondered why “Cleopatra” was in so early.  Then she came running out of the kitchen and said, “Guess what?”  I told her I was upset about my phone and couldn’t guess.  She said, “My power is out…  I slept here.  I’ve been watching TV and drinking coffee all night.  And, I ate all the doughnuts…”  I thought that was odd but it hardly seemed like breaking news.  Then she said, “Try again… Guess what???”  I said, “The Mayor’s wife is pregnant!”  She slapped her thighs and said, “Insane… That’s totally in-saaaaane!  I can’t believe you guessed it right!!!”  Then she added, “The Mayor’s wife has to be on total bedrest.  That means she’ll be in isolation for at least 12 to 14 months!”  I knew “Cleopatra’s” math was off but kept it to myself.  Then “Cleopatra” said, “The Mayor’s wife was artificially inseminated either before or after her trip to China.”

I didn’t know what to believe; so I busied myself in the kitchen while “Cleopatra” took a much needed nap.  Then the bakery’s phone rang.  It was my boss.  She said, “I’ve been texting you all morning.  It’s rude not to respond ASAP!  Or maybe you need to upgrade that flip phone?  Whip up enough chili and cornbread for a Roman legion.  The Mayor’s wife is pregnant with septuplets!  There was a crazy mix up at the fertility lab– they lost the Mayor’s specimen.  The Mayor’s wife is carrying fetuses fertilized by at least five anonymous male donors!”  What?  I was confused.  Nevertheless, I made the chili and cornbread with added vegetables for good health!

“Chile-Cheese ‘Corn’ Bread” recipe from the book “Everyday Grain-Free Baking” by Kelly Smith


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,

When the phone call with the Mayor’s wife ended, I knew I should’ve asked more questions…  But, I was flattered by the amount of money someone was willing to pay for my gluten free bread.  I must admit the handmade/homemade stuff tastes better than store bought.

Anyway, the Mayor’s wife’s sister wanted 150 gluten free mini hamburger buns.  That’s it!  The Mayor’s wife instructed me to rent a Zipcar for the day.  She told me, “You’ll have to drive way out to Route 50.  There will be plenty of signs showing you the way.  There’s no way to miss it!”  I should’ve asked a question.  Instead, I thought about all the discount malls on Route 50.  After all, I needed new dinner napkins!

Beyond that, I wasn’t interested in why the Mayor’s wife’s sister would have a family event way out on Route 50 or why she needed 150 mini buns…  Before ending the call, the Mayor’s wife said, “My sister will supply the meat.  All you have to do is be there by noon.”  Again, I should’ve asked a question.

When I arrived at Route 50, I saw a huge circus tent!  I parked the car and walked around.  I thought I was at the wrong place until a woman (who looked similar to the Mayor’s wife) asked me if I was the one with the bread.  I said, “Yes, I’ve got 150 mini buns.”  She said, “Thanks for coming out on such short notice.  I’m sad to say, we’re closing the show and dismantling the tent today…  This is the last anyone will ever hear of my rat circus!  We’ve had too many complaints from The Animal Welfare League…”  She looked away and blew her nose.  Then she said, “My rats were well fed and loved!”  Again, I didn’t ask any questions.  I simply followed her behind the circus tent.  Then she said (through tears), “The meat is… ready.  All you have to do is assemble the burgers for the troupe and your work is done.”  Again, I didn’t ask any questions.

“Sandwich Rounds” recipe from the book, Everyday Grain-Free Baking, by Kelly Smith