I had dinner with my friend, Michele, last night. We were both feeling like having something breakfasty. You know, comfort food. So we settled on the very simple Bakers Square. Do you have one near you? They serve breakfast all day plus the usual family restaurant fare and they are known for their large selection of pies. We had a lovely, chatty evening. But the remarkable conversation was with the manager as we left. It was surprising that he wanted to talk to us at all since we were the last people to leave the place...as usual. I remarked on the wall of folded pie boxes near the entrance. He told us that they already had over 2000 orders for pies for Thanksgiving, but were expecting the majority of their orders this weekend. He said they estimated that they would have over 5000 orders to fill by next Thursday! Can you imagine all that goes into planning, making room and organizing? He went on to tell us that a gaggle of workers came in after the restaurant each night closed to fold boxes and that on Sunday another group would come in to start packing the freshly baked pies into boxes for pick-up. Today a refrigerated semi truck would park behind the restaurant for overflow. Half the pies are baked on site and the others are delivered from a central kitchen. I had no idea one place could fill that many orders. Imagine how many pies are made and sold nationwide for Thanksgiving. Are you making your own or buying pies or are you on Turkey duty? My sister-in-law, Leslie, makes the best pies of anyone I know and her cheesecakes are definitely the very, very best.
Our family has been known to fight over her Mocha Cheesecake, but I digress.
John and I finished up our morning errands today and stopped at Crocker Park for a coffee and a browse through Barnes and Noble bookstore. This outdoor mall is truly wonderful. It is set up like a little town with stores and restaurants lining several streets that all converge on the center park. Regular readers of this blog have seen photos of the chess area of the park (see July archives). The management of Crocker Park holds events all year long. In the summer there is a Saturday Farmers Market, huge July 4th party with live music and fireworks, store to store trick or treating at Halloween, classic car shows, ice sculptures, art shows, and many other events that bring everyone together. All along the sidewalks are huge pots of flowers and tons of comfortable chairs and couches for reading, eating an ice cream or just people watching. They have created a great community atmosphere with loft apartments over some of the stores and condos at one end of the complex. In the winter they have an ice rink and a Santa Chalet for the little ones to sit on his lap.
Today there was just enough snow at the edges of the sidewalk and just enough brisk air to make it feel like winter had really arrived. The huge Christmas tree was being put up in the square for the annual tree lighting tomorrow night. The trees along the sidewalks were all twinkly with little lights. Large topiary reindeer were carrying stacks of presents at each crosswalk. It was wonderful and magical. I am not a fan of too-early holiday decorations, but it seemed just right today. I am in the spirit!