Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Poem For My Son, Jack

I wrote this poem for a poetry slam at Jack's first grade class. He was really into the slam and it meant a lot for him to have me there reading a poem. I wouldn't say poetry comes easy to me but I wanted to write a poem that Jack would understand and would also tell a story of how important he is in my life.

A Poem for My Son, Jack

I want to teach you
Because I have so much to learn
I want to watch you be silly
Because it’s laughter that I yearn

Build me a mansion out legos
And a fortress out of zoobs
A dream out of play-doh
And a future long with you.

Strum a few chords on my guitar
So I can write a song about life
I’m going to strive for success
So you can reach for it too

I want to be a good man
And make you proud
I want to be a better man
So I can show you how

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Serenaded At Little Buddy

When you are in the business of serving food to the public you never know when something special and cool can happen. Elizabeth and Jeff, regular customers and a very nice couple, came into our store yesterday to invite us to their upcoming show on Saturday night, April 3rd at Rockwood Music Hall. When I told them that it might be past the bedtime of said baker they offered to sing us a song.

Now having someone sing to you in an unexpected moment and intimate space can be a bit awkward, especially if they are not talented. But boy were my staff and I pleasantly surprised at how talented the Odd Twin (the name they might perform under) were. Elizabeth has a gorgeous voice, Jeff is a good picker and provided great harmonies plus the song was a winner. I couldn't help but tap on the counter to provide some rhythmic support. Boy I wish I could go see them. But you can!

Elizabeth Ziman & Jeff Taylor
Saturday, April 3rd at 11:00 PM
Rockwood Music Hall
184 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-4155

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Into Health: PS 10 Health Fair

Health Fair on Tuesday, March 16 from 1-6PM

P.S.10 511 7th Avenue (at Prospect Avenue) Brooklyn

School Cafeteria

Free and all are welcome!

I'll be doing a cooking demo at P.S. 10's Annual Health Fair on Tuesday, March 16 from 5-6 pm. I'll be baking multi-grain crackers at the store and doing a demo on humus and almond butter. I'm also bringing cinnamon maple oat cookies that are whole grain and sweetened with maple syrup.

Here is an interview with Stacey Bucovy, one of the founders of Healthy Steps ( who organized the event.

Pete: Please give a brief description of Healthy Steps Committee.

Stacey: The Healthy Steps Committee exists to empower the students, parents and staff of PS10 to make healthy choices related to food but extends to fitness and health issues as well. Co-chair Lora Garcia and I started the committee in 2009.

Pete: This is the second Health Expo at PS 10 that Healthy Steps has

organized, what did you learn from managing the first one and how will this one be different?

Stacey: There were a few things I learned from the first Fair. I tried to do too much on my own and realized how important it is to reach out to people for help. The school community is vast, diverse and super helpful with so much creativity.

Secondly, never underestimate the value of promoting your event. You think you have a built-in audience who will just show up but until you and your event are well known you really have to push it. I also learned how much fun a health fair could be. The children really got involved with the different activities like planting, fitness and food games. This year we have so much more to offer so I think it will really be a blast.

Pete: Tell me about the program for this years Health Expo.

Stacey: The Health Fair program is amazing. Chefs from local restaurants, including you Pete, are doing healthy cooking demonstrations. Expert gardeners from Martha Stewart will do planting projects, and a local book author named William Lach is going to do a reading and a book signing.

Fitness experts will be doing yoga, tai chi, dance and calisthenics demos. Our Health center will have ten-minute massage, acupuncturists, posture evaluations, an NYU nurses station, eastern medicine professionals and even some mental health advice. The Health Fair Salad Bar will be open from 1-4pm along with a food bar with food donated by local restaurants and parents.

Two artists in our committee will have a great Crafts Center where children can paint a still life and enter an art contest sponsored by the National Farmland Trust. Professional bodybuilder and book author Kevin Richardson will give a seminar on weight loss solutions. And believe it or not the list goes on.

Pete: What do you think the school system can do to improve the quality of the food our children eat, that is realistic in the face of todays budget cuts?

Stacey: Great question- For one thing if a piece of legislation called the Child Nutrition Act passes then schools could gain some more control over their purchases of food. They would no longer have to buy from the lowest bidder. Guidelines need to change so that healthy meatless meals could be a part of the menu - right now tofu is not allowed nor are veggie burgers. We need to seek out grants for a salad bar and figure out how to maintain it.

Pete: How can parents at other schools get involved or start a committee similar to Healthy Steps?

Stacey: Great question- There just needs to be interest, anyone can approach their school's PTA and ask to form a committee. Then it's just a matter of oranizing yourself and seeking out information form other groups or from the internet.

Pete: Well good luck with the next few days of preparations and I'll see you at the event.

Stacey: Thanks Pete, I'll see on Tuesday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Origins Of Pizza

A new theory on the origins of pizza has been discovered by a team of archeologists and historians. They believe it goes all the way back to the stone age, specifically the town of Bedrock. The inventor was a man by the name of Fred Flinstone. He was the first to make a dough made out of flour and cooked the pizza in an oven made of rocks and used wood as the heat source. His wife Wilma made the cheese from dinosaur milk. Their neighbor Barney was Fred's salesman and marketing executive.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It Did Snow: SEE

It did snow and I made it home early enough to have some outdoor time with Jack and Jill. Above is a photo of our ivy in our back yard taken the next day.

Here are some photos day of the snow:

That's me pulling Jack on the sled down 16th Street. It wasn't really very nice, windy as all heck, so we decided not to venture out to the park. Still had fun.

Jack and his snowman. Notice the magic marker face. Jack was really bummed the next day when he saw how much his snowman melted.

UMMMM, Snowcake. That was taken the next day in our backyard. Maybe because I spend so much time in the bakery all I could see when I looked at the window was this giant cake on the table calling out for a candle. I guess you could say we celebrated the one day birthday of mr. snowman. Jack took his own photo of the cake too.

Snowbirds in the apple tree.

Orange monkey man in the tree and the end of the snow fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow

Showing up each day at the bakery at 5:00 am can feel a bit lonely, certainly quiet. After spending about 30 years in bands and providing music at bars, clubs or for parties I was used to getting home at that time. Now I pass by bars with patrons leaving to make their way home. Quite a change of lifestyle.

Today I'm here and it seems extra quiet. Of course now that their are tenants in the apartment above me I wait to turn on the music until about 7:00 or I put it on real low. But the snow still gives a feeling of a blanket of peace being dropped on Brooklyn. I've spent the last hour or so deciding how much pastries I should bake to put out today. Will anyone be on the streets and in need of a cup of coffee, a muffin, scone or biscuit? It's hard to tell but I guess it will be a slower than usual Wednesday.

I'm hoping that I can get done extra early and spend time with Jill and Jack. Jill will be working from home as the City announced yesterday that they would shut the schools. Jack was pumped because he saw it as an opportunity to stay home all day and play with his DS. He has entered the world of video games and we lose him for chunks of time. We try hard to seriously limit and dole out permission to game, otherwise he'd turn into a zombie. Hopefully it won't be too windy in the afternoon so we can go out and build a snow man or go sledding or something else.

Many Happy Birthdays Part 2

Last week two friends of mine celebrated their birthdays and bought their cakes at Little Buddy. Kevin, a great photographer whom I wrote about previously, was happy to find we had a pineapple upside cake available for his party. Sean, a gifted composer, enjoyed our devil's food cake with nutella swiss meringue that his wife Catherine bought. It makes feel good to know that the cakes we make are part of the celebrations that make life special.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Many Happy Birthdays At Little Buddy

Before we opened the store we went shopping at various antique and used furniture stores looking for, trays, platters, coffee tables and a few other items of display. I found a small coffee table for real cheap that I liked, which happened to have a photo taped to it. I was so busy at the time I didn't get a good look at the photo but I knew that I wanted to keep it.

When we opened the store in August in my haste I took the photo and put it on our community wall, again without looking closely at the photo (it was very hectic at the time). A customer was admiring the photo and noticed that the table that the cake was situated on was the actual table in the store. It's incredible but it must be the original owner having a birthday cake for her daughter's first birthday. What an omen for a bakery to display such a sentiment. I only hope we have years of customers buying birthday cakes for their children, spouses, friends etc and maybe one day someone in an antique store will find a photo of a birthday celebration with one of our cakes being enjoyed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Funky Donkey Time

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged. As you can imagine the holiday season at the store took lots of my energy and time and left little in the tank for anything extra. It's also a real challenge to find something to write about other than the business since I am here for so many hours. Plus it's hard to separate the business from blog. More specifically for the blog I'd like to be real honest but maybe from a business standpoint that is not the best thing? That's a round about way of saying that the last few months have been real challenging. This was not the best economic climate to start a new business and we have to work so hard to overcome the fact that people are being careful with their money.

With that said last night I had one of those moments a parent wishes for. I was in my bedroom watching the end of the crazy Packers vs. the Cardinals playoff game while waiting for Jack's bath to get ready. Jack came into to the room and put on the ipod on Jill's night stand and found an obscure song called "It's Funky Donkey Time" by the extremely talented and funky drummer Bernard Purdie. Bernard has played with James Brown, Aretha Franklin and a host of other notables, being one of the most recorded drummers in history. Check out his drumming on Rock Steady one of the coolest drum beats ever.

Well something about the song clicked with Jack and he kept playing it over and over again (safe estimate a dozen times) while dancing and jumping on the bed. The song put us both in a great mood, it was a good way to end the day. Jack said how much he loved the song and how good Bernard was on the drums. Unfortunately the way he put it was "Daddy he's a great drummer, better than you. I like your drums too but this is so good". Well I have to admire his honesty and his knowledge of music because frankly Purdie is much better than I ever was or will be. I just had to agree with Jack and be glad that we shared this moment, my son has good taste in music and I got to see the end of a wild football game. It doesn't get any better than that.