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Things Lost

May 24, 2010

How can I turn my melancholy from the series conclusion of Lost into something about food?

Officially, I’m a big softie, and it’s good that Mrs. Fussy was up in bed leaving me alone, free to get choked up at all the mushy parts.  She bailed out on the series in the first season, finding the graphic depiction of airline disaster and the suspense and terror of the smoke monster too much to handle.

I stuck with it.

Season One, I watched in Berkeley on Netflix in a little under a week.  I missed the first run since it happened right after Young Master Fussy was born.

Season Two, I downloaded on iTunes the day each episode came available and viewed the episodes on my BART commute to and from San Francisco.

Season Three I stopped paying for the content and primarily watched on

Season Four I continued to watch on, but now I found myself living in Albany.

Season Five started soon after Little Miss Fussy appeared on the scene.  I began to watch the show over broadcast television on our new fancy high definition screen in our very first house.

This final season, Lost was appointment viewing, and has been the only thing that I actually watch over broadcast television.  In the rare instance I missed an episode, I would catch it the next day on

A lot has changed in my life since Lost came on the air, and now that it is gone, I’m thinking about some of the other things that are gone now too.

I’ve never talked about it here, but perhaps the one thing I miss most about Berkeley is my local panaderia.

One Saturday morning, I was walking with Mrs. Fussy and Young Master Fussy in search of breakfast.  For some reason, we thought this one outdoor café (that makes perfect poached eggs and killer café au lait, among other things) wouldn’t be all that crowded.

We were very wrong.

Well, instead of dealing with the crowd, we kept on walking and discovered this charming little Mexican bakery.  And there was almost nobody there.  Granted, there weren’t any poached eggs.  But there were Mexican pastries the likes of which I had never seen.  So we dove in and tried new things every week, until everyone in the family had their favorites.

The kiddo almost always went for the chocolate frosted cupcake with sprinkles.
Mrs. Fussy was into the apple turnovers coated with a layer of crunchy sugar.
I was a sucker for the bread pudding, and other custardy treats.

But they also had cookies.  They had peanut butter cookies with an incredible texture.  When you bit into them, they were brittle and sandy, but as you chewed them, they became rich and creamy.  There were the lard-based pastries in the shape of a pig.  Yeasty sweet breads sprinkled with various crumbly sugar toppings.  Little cake purses filled with jams or sweetened cheese.  Sheet pans filled with rectangular custard pie.  And if you felt really decadent, you could have their incredible tres leches cake.  Because I grew up in Miami, I have little tolerance for poor versions of this rich milky treat.  Theirs was wonderful.

Plus, they made their own rolls, which made for incredible carnitas tortas.  Occasionally for breakfast, if I wasn’t feeling up to a torta, I would treat myself to one or two carnitas tacos, just to get a taste of their juicy tender pork.

And this is what we did.  Every Saturday.

When I returned to visit last summer, even without the family, the woman behind the counter remembered me, despite my not having shown up for the past two years.  I guess that is what happens when you are an irregular regular.

Yes, there are things that we have gained moving to Albany.
But today especially, I am thinking of the things that I have lost.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kerosena permalink
    May 24, 2010 9:57 am

    I love your description of the PB cookies. They sound magical.

  2. May 24, 2010 11:29 am

    Moving to Albany? County you meant? I thought youlived in the historic Hamlet of Mckownville. I kid, I kid. Us native Mckownville folk are allowed to kid the new comers.

    • May 24, 2010 2:00 pm

      You know me, I tend to think about geography in terms of DMAs.

      Which by the way is one reason why it is completely inappropriate for me to compare Albany to Tempe. Tempe, after all, is part of the #12 ranked Phoenix DMA. Albany is all the way down at #57. We are sandwiched between Little Rock, AR and Richmond, VA. So expect to see that caveat on any future comparisons between the two cities.

  3. May 25, 2010 9:13 am

    Take a day trip to Brooklyn, Sunset Park specifically. More Panaderias than you can shake a bread stick at. Plus a plethora of other hispanic/latin goodies.

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